Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I swear these posts have taken on a life of their own, either that or I am just glutton for punishment.

My husband and I are still getting used to being on someone else's schedule. I know. Our son is 14 months old and we're still not quite converted to meal times on the regular.

Until about a week ago our son was in the infant room at his daycare center, meaning he was fed when he was hungry, slept when he was tried and changed when he was dirty. This lack of structure offered a few drawbacks but, on the whole, we picked up a happy, healthy child at the end of the day. The toddler room has proven more of a challenge. For all of us.

In the toddler room our son now has set morning snack times, lunch times and afternoon snack times. The food is now fully supplied by the daycare center. Good for the wallet. Bad for our boy. If our son decides he doesn't like something or isn't hungry he has to now go without until the next feeding session rolls around, which is typically 2-3 hours later. As his mother I have mixed emotions about this: on one hand I get that it teaches the kids discipline and structure to eat what's in front of them and eat on a schedule. On the other hand I hate the thought of my baby boy being hungry and not fed. We've been on such an eating roller coaster since he began solids, that I'm kind of an advocate of "if he's hungry feed him."

Panic set in on Monday when I picked him up from school and found a note attached to his bag saying that he hadn't eaten much all day. When I asked the administration at the daycare center if he had access to food during the day they assured me he was offered each of the meals and snacks prepared but rejected most of what they put in front of him. I panicked. I rushed home cracked open the Goldfish crackers and yogurt and began to pump my kid full of nutrients.

When my son is hungry you know it. The whole neighborhood knows it. He's not modest about letting people know he's starving and his mother is a slacker in the kitchen. After getting him fed it was time to prepare dinner for myself and my husband, the problem now was getting our son to sit still and enjoy family dinner time.

He was full. He had eaten. He wanted to play. I've run into this scheduling conflict the last few days and I'm at a loss for what to do. Do I make my hungry kid who's been holding out on food all day now wait another hour until family dinner is ready? Do I feed him and forgo a peaceful, iconic family meal at the table? Timing is everything in this scenario and we just can't seem to line ourselves up.

In all of this evening mayhem one beacon of reliability shines in the distance of the 9:00 p.m. bedtime. Mommy's tall glass of red wine.  It's there like clockwork!


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