Friday, September 9, 2011

Those dang mandarin oranges.

I love being a mom. Anyone who knows me knows that I ooze that. I think being a mom has given me a new sense of confidence, a new way to proudly hold my head, and even though it's often so draining, I find it (at this point) be so very fulfilling, too.

But the other night, I found myself super frustrated. Declan had a late meeting, so I was trying to get Emeline fed. She's in this new picky-food phase, which I absolutely, positively loathe with every ounce of my being. It sucks. But I hear it comes with the territory of toddlerhood.

Anyway. I started off by giving the girl some mandarin oranges. Great, she gobbled them up like I knew she would since fruit of any kind? She loves. But she can't just solely live on fruit. I then tried some mac & cheese. I've only tried it one other time and she was fine with it. But that night? It ended up on the floor. By the gob-full. Not to mention it was dripping down my walls, too. The walls, baseboards, and floor all of which I had just been on my hands and knees scrubbing earlier.

After a while, I realized that wasn't working. I'll try blueberries. She loves blueberries. She chucked them all at Mac (girlfriend has impeccable aim) before I could even get them off her tray. My frustration level was totally rising, but I tried not to show it.

I think at this point is when I tweeted something like, "I'm done parenting today. Any takers?"

Oddly enough, there were no takers.


Go figure.

Anyway. I tried her favorite fruit nutrigrain bars. She grinned from ear to ear when I brought them out from the cabinet, and inside I thought, "Nailed it". But before my mind could even finish that winning thought, I see my dog off in the corner gobbling up AN ENTIRE NUTRIGRAIN BAR like he just won the lottery.

By this point, I was just over it. So frustrated that the only thing she ate for dinner was freakin' mandarin oranges, meanwhile feeling like I'd somehow mal-nurished my child. I go to the fridge, and while I knew I should have just quit while I was ahead, I went for the string cheese. Of COURSE she would want string cheese. It's her favorite.

She even said a hearty, "YESH" when I showed it to her. I brought it over, she smiled at me, I put a piece in her hand, she put out her other hand asking for the other half. Naively, I gave it to her, thinking she would vacuum it up like she normally does. She grabbed the two halves of the cheese, gripped them with all her might, spread her hands out over each side of her high chair, gave me and then opened up her little fists, releasing said cheese sticks directly to the ground.

This time? That was it. I had to walk away because my toddler had figured out how to push all my buttons and frustrate the heck out of her momma.

Girlfriend had already tested me up and down, and I fell into her little tricks about a gazillion times, in desperate attempts to get her to eat something more than just mandarin oranges for dinner.

I cleaned her up in a huff, and sent her off to play in the living room.

Still frustrated, I pulled out my camera and starting downloading the photos I had taken earlier that day. I'm so glad I did. Especially in times of frustration like that, I'm so grateful for my camera. Or photos, rather. That I can just look back on and remember really great moments. The ones that happen often, and that do overshadow the really frustrating (even if silly) ones. 

As I was watching the few photos download and flash across my screen, I found myself smiling a bit. Being less frustrated. Easing up. After all, you win some, you lose some in this whole parenting gig, anyway, right?

And only moments before the whole dinner debacle, we had some really fun moments when I snuck in to get her from naptime with my camera in hand. I can't remember the last time, if ever that I've done that.

So today, I'm grateful for moments that make me forget the little trying ones. For good that overshadows the bad. For my little booger-of-a-girl. I truly love this kid to death.

Sleepy, groggy Eme-Kay. Bed-head is the best.
And then she spots her puppy who comes in to greet her. Smiles.
Watching her birds on her mobile.

Her daddy came home from his work meeting with leftover pizza that night. Apparently she was holding out for that. I can't say I blame a girl.



  1. You just described my dinner time with the twins to a TEE! OMG. However, they will eat blueberries ALL day over anything.

    Very frustrating.


  2. I'm frustrated just reading that, so I can only imagine was it was like - IN PERSON!!

    And what a sweet baby girl she is. Those curls are SO dang cute!!!

  3. Ugh the food throwing stage is the worst. At least the dog had a great feast.

  4. Oh goodness. I hate the food mess. I really do. And, I don't do picky eaters. I know I will be extremely frustrated when we reach this stage! I hope it passes quickly for you!

  5. Hang in there with the picky eating thing and don't give into it...I learned that the hard way and dealt with it for nearly a year. No fun. This time around, you get what you get and if you don't like it, you can be excused. E isn't picky at all because of it. Is she hungry sometimes, probably, but if she's hungry enough, she'll eat what we give her. They won't starve themselves. My ped. actually told me they really only need to eat one solid meal a day to get the nutrients they need. I wish I knew that the first time around.

    I hope she gets better for you! Picky eaters are stressful.

  6. Well its good to know about these mandarin organges. Apparently she got the memo about the pizza and you did not. Smart girl :)

  7. Sweet post. She's a cutie! We are going through the SAME THING! The Boy used to eat anything I put on his tray....but now, we do good to get 1 item eaten. Sweet Potatoes are the go-to item. He'll always lap those up! ;)

    You're a good momma girl. Don't fret! She'll eat when she's hungry!

  8. ha. this sounds like dinner at my house every night. He throws bowls of blueberries on the floor and rocky is with my parents for a month so i have no one to eat them for me... that involves sweeping and... well... i hate it.
    hope this stage ends soon!

  9. I am so with you can be so frustrating...I am lucky if i can get mine to eat one thing I put down..cause like your sweet girl mine loves fruit too.some days are better then others...but you get through them! Hang on...toddlerhood is an adventure! P.s. love the sweet pics!

  10. I am so with you can be so frustrating...I am lucky if i can get mine to eat one thing I put down..cause like your sweet girl mine loves fruit too.some days are better then others...but you get through them! Hang on...toddlerhood is an adventure! P.s. love the sweet pics!

  11. Ha, you are not alone! I always have to tell myself that if he wanted it he would have taken it. I know it's frustrating but I honestly think it's one of the best forms of communication they have with us!!!

  12. your not alone, I had this same experience with my first daughter a couple times when she was younger! Love the pics, she is adorable

  13. Toddlerhood can certainly be trying some days. I think God made them so silly on purpose. Some days, Monroe about makes me want to pull my hair out and then he'll come strolling in with the entire dog food container, which is bigger than he is, with a grin from ear to ear and I can't help but laugh. Those difficult days just make you love them more-and appreciate the great moments that much more. But, I do think it's so vital to take a breath and step away. And leave for the evening or whatever time you can spare.

    When Monroe was going through that picky phase (which I'm sure he'll do again), there were days when I couldn't convince him to eat anything. He is usually a voracious eater-tiny, but with a man's appetite. After a day or so, he'd be back to his normal self. I have to remind myself there are some days where nothing sounds good to me either.

    Hang in there! Glad you found some encouragement through your lens!

  14. I so understand. Alivia's favorite thing to do is take the food I give her and promptly feed it to the dog. Drives. me. crazy.

  15. Hehe. So Eme DOES have dark side! (I kid) It gets sooo totally frustrating when they get to that stage. And sometimes? It lasts FOREVER! :| Trey (almost 3) is like that now! Geez! It's always, "Momma, I no like that." My Jacksy eats EVERYTHING!!! I <3 it and enjoying every min of it! W/ Trey, I know he gets his cal, vit, nut, so if he has a picky day...I just let him. Eh, it will surely do your head in when all your focus is what they have (or in this case have NOT) eaten.

    Toddlers....we sure do LOVE them!!! :D

    PS: I love, love, love that fresh-outta-bed face!!!! Sweetness!!!

  16. OMG! I JUST finished "feeding" LB lunch - then came into read this. I am so with you!!! ARG!
    ..and then she's all cute... :) Motherhood.

  17. This sounds like EVERY meal at our house. So frustrating! Hope little miss decides to be less picky for you soon :)

  18. I'm sorry Katie! :(

    But I couldn't help laughing out loud (for a good 2 minutes!) when I read about how she said: "yesh" when you she saw the string cheese and how she tricked you into thinking that she would eat it!

    I hope she starts eating better soon! She is so cute! Happy Friday!

  19. Yep, sounds like meal-time at our house most days. Toddlers are SO lucky we like to take cute pictures of them and that 10 minutes after chucking their food around the house they come up to snuggle.

    I feel ya Momma :)

  20. My little guy only eats chicken nuggets, hot dogs, and watermelon. Watermelon is about to go out of season so there goes his only fruit :) Before I had my son I had visions of healthy organic eating habits that I would set from the beginning. You learn real quick not to pass judgement on others when your own baby comes around and breaks all of your rules. I feel your toddler eating pain!

  21. Oh geez, I'm so dreading solid foods for this exact reason! I have no idea what I'm going to do about food on my walls!!

    Thank goodness you had your pics to get you off the ledge... :-)

  22. I remember those days..they will get better. I can tell you that. Of course my little man was the opposite..he LOVED food up until he was 3 and then poof he hates 9 out of the 10 things I fix and can hold out until morning (did I mention that he is 6!). I hope Eme gets out of this stage quickly is is her old eating self again soon!

  23. Ahhhh ... reading your description of the string cheese droppage? BLOOD BOILING HERE. Eva is doing THE SAME THING lately ... so frustrating. The only never fail things are frozen bluberries (she loves them more than fresh) and cottage cheese. But seriously? After a few bluberry diapers? I am taking a hiatus on them.

  24. Sounds like she has figured your buttons out already:-) Don't fret...she really will eat when she is hungry! And that face...OMG...too cute!!!!

  25. lol. This is a regular scenario at our house too. The biggest issue I have is getting N to JUST TRY food. Like carrots. Or corn. What kid doesn't like corn?? But he makes this disgusted face, shakes his head "no", and then very politely takes it off his tray and puts in on my plate. Haha. It used to go on the floor, though. So I feel your pain.
    The important thing is that we still keep offering it. Because eventually, she'll pick that string cheese back up and eat it like there's no tomorrow.

    (But I'm sure Mac is eating better than he ever has before! haha)

  26. Sigh.... sounds like any meal at my house! You're daughter is Adorable! And her hair looks like my sons.... Maybe he needs a haircut!