Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Food Fight!

This blog post is supposed to be about eating. Somehow, though, I think it's going to end up being about tantrums. Just a warning.

For weeks, I've wanted to write about how well the twins eat. When I say they will consume anything, that is not a lie. For instance, Lexie ate cat food Sunday. (Disclaimer: I didn't serve it to her on one of her colorful Ikea plates, I swear. She grabbed it out of Stella's food bowl in the kitchen and started crunching it until Avery told on her. At that point, I made her spit it out and launched into a thorough explanation of how cat food really is just for cats. At least, it wasn't cat poop.)

The girls eat all the things you'd expect little kids to devour: chicken nuggets, spaghetti, macaroni and cheese, fish sticks and mashed potatoes. But, they also love more diverse stuff like avocado, black olives, cauliflower, peas, lima beans, cherry tomatoes, black beans, blueberries, kiwi, plums, wild rice, casseroles and that polenta-based dinner in a bag from Trader Joe's.

I'm fairly certain I didn't eat "ah-cado" as they call it until I was in my mid-20s. Yes, I realize I lived a sheltered life before then. But, seriously, are you surprised? This is coming from a girl who would only eat three rotating packed lunches - peanut butter crackers, cheese crackers or soup in a Thermos - until she was in middle school.

That said, I'm glad the girls don't have particular palates. Getting them to dine on the recommended five fruits and five veggies a day is no major task. I've often thought that if Geof and I would eat more like Avery and Lexie we'd be a lot healthier. Unfortunately, Geof likes hamburgers and french fries too much to strictly follow their diet.

The family dining experience has been going great. When we'd sit down at the dinner table, they'd say, "We all eat together!" or "Thank you, Mommy, for making biscuits" without any prodding. The girls would clean their plates, and as a reward, they could have one pink and one white iced animal cookie. You know, the ones from the dollar bin at Target. I thought we had a good mealtime routine down.

Until last week.

I'm not sure if it's Avery's recent infection or the fact that we've likely done something to upset the toddler version of Karma, but something has caused the twins, especially Avery, to become defiant little monkeys. The times when they are most likely to put up a fight are at mealtime and bedtime. You'll know, because you'll hear "NOOOOOOOO!" echoing in stereo from our house.

Avery who was once a role model for 2-year-old eaters everywhere will now kick, scream and contort her body in any way possible to avoid sitting in her chair. Even when I've made exactly what she's requested to eat. Her protests aren't just vocal. The other day, she snatched up two fistfulls of noodles and tossed them on the kitchen floor. My reaction probably looked a lot like a volcanic eruption.

This is another reason why I believe Avery will spend the majority of her younger years in Time Out.

Lexie has not shown resistance to quite that degree, but she usually does exactly what big sis does. So, I'm sure it's coming soon. Last night, she refused to eat her gnocchi, but at least, she didn't throw it at me.

Clearly, doctors and child development experts call this stage the Terrible 2s for a reason. But, when you have the Terrible 2s times two, it's more stressful and requires more restraint to keep yourself from booking a one-way ticket to a tropical island.

I know the girls are testing their limits and exerting their individuality. Okay, great. But, if they could just do it at a lower decibel level and not include physical actions that require me to mop the floor, it would be much appreciated.

Until this stage passes, I guess I'll just pray for patience and know that any avocados they don't eat just means more for Mommy and Daddy!

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