While I'm kind of "on a break," I thought I'd bust out some old posts, some from here and some from BlogHer. This one I posted on BlogHer a few months ago. Enjoy!
I adore my kids. I love being a mom. And most of the gross things I thought I wouldn't be able to handle before I had them really don't bother me, like snotty noses and slobbery kisses. But when it comes to food, there are times I can hardly keep my stomach from churning.
Our 10-month-old for example. She's all about drinking from a cup right now. I put about a tablespoon of water in it and help her tip it up. She squeals with joy when I bring it towards her open mouth, and then she bites the edge with all the might she can muster from the two chicklets in her bottom gum. She makes an "ah" sound into the cavern, enjoying the noise. Inevitably, she's able to wrest it from my grasp and manages to spill a little (or a lot) all over herself.
Were it just the water, it would be downright adorable. Oh, but it's not just water all over her face, arms and hands. No. It's sticky cantaloupe juice, pieces of green beans and chunks of oatmeal which oftentimes ends up in her hair as well. It's like a baby mud mask, and when she has a cold, like today, it's crusted to her face with a layer of snot. I take a wet washcloth to the little cherub and scrub away. Once her face is as clean as I can get it in the 30 seconds I have before she's twisted away and started screaming bloody murder, I wipe down her soft, doughy arms and hands and do my best to get everything out from the sweet rolls and between her chubby fingers. Thank goodness she so stinkin' cute.
Moving on to the 3-year-old. I really focus on the positive with her eating habits. She's a really good eater at this point. She likes most foods and is still willing to try a lot of new ones. I was such a picky eater, I was worried she would be, too. And that may change, but for now, I'm counting my blessings. Except when I'm counting to ten and holding my breath so I don't gag from the mix of ketchup, mustard, mayo, Ranch and barbecue sauce she's made and is now dipping into with anything as reasonable as a chicken nugget to as bizarre as a chocolate chip cookie.
Or when she's eating meat.
Oddly enough, she wasn't born a big fan of meat, but has become quite a carnivore in the last six months. She LOVES her daddy's ribs. She's like a cartoon character putting the whole thing in her mouth and stripping it clean. And when he smokes chicken thighs, she peels the skin off and eats it. Or like tonight when we had grilled pork chops and I had cut all the fat off of mine and she gobbled those pieces up. I had to walk away from the table for a minute.
But just when I think I can't take another gross moment at the dinner table, she'll do something incredibly sweet, like thank me for making her favorite food or washing her favorite dish. And there's no amount of Fear Factor-esque events that could possibly discount her smile in those moments. I'm so thankful they're mine.