The Joy of Eating with a Toddler

We were enjoying our breakfast this morning and as I watched Mika squishing a piece of watermelon between her fingers and tracked the juice flowing down her “onesie”, I reflected on the joy of eating with a toddler.  Actually, this might be the secret weapon that diet companies have been looking for.
Nothing quite takes away the appetite like watching a picky toddler playing with their food.  There is just something about seeing mashed-on food covering clothes and bodies that takes away that desire for another bite.  Oh, I’m all for the joys of barbarian dining and have long harbored a desire to participate in a barbarian feast but even the most uncouth Vikings chewed and swallowed their food before flinging those bones across the room.

Laura was trying to entice Mika with little cubes of watermelon on her highchair tray, and for the most part, it was working.  Watermelon is one of Mika’s favorite foods.  However, I’m discovering that when you put too many options in front of the baby, she quickly shifts into “play mode” and starts squeezing and exploring the tidbits in front of her.  She had melon juice down her front, pooling on the seat she was sitting on, all over her face, and in her ears.  For some strange reason, I kept humming “Why do the kids put beans in their ears” from the musical “The Fantastiks.”  Didn’t want to give her any ideas though so I tried to refrain from singing the lyrics.

Mika also has moments when she gets herself into a snit and that’s when the food starts to fly.  Today Aunt Lina was taking a turn holding her and Mika had an assortment of soy nuts and cheese in front of her.  Nope, she scooped up the nuts and dropped them on the floor as she gave me “the look.”  You know that look I’m talking about, if you’ve ever dealt with a toddler.  It’s the “I’m doing something I shouldn’t and I know it and you know it and now, what are you going to do about it, huh?” look.  I took the rest of her soy nuts away and started rationing them out to her one at a time.  If one went over the side, she had to wait for another one.

I SO wanted to give her the little talk that I once gave my own daughter.  Of course, MY daughter had been a little older and it had been when she had tried to tell me that she had already practiced her piano when I knew good and well that she hadn’t.  The talk had been along the lines of “Never try to kid a kidder.”   In Mika’s case, the “talk” would have been, “Never try to out-strong will a strong-willed Nana.”  Eh, that talk will come another day.

Then there were the hard-boiled egg whites that Laura was trying to entice Mika to eat.  Just between you, me, Mika and the lamp-post, I thought they looked about as appetizing as tire rubber.  I did a very non-grandmotherly thing.  I told Mika my opinion.  Hey, if they’d been in front of me, I would have chucked the things on the ground myself or at least covered them up with a napkin.

I think I’ll invest in a plastic raincoat before my next visit.  Sure, people might look funny at me when I wear it in a restaurant but I’ll be the one walking out of the place with a clean outfit while the rest of the family is covered in their entrees.  As my own mum used to say, “There’s more than one way to skin a cat” and there’s more than one way to eat with a toddler.

As an aside, just to update you on the mosquito situation here, poor Mika got feasted on last night again.  Those mosquitoes really seem to like her, even when she is inside her little crib/tent that zips up.  It must have happened on one of the times when she was in her parents’ bed.

I was quite overjoyed this morning to notice some birds swooping around the lawn.  They acted and looked quite similar to the barn swallows from the farm in Minnesota.  I didn’t realize that Indonesia had birds like that but they were obviously going after bugs and most probably mosquitoes.  Good riddance, I say!

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Hot Flashed Funk

  • OH, Poor BAby…those bites look nasty.

    You’ve described eating with a toddler quite effectively. LOL


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