Fun with Food

We basically have a new child. I don’t know how I missed it, but suddenly we have a running, jumping, talking, singing, drawing, kissing, hugging, sometimes whining, putting-on-her-own-shoes toddler. Mothers with older children assure us she’s “still a baby”, but honestly, this is not the baby I remember. Our baby smiled a lot (like this one), but she would never use the N-O word (we’re trying to teach “No Thanks” – but most often NO comes first…)

Anyway, the good news is I like this child. She’s sweet and outgoing – oh, and super smart. Bad news is we’ve reached the “I wanna try (everything)” stage and the parrot stage where we have to watch what we say – or hear it back from a tiny mouth and try not to laugh. But when it comes to food, let’s just say we’re “in transition”.

She can use a fork. And if you forget to bring her a fork, she’ll ask for it. That doesn’t mean she will use the fork, or that she won’t shove things on the fork and THEN use the fork. I’m proud (and surprised) to have insisted that she “poke” her food with the fork – vs. the “stab it” her father was encouraging. Law & Order pays off in mysterious ways.

But back to food. She will TRY anything, and honestly most things she likes. Broccoli is still a favorite, as are “boo-berries” and apricots and lots of other fruit. She LOVES tofu and edamame – and meatballs. If we’ve done something right, it’s feeding her what WE eat, so we don’t have to make an extra meal of grilled cheese or mac & cheese or nuggets. Please say these good eating habits continue?

She’s also showing a great interest in whatever daddy does in the kitchen. He picks her up (at her insistence) when he’s cooking on the stove, with her feet dangling near hot pans (I cringe); he sits her up on the counter to help make coffee (which she’s actually quite helpful with – oh, and I cringe – those coffee beans & their caffeine seem dangerous, not to mention the possible FALL from the counter); he pulls out the metal stepladder and lets her climb up beside him at the hot stove – sometimes to stir, sometimes to watch (I cringe). I still don’t quite understand how you teach a child NOT to touch a hot pan/stove/mug/radiator without them ever actually touching one. And if that is ultimately the only way they “get it”, then I dread that day. I sound like my mother (no offense, mom).

Speaking of my mother, she just came out and visited us for 2 weeks, and it was the sweetest thing to watch her with our daughter – reading to her, hugging her, on the floor playing with her. I know she likes to be called “Nina”, but she’s a spoiling “grandmother” if I ever saw one. We went shopping and came home with sparkly blue shoes, 3 dresses (brown, blue, fuchsia – yes, I know that’s pink), and a ball. Zoe loves balls. Spoiled.

But I am not complaining. I’m thankful for my little eater, my sweet mother, and my saint of a husband, who loves my daughter like nothing else. He really is the best mom in the world. And he sure makes dinnertime fun:

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