Despite the mess that is my pantry, I am an orderly person. And I like to follow the rules. Give me an algebraic equation, a recipe, or a 20-page instruction manual, and I’m golden.
I discovered early on that kiddos don’t come with instruction manuals, but I try to make up for that when I can...
When the girls first started eating baby food, the pediatrician told me to begin with vegetables. After a couple of months, he told me to also feed them a fruit, but always after they’d eaten their veggies. When I began feeding them meat, I followed the same logic, offering it first, followed by a vegetable, and then a fruit.
Process and procedure. I’m all about it.
At 22 months old, our girls haven’t eaten baby food in many, many months. But out of habit, or fear of messing with a good thing, or even perhaps because my pediatrician hasn’t told me otherwise (kidding! [kind of…]), I continue to follow the same order of operations.
At supper, for example, the girls might eat roasted chicken. Then they might have sweet potatoes. And then they might follow it up with fresh strawberries and blueberries.
Most of the time the girls eat what I give them, give or take a bite or two. When they don’t, though, I try to remain calm. Maybe they’re just not in the mood for sweet potatoes. Maybe they saw so much orange over Halloween and Thanksgiving they are experiencing a mental block.
In such a situation, I silently take a deep breath and casually offer them the strawberries…before they've finished their veggies!...careful not to let on that they’re Messing With My Head!
You know what the crazy thing is, though? It’s not unusual these past few weeks for them to polish off their fruit…and THEN ask for their vegetable!!!
I think maybe they know fruit is at the end of the line – and they LOVE fruit – and they just can’t wait. But then they realize they’re still a bit hungry, and they know sweet potatoes are their option.
Whatever the case, I’m learning to deal with things being “out of order”. By that point I’m [silently] thrilled that they are going to eat some veggies, so I’d almost be willing to let them stand on their heads and eat.
…just please don’t tell the pediatrician that I’m breaking the rules.