Veteran moms, we need to talk. I know that you guys have a secret book filled with your mom trickery; things that have gotten you through self-soothing, teething, potty training, eating broccoli and pretending your children will never ever become teenagers (EVER). I also know that you can’t share all the magic with us first-time moms, because there are certain rites of passage in the world of parenting. It’s a Mom Sorority; you pledge, you’re accepted, and initiation lasts 18 years or until you squeeze out another kid, at which point you have earned the Veteran Phi Beta Mama crown. Here I am, ready to swallow a goldfish.
Sometimes I stumble across something that works, and I think to myself, “I AM A GENIUS!” Other times I think to myself, “Those witches…they knew about this.”
As you may remember, last week was Vomitpalooza 2014 in our house. Once the chunks were cleared and the floor was steam mopped for the 478th time, life went back to normal, with one exception: my son cannot stop eating. He needs all the food in his mouth, all the time.
A typical Hungry Hungry Hippos morning in our house post-VP2014 goes something like this:
- 7:00am: Wake-Up
- 7:07am: “DIDO! DIDO! DIDO!” (Cheerios) Give child Cheerios.
- 7:11am: “APPAHSUE! APPAHSUE!” (applesauce) Tell child applesauce is for his after dinner snack. Direct child back to Cheerios.
- 7:14am: “GOGUR! GOGUR! GOGUR!” (yogurt) Remind child that he will have his yogurt at school. Direct back to Cheerios again.
- 7:23am: “KEEK! KEEK! KEEK!” (blueberry pancakes, which I make from scratch twice a week because I feel like I am 17% more awesome when I do that) Give child one and a half blueberry pancakes, even though he will also eat more at school.
- 7:25am: “TAWBEES!” (strawberries) Give child strawberries.
- 7:27am: Remind child we need to go to school. Pack 1,483 various snacks. Find shoes. Field requests for “BAH!” (granola bar) and “BAH!” (dinner roll) and “BAH!” (loaf of bread) PS – I know which “bah” he’s referring to based on his fervent pointing.
- 7:32am: “BAAAAAH!” Give child half a cereal bar, which he eats on the way to school, while asking for more didos, tawbees and keeks.
- 7:40am: Drop child off at school, where he will eat a breakfast of (more) blueberry pancakes, (more) strawberries, half a banana and a cup of yogurt.
When we remodeled our kitchen in 2009, one of the things I wanted was an open concept pantry. I saw the idea in an issue of Southern Living, and my husband built what we have today. I loved it. I still love it now; however, an open concept pantry means most of our dry goods are stored in baskets, and the lower shelved items are easily reached by little toddler paws.
Miles will frequently grab something out of these lower baskets (crackers, granola bars, tortilla chips) and bring them to me, hoping it will be something I can give him to eat. He looks up at me with those eager hungry-puppy eyes, waiting for mom to dole out something bah-related.
One afternoon, we went through an endless circle of him bringing me a bag of croutons, only to have me explain that he cannot eat croutons (they are too crunchy; they are too salty; they are for Mommy’s salad; they pair well with Mommy’s wine) and then finally FINALLY, it dawned on me…
Lie to him. Lie to the child. Look right into the eyes of the sweet, bright and funny boy that you carried for 41 weeks, rocked for hours as newborn, promised the moon and stars to each and every night, and LIE.
And so, I told him they were dog treats.
I lied. He believed me. He took the bag to our dog and said, “Here, Mammy!” (her name is Maggie, but he pronounces it Mammy – it’s very Gone with the Wind, so I don’t correct it). And the croutons were ignored for the rest of the afternoon; in fact, they haven’t been picked up since.
I WON! I won I won I won. It was so easy, and I was so PROUD of myself. For lying.
So, what now? Does this begin a pattern of lying to my son? Will I tell him that broccoli tastes like ice cream, or that brushing his teeth will give him superpowers, or that helping mom put away the dishes brings him good luck? And if I start lying now, what will that evolve into as he gets older? “No, Miles, you can never date…it’s only for the Amish” (probably not for the Amish, but you know what I mean).
I am conflicted. I haven’t told another lie yet (okay, I did tell him we were out of honey, but to be fair, he was just licking it off the toast and not actually eating the toast…) but I’m sure the day will come. Food related lies can’t be that bad, right? It’s MY hummus. MINE.
And don’t all parents lie? Isn’t that why we created Santa Claus? To ensure two months of excellent behavior and vegetable eating?
Veteran moms, I’m on to your games.
Not sharing croutons,