When I've been solo-parenting for a few days, I sometimes self-deprecatingly remark that I've kept the kids fed and clothed, and anything else is a bonus. But you know, even that much can be pretty hard. (Wearing a spider-man costume counts as clothed, right? Because that's how Mabel went to the playground yesterday. If her brother had tried to do that at a similar age, I would have put my foot down, unless it was within two days of Halloween. But that's second children for you - you've been beaten down and your personal goalposts shift a bit. Besides, I thought she looked cute.)
But I have the utmost respect for anyone who actually feeds children - especially their own - on a daily basis. I mean, people who do it properly, not the "throw some things out of the fridge and see who can catch them" technique I tend towards myself. Because tossing off "fed" as if it's a simple thing implies that children are like normal human beings in ways that mine - and yours? tell me it's not just mine - are not. Normal humans, mostly
- eat more than three different things.
- acknowledge when they're hungry rather than losing their mind in the loudest and most inconvenient way possible.
- are prepared to eat at mealtimes because that's when people eat, so that they won't be hungry later. Because later it will be not mealtime and you will be nowhere near food that is in any way nutritious or inexpensive, and you will then ruin whatever the next proper meal was supposed to be.
YES, I KNOW. Save your fingers. Put down the spacebar. If you do all that and it works, I'm so happy for you, and I'm sure if I did it right it would work for me too. (Except I'm not, but that's what you need to hear. Maybe it's just not in my nature to do it right.) It's okay. I'm not looking for advice today. I just want to whine, in a perhaps-slightly-amusing way. If you find it as hard as I do to keep your kids just damn well "fed," by all means leave me a comment commiserating, so we can all whine together.
My kids are growing. They're healthy and the doctor is not worried about them. I try not to feed them too much sugar, to keep them away from high-fructose corn syrup, to limit the juice. I try not to give them a complex about eating too much, or too little, but to educate them about foods and what's good and bad for their body.
It will all come out in the wash.
(That's a metaphor. I'll talk about my broken washing machine tomorrow.)