Parenting Rule #889: The Longer It Takes to Make, The Less Likely They Are to Eat It

kid food rulesWhile part of me wishes that I could be one of those bento box moms that spends three hours preparing their children’s school lunches in the morning, another part of me just doesn’t understand. Why take all that time molding waldorf chicken salad into Frozen characters and cutting up raw veggies into tiny little shapes? Chances are your kid isn’t even going to eat that stuff. You’ll probably just end up with a bad case of the sads when you open up their lunchbox at the end of the day and realize that they mercilessly plucked all the organic grapes out of the intricate likeness of Queen Elsa that you poured your blood, sweat, and tears into creating at 4AM. But I guess if you’re willing to LET IT GOOOO (sorry, I had to), then have at it. Personally, I’d rather sleep in an extra two hours, and slap together a marginally healthy sandwich for school lunch. Top it off with a side of baby carrots that might come home uneaten and voila! Pinterest be damned.

Parenting rule #889: The longer it takes to make, the less likely it is that your kids will actually eat it.

At least this is usually how things go with food at our house right now. Our oldest is like: Oh, you’ve prepared a baby spinach appetizer salad with candied pecans, cranberry, and fresh pears, a main course of pan-seared eco-friendly tuna with an heirloom tomato and organic red onion vinaigrette, and a fruit plate with a side of homemade crème fraîche for dessert?* Yep, not going to eat it.

But OH MY GOD was that the telltale sound of the microwave beeping? Did you spend one minute and forty-five seconds making dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets that probably contain harmful food dyes and carcinogens? Better get a bigger plate because I’m having twenty-three of them with a giant side of ketchup… Because ketchup is a food group when you’re two.

Okay, so maybe our kid doesn’t eat dinosaur chicken nuggets all the time, even though she’d like to. We do make an effort to provide healthy options that usually include vegetables, but there’s no way we’re spending four hours in the kitchen making gourmet meals. Ain’t nobody got time for that, especially people who work opposite shifts like my husband and I.

*Please note this meal, while it sounds delicious, is entirely hypothetical because I am arguably the worst cook on the entire planet of Earth. I burned a hard boiled egg once.

The Universe is Messing with My Breasts

Piranha

Hello, my name is piranha.

Recently, I read a post on a friend’s blog about breastfeeding and teething, and I made the mistake of thinking, “My baby isn’t hurting my breasts!” I should know after thirty-three years that as soon as you put something like that out into the universe, the universe responds. Sometimes the response is positive; for example, I recently said out loud that I’d love to paint the family room. I didn’t think anyone was listening but lo and behold, the universe responded, and a week later that shit is painted. Thank you, universe, Benjamin Moore, and husband.

There’s a lesson here and it is this: I should talk to myself out loud about home projects more often. Not crazy, you guys, just a simple woman with simple needs… Like brand new appliances and hardwood floors downstairs. A girl can dream, right?

Anyway, getting back on track… Shortly after I had the thought (and made a related comment on my friend’s blog) about how happy I was that my baby wasn’t using my nipples as teething toys, the universe decided to respond. But this time, the message wasn’t positive; it was painful. Now each time my seven month-old nurses on the left side, it feels like I’m feeding a 14.5-lb piranha. There’s a reason why piranhas aren’t mammals. The reason is ouch. My best guess is that she’s getting more teeth and trying to minimize the pain by modifying her latch. But I’m not sure because I don’t speak Baby.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to discourage anyone from breastfeeding here. Our experience has been overwhelmingly positive despite some challenges early on, and I think it’s awesome if you choose to breastfeed your baby as well. I also think it’s awesome if you choose formula. Being a mom is really hard, and you do what works for your family.

But I have to say that I wasn’t expecting any issues with nursing this late in the game because I never experienced anything similar with my first daughter. I suppose all babies are different, right? Just when we’ve gotten over the initial hurdles and into a good rhythm, the universe has thrown me a curve ball and stuff hurts once again. Thankfully, I’m not feeling particularly discouraged. But man alive, I’m feeling sore!

We’ve recently started integrating fruits and veggies into the piranha’s diet, and I’m slathering on lanolin like nobody’s business. Baby piranha continues to scrape my left breast every time she nurses. Not biting, scraping. Maybe an appointment with a lactation consultant is in order? I know babies can get lazy with their latch. Anyone who’s experienced similar issues have any advice?