Yesterday I had about a million things to do before I could head out to the city for a much-needed night out. I had deadlines, children to feed and somehow had to squeeze a few minutes in there to get myself ready.
As the clock was ticking and I was scrambling, I kept my almost two-year-old twins, Mia and Everly happy by giving them a few chocolate chips here and there during dinner while racing up and down the stairs.
When I was finally ready and released them from the confines of their highchairs, I looked down at their dinner plates and realized they hadn’t eaten one bite of the chicken, or peas I had prepared for them.
I did a quick tally in my head and it dawned on me that I had, in the chaos, given them a few servings of chocolate chips for their dinner. They had sneakily taken advatange of the situation and kept saying “more, more” between mini tantrums, which obviously worked. They played me like a fiddle.
Toddlers have the reputation as as*holes for a reason. Because they are. They’re as*holes. Don’t get me wrong, I love my children and I think there are many adorable qualities about this phase. But man, do they know how to break me.
Up until this point I had been tooting my own horn, declaring that I had fallen for the demanding toddler = picky eater trap with my older kids, but this time, with my twins, it’s different.
Reality is hitting and it tastes pretty sour. Mia and Everly have skillfully learned through mimicking their older siblings, and knowing to take advantage when mom is really busy, that they can pretty much get waited on hand and foot.
I can go through a phase of parenting where I am focused and on my game, and they don’t break me. I let them know what is expected and stick to it. I am not a maid!
But then every once and a while, life happens and I fall down the rabbit hole of, “is this what you want? Oh you don’t want the red sippy? You want the blue one? Okay, you don’t have to eat your dinner, here’s some crackers instead.” Sound familiar?
My toddlers are rapidly learning to talk, learning to string together sentences and most importantly, learning which words have a lot of power. But when all else fails, they whine, scream and throw whatever they can get their hands with classic toddler flair.
After trading off with Mike once he arrived home from work, I reflected on the past few hours and the series of event that lead to the chocolate-for-dinner debacle. I cannot believe I am doing the thing I promised myself I’d never do again.
I am aware this is a slippery slope, and I need to go into battle if I am going to put a stop to it.
So, as Mia and Everly nap, I am getting my game face on and preparing myself for the backlash of putting my foot down…
I’ll let you know how it goes.