Despite the fact that we introduce a huge variety of foods to our children very early on, they have each gone through an I'm-A-Picky-Eater phase. Finally, at 6 1/2, Scallywag seems to be making his way out of this mentality. Unfortunately, the Patchy Pirate, no doubt taking his cues from his older brother, began getting really picky around the time he turned three. The worst part, however, is that my BABY is really choosy about what he'll eat--often times throwing something on the ground he doesn't like the look of before even attempting it! He is an angel-child in almost every aspect, but he whines and points all through dinner, begging for THE THING he will eat from each meal.
Thank goodness for gummi-vitamins.
So yesterday, Scallywag gets the brilliant idea to eat outside. The weather was lovely, and though I made spaghetti, inside, on the stove, the boys kept calling it a barbecue. Fair enough--I thought maybe the gimmicky-ness would get them to eat.
Ha! Nice try.
The salad course went okay. The baby ate olives, the big boys mostly ate dressing and croutons, but a few stray homegrown, organic baby lettuce leaves made their way into mouths. Then to the main course.
I have noticed the boys do better with a meaty marinara sauce when I do penne or bowtie pasta, but some months ago in the name of Food Storage I bought approximately 8 tons of whole wheat spaghetti at Costco. In fact, it is the only item I would say that I have a year's supply of. So I cut it into smallish bites for the children. The baby took one look at it and proceded to whine for the next 20 minutes. Patchy took one bite and told me he'd eaten enough to get more olives and bread, ultimately refusing to eat when he learned it was not a dessert night. Scallywag needed me to reheat it three times, complaining that eating outside was cooling off his dinner too fast.
The meal ended with Tootypants throwing spaghetti all over the deck and the big boys in a wrestling soccer match (that is not a typo; this is the latest sports craze at our house). Plantboy looked discouraged--he is the Sunday chef. I said, "This is your fault. I wanted a daughter."
He raised his eyebrows and hardly missing a beat he said, "Don't look at me; I wanted a truck." I laughed until my sides hurt.
I am sure that one day I will look back and think about how much I miss their funny expressions and wild abandon and sweet baby moments. I know it. My six year old is missing three teeth right now and as they come back in this summer and he goes to all day school for the first time I will probably cry my eyes out for the early childhood we'll never have back. My three year old was quite sick a few weeks ago and lost some weight--his face has thinned slightly and he is looking more like a boy all the time, especially when he opens his mouth and talks like a five year old. And the baby! He is trying to stand on his own this week and I whisper in his tender little ears all the time, Slow down! Slow down! I am not unaware of how brief the time is to have them in their innocence.
But something tells me I'm never going to miss the dinnertime battles.
I'm never going to miss sleepless nights with a sick child.
I will not be one bit sorry when nobody asks me to turn on Diego.
I can't see myself regretting the WalMart tantrum.
And I will grin like a monkey the day I change the last poopy diaper.