Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I'm Not a Short Order Cook...I'm a MAMA!

I have picky eaters. Let's just get that out and said. In fact, we have two particularly picky four year olds...which is interesting to me, as they ate almost EVERYTHING when they were babies.

But now...well, they do not eat vegetables. At least, not unless they are french fried or pureed. Odd, I know, the pureed part, but I think it's a texture thing. Or a particularly stubborn, "Hey, don't change what I'm used to," thing. Not really sure. (Though I cannot stand the texture of pears, so I can totally understand that one...)

And so mealtime has been the constant source of an endless stream of frustration and headaches on my end, crying and frustration on their end.

"Come on, take a bite!!! Just one???"

While Heckyl can usually be conjoled into a bite or two, Jeckyl is another story altogether. He would hold an offensive bite in his mouth for a whole evening if you let him. And I don't. I can't stand it. I'm NOT going to do that to him or me, either one. I can't see as it would actually help anything. It certainly wouldn't make him more apt to try another bite, for that I am certain. I know him. I've met him. He is the stubbornest creature I've ever met...and that's saying a lot, as we're all pretty stubborn in this family.

But I've looked up lots of ideas on picky eaters...and am pretty appalled at what I've found.

Soooo many sites suggest just offering the kid the food, then not feeding them again until they eat it. "No kid will starve themself." But seriously??? I have to ask myself. Has it come to that? Really, starve your child until they bend to your will?? Really?

Now, I could see if we lived in an environment where we could not afford other foods or where things just plain weren't available. But in my home, that is not the case. Is it really such a big deal to give a kid a peanut butter and jelly (all fruit spread) sandwich when we have chili? When I was a kid, I didn't eat chili either. Especially when they eat it all, rather than cry and scream and wail over ONE bite of the chili??? Is that really better?

Offer it, sure. Make it available, sure. FORCE them to eat it, rather than starve??? I think not. Because I know how stubborn my child is, how stubborn his uncle and grandfather are, and I guarantee you that all three of them would go to bed hungry, tummy rumbling before they would eat something they hated. (Can't say I feel much different myself.) I know. My father actually did that a lot when he was younger, because he refused to eat certain things. And it NEVER made him want them. These parents who make their kids sit there, but who (the kids, that is) finally relent and eat it so they can have that cookie aren't REALLY picky kids. They're just being difficult. Or maybe they're mildly picky. I have the other extreme. There is no force on earth, save actual starvation, that would force my boys to eat a meal they didn't like.

And so I am done. Done with the arguing and the pleading and the bargaining and the forcing. There's no point. It does no good for anyone, doesn't solve anything and just makes us all fairly miserable at a time that should be a fun together family time. And so, I have decided that it doesn't hurt if my boys like pureed peas or squash. They feed themselves, eat it like applesauce. But they're still getting the NUTRITION. And then they can eat their grilled cheese or peanut butter and jelly or pizza or whatever. Does it really have to be that big a deal?

And I try to get creative. I like that book, The Sneaky Chef, though I don't make all the recipes. I like the IDEA of just putting veggies in stuff they already like. I used her white puree (zucchini and cauliflower) last night on their grilled cheese. I spread it over the bread, then toasted the bread, and they were none the wiser. And they like pizza. (I can put zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, and peas all in that good ole' tomato sauce.) And it's not that I'm really trying too hard to HIDE it, just to prepare it in such a way that they LIKE it, and EAT IT readily. That's the main thing. By the way, we LOVE her Sneaky Chef Chili, the adults, that is. LOL And it's much better for me than the canned stuff!!!

All that to say, what's the big deal if my kids are picky? So am I. I don't eat mushrooms or onions, brussel sprouts or asparagus. Big deal. Neither does my daughter, though we both LOVE spinach and other good for us veggies. And my boys are healthy and strong with good appetites, even if they are a bit more finicky (okay, a LOT) than most kids. But so what? Aren't they healthy? Aren't they happy? Isn't THAT what matters, much more than the extra three minutes it will take me to whip up a sandwich or throw some chicken fingers in the oven? No, I'm not a short order cook, I'm a MAMA, and my kids are worth the extra effort.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Whoever thought sewing was a relaxing, quiet, NONAEROBIC activity...never tried to shove a queen-sized quilt around in a regular sized sewing machine. I'm just saying...

Pics to come when I can find the camera charger...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A little bird...

This is MY memory of 9/11 as I experienced it. It is in no way meant to belittle what someone else experienced, nor to neglect those who were cruelly killed or who gave their lives trying to rescue the injured. My heart goes out to any who experienced any kind of loss, and I salute the men and women who died on that horrible day and pray God has given peace to those families who have lost loved ones.

But this blog entry is only of my own remembrance and is not written as a tribute:

Granted, I am writing this a couple hours late for the date, and that I am doing nothing original by posting my memories of 9/11, I was reminded tonight of where I was, what I was doing when it happened.

I was teaching, English, as a matter of fact, to my 10th graders. I remember it was the 10th graders, because I remember one girl, Candace, who was in my class and her reaction when the principal came in to tell us what had just happened. She was worried that the world was coming to an end.

I was just in shock.

But God gave me the sense of mind to remember one of my favorite verses, a verse that has comforted me so many many many times. (If you haven't guessed, this was a private Christian school where thankfully prayer and scripture were welcomed.)

Mark 13:7 And when ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet.
(Just as a side note, this statement is in the Bible in four different places

She thanked me for reading this, as it helped to calm her down, just as it always had me. Oh, she was still upset, still flaberghasted and horrified by what was suddenly happening, but she was not in a blind panic, remembering that God was still in control.

And I was still in just...shock. And then I hear that they're shutting down all the state capitals, and I get worried...what if there are more attacks??? My husband was out of town, across the country working on some electrical system or other in one of the state capital buildings. So, I prayed for his safety. I don't remember if I called him (probably) or he called me first, but he got in touch with me and let me know that he was coming on home, but that they would have to drive, as all airports had been shut down, and they had JUST got their rental vehicle before they shut down all of those as welll. Thank you, God!

And later I found out that he had been in the same airport as the one the flight had left from, only the day before. It just didn't seem real.

So, I spent most of the day going down into the teacher's lounge where I could snatch tidbits from the news, and relaying that to my students, my cell phone allowed to be out on my desk, turned on, as we all waited to hear any news from loved ones. No work was going to be done that day, anyway.

But it was on the drive home where God gave me the comfort I needed. Driving on the same road I always took to get home, I past a small little tree, on my left, and in it, sat a small little songbird. And amidst the chaos in my mind, the news on the radio (there was NO music anywhere to be heard), and the stream of traffic, I saw that ltitle bird, sitting happily in his tree, unaware of all that had gone on around him, and it hit me. The world had not ended, was still going on as it always had, because God was still in control. He was still God, Lord over this world and everything in it, even in the midst of our terrible tragedy. And we were in His hands. And though the day was still dark and horrible, though I still did pack up my clothes to go and sleep at my inalwas that night, God let me have that bit of comfort, and I have NEVER forgotten that little bird and the bit of peace and hope God gave to me through him.