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March 14, 2012

One Last Stronghold

As I have documented over the past six or so weeks, we have taken down the baby gate that used to separate the girls’ playroom (our den) from our open-floor-plan house.

[Perhaps I have documented this in such excruciating detail as it is pretty momentous in my little world!]

Mostly, things have gone very well. It’s SO nice to feel we’re all part of the same house…definitely a huge step in that warm-and-fuzzy “family” feeling.

In the spirit of full disclosure, though, I must confess that I am hanging on to one last stronghold…highchairs.

Yes, the girls are three years and two months old. Don’t judge.

The girls are fully capable of sitting in regular chairs; they’ve been doing so in restaurants for close to 9 months now.

But I’m just not ready to go there at home.

Our girls are very good eaters, and I definitely credit part of that to them being focused on the task of eating. I don’t force our girls to eat – there is no “clean plate policy” here – but I do require the girls to sit in their chairs during mealtime. Taking away the lure of playing allows us all to have a [relatively] relaxed meal together, and – I think – may encourage the girls to appreciate their mama’s cooking a little more fully.

And in the spirit of even fuller disclosure, I do sometimes take advantage of having them contained, even for a couple of minutes. As they’re finishing their snack, I might slip upstairs to put in my contacts in blessed peace. I also have the girls sit in their highchairs for messier crafts – namely glue and finger paint.

Still, I know our girls can’t sit in highchairs forever. I bought some booster seats last week – ones that don't even have a belt!

I’m still working up to take them out of the package.

My plan is to continue to use highchairs for breakfast and lunch, but allow the girls to sit in the booster seats when the four of us are at home together, usually for supper. And I anticipate being pretty strict, especially the first week or so. We’ll obviously have the highchairs available. If you play, you go back in your highchair.

Baby steps here. But I feel really confident that we’ll have them transitioned by Kindergarten.


Brad Jenkins said...

I think if they are content to sit in their high chairs for a meal you probably don't need to force them out, unless they outgrow them physically. They are obviously capable of eating in regular chairs, and will do fine at kindergarten, so enjoy being able to walk away as long as you can.

Marcia (123 blog) said...

Keep them in til Kindergarten - what's the harm??? LOL

High chairs are the only way I have any sanity left.

I happily contain them for eating, for cooking (when they have lunch on the weekends, I cook) and for organising when I need to. This past weekend (the blue paint saga) my diningroom was a right mess so I organised the 4 drawers of my sideboard during one meal. I want to tackle the bottom section either on Friday or Saturday.

Wiley said...

We've decided that I can be startled without judging right? ;-)

I think we have settled on our gating strategy and we will be going to gates for the first time ever in the next few weeks!

cat said...

You are lucky theybstay in them! Mine was clambering out of them ( and opening the belts) by two. It just got dangerous. But that's boys I guess

championm2000 said...

At daycare, they have transitioned to the little tables and chairs for snacks and lunch. I know my two can do it since I've seen them eat without running around. However, it's definitely one of those things they do at school but not for me. At home, it's up, down, up, down. I definitely use the high chairs and probably will until the trays just won't snap in place...hahaha!

You've made an important step just getting booster seats, and it sounds like you have a plan for transitioning them. I look forward to be inspired. Perhaps you'll convince me that a highchair-less dinner will one day be possible :-)

Monica said...

I just sold mine on Craigslist... It was kind of bitter sweet! The $ was nice but my girls ate their 1st birthday cake in those chairs! This mama's heart ached just a little to see em go! Gah!

Mandy said...

You know, I never had highchairs! We have the ones that attach to the dining room chairs and they are pretty amazing. They travel, come with trays, have separate food tray with lid (that I never used), and clean up ease. I didn't think we would still be using them but then I realized I bought a pub height dining set. So when my kids are 7 and still using their seats I'll think of you fondly!

Julia said...

Our high chairs go up to 50 pounds, so our girls just might be entering Kindergarten sitting in those suckers. Ha!

You know, I always tell myself, and other mamas this, "All our kids are going to go to Kindergarten potty trained, with no pacifiers, and they'll probably know how to tie their shoes----when and how that all happens is just details" :)

Rebecca @ Unexplained X2 said...

I think they'll surprise you. The Crazies stay in their seats and ask permission to be excused at the end of the meal. I peel back the tablecloth for messier crafts and all is well in Casa de Crazies!

Johanna said...

I only gave up the highchairs because my best friend and cousin both had babies at the same time... when the girls were two and a half. Until then, they regularly used them - especially pushed up to the bar in the kitchen. They were the perfect height.

They easily transitioned to boosters at the table - they don't try to escape, love feeling like part of the action, and always ask to be excused before leaving the table. I bet your little ladies will do great... whenever you decide to transition them. :)

Barbara Manatee said...

My 3 do well sitting at the table w/o restraint. Adam has been in a booster for quite some time - well over a year I think - but has had good examples of staying in his chair.

We also have a family rule of sitting through the remainder of the meal and no one leaves until everyone is finished.

That similar routine at daycare I'm sure helps but we've really never had an issue - its always been an expectation from the beginning with our kiddos. :-)

Good luck on the next big transition (and if I remember you still have another last stronghold...cribs, right?? ;-)