Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Nanny 911

Okay, I consider myself to be a pretty good mom. I LOVE being with my kids, playing with them, dancing with them, teaching and learning from them. I really make an effort not to "sweat the small stuff". However, today I was definitely prespiring...and I'm not not talking just glistening, I was drenched in sweat. It all started out with having to be on the phone for about an hour and a half trying to fix the never ending computer problems my parents have. When I came out the house was partly destroyed, Lukey was eating soil and Cooper was pushing pins into my mom's sewing machine. That's okay, we dealt with it. Then comes the dreaded...duh, duh, duh(insert dreaded music in your head)...LUNCH TIME! Okay, I will be the first to admit that feeding my children has become my least favorite time of day(yes, all 3 meals). Lukey refuses to eat pretty much everything except breakfast foods and treats. Cooper has actually been really good lately until last night. So...today Luke proceeds to throw all of his food on the ground which grates my nerves in that really bad, "no you didn't just do that" way. You'd think he'd learn the lesson, but he doesn't. Instead he smiles and thinks it's hilarious when I get mad at him which only makes me more mad. Then last night Cooper started the wonderful habit of shoving a ton of food in his mouth, chewing it up, and then not swallowing it. NO!! This is REALLY not going to work for me. Last night he chewed on the same food for no less than an hour and a half. Disgusting! I was trying to be really stern with him because this is not a habit that I will allow. Then for lunch, he did it again so I obviously didn't scare him enough! He kept the same food in his mouth from 12:45-1:45 when I finally made him spit it out and go straight to bed--accompanied by his screaming! This is his regurgitated food...about 4 big mouthfuls! I tried all kinds of manipulation. I told him he couldn't do his craft until he finished, I told him Lukey was going to do it for him (I was sure that was going to work!), I let Lukey do his craft right in front of Cooper, and then I told him he was going to go straight to bed if he didn't eat it, still didn't work. Finally, I had him spit it out and go straight to bed. I definitely went to one of those places in my head where most Mom's don't want to admit they go... you know...if he does one more thing, so help me! Then Lukey started screaming for no reason which made the baby cry and I felt 2 very thin threads away from loosing it all together. So, Lukey went off to bed and I spent a little time alone with Ethan, which was kind of nice.

Anyhow, there's my drama of the day, here's my questions that I would like some advice on:
1. Should I be worried about Luke not eating much because he's so picky? What should I do about him throwing all of his food on the floor--all of the time? I usually say no, slap his hand, and get him down. Seems to not be working.
2. What do I do about Cooper's lovely new habit that I abhor?

I would love advice from Mom's that have found something that works for them. Or if you think you just have a brilliant idea. For those of you who haven't had these problems, well, isn't your life just ideal?:)

9 comments:

Meredith said...

I can totally relate. Meal times are hard!! Avery does the same thing with her food...although she has seemed to stop. We just threaten to put her in time out or swallow. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Maybe he'll outgrow it? As far as Lukey...I don't know what to tell you. I am so paranoid about how much my kids eat, but probably most normal moms would say don't worry about it, and just feed him stuff he likes even if it's the same thing everyday. I have friends that do that. Sorry, this was probably really lame advice. Good luck! Try to stay sane.

Amanda J said...

Jonah does the same thing that Luke does - it must be an age thing. Jonah will eat good for breakfast but hardly eat anything for the other meals. I think kids know how to regulate their hunger better than adults - if they aren't hungry they don't eat. If there is a day when Jonah doesn't eat much then I mix carnation instant breakfast (chocolate) with his whole milk. It has tons of calories, vitamins and some fat. He always drinks it and it makes me feel better.
I don't know what to do about Coop - hopefully it is just a phase. He is probably looking for a reaction from you - maybe if you don't react then he will stop?? I don't know...

Lindsey said...

Okay. Owen used to do that EXACT some thing with keeping food in his mouth forever. The story of his broccoli bite is famous in my family. That bite was in his mouth the ENTIRE EVENING! I swear it was about three hours. We gave him a bath and everything with this one bite of food in his mouth. I was SO angry. I had HAD it!!! Then the next day I decided I would not get mad about it. I just always tell him how many bites he has to have of something and that's that. If he wants to keep it in his mouth forever, just let him. I don't know. Maybe that's not the right advice. Maybe you should grab a spoon and cram it down his throat like you would a garbage disposal. Lol. Amanda is exactly right, though. He is looking for a reaction. Owen grew out of it real fast if that makes you feel better, so just shrug your shoulders and let it go. And I also agree with her about Luke....he won't die. Give him some Ovaltine and let it go! :) I LOVE the last sentence of this post, and I love that you have some Mika on your playlist.

Jill Bagley said...

OHHH---that is all too familiar---the kind of life that i lead!!! three kids under 5 is just insane!!!
how old is Luke? they get to an age where they learn--and their brain develops--- and its something about how they learn about gravity--and balance. i dont know if he is really at that stage or not. but i just let my kids throw their food on the floor until they are about 2. i cant control it all!!! katie doesnt allow it, and she feeds her children every meal. i cant do that. i like it when my kids feed themselves even if half of it ends up on the floor. i just wipe them and the floor up at the end of mealtimes.
Ezra did try the chewing and chewing thing. i dont know why they do it, but ezra grew out of it. it lasted for about 6 months on and off. i think they start to have texture problems . and i have noticed that its the types of food that i would give. so i stopped giving highly textured food ( such as carrots--he did it alot with carrots)
sorry!!! i hope it gets better for you. i know that life with two and a baby is CRAZY!! its just the craziest time in life where you want to pull your hair out. especially because you have them so close. HEY---your doing good if your not losing it that often and you can still say that you love kids :)
your blog is beautiful by the way!! good luck.

Grant and Shalie said...

Chase does the same thing that Luke does with his food. He throws it on the floor, puts it in his hair, anywhere but in his mouth. We started puttin ghim in his room until he was ready to come and eat, he got ONE chance, and if he did it again we put his dinner in the trash and he went to bed hungry.
Kade has the problem with being really picky about food. He gags on veggies... So we make him take 3 bites, if he doesn't eat all of his dinner (and at least three bites of the veggies) then he doesn't get dessert and he's usually really sad because we're all eating it in front of him. He has gotten so much better about eating everything on his plate, becuase he knows that he won't get dessert if he doesn't eat it, gagging or not!
About Cooper not swallowing his food, that is interesting, I'd say he'll swallow when he's hungry enough. Give him 20 minutes to eat and if he doesn't eat he goes to bed hungry. Kids stomachs are the size of their fists more or less, so they really don't need as much food as we think they do. That's the advice my pediatrician always gave me! Good luck. At least your boys are super cute!!

rebabell said...

Oliver did the same thing w/ breakfast food for a looonng time and he's still not that great. i think its a stage. As far as throwing it on the floor- thats a tough one. I wouldn't show any emotion when he does it, tell him that's not okay, take him down, don't give him ANYTHING else to eat until dinner.Same with Cooper. Send him to bed without anything to eat. Hunger is a pretty good incentive. Don't give him ANYTHING else to eat until he eats everything on his plate and swallows it. Again, no emotion when explaining this to him- you can't give him any idea that he's won a battle by you getting upset. Any kid can survive a day or two on little or no food. I know it;s cruel, but we JUST went through this with Oliver and were really strict about it and it was REALLY hard, but I cannot tell you the difference in just a few days of sticking to our guns. He eats soooo much more now and he knows we mean business when its mealtime.

Rachel said...

First of all, I cannot believe you included a picture of Cooper's chewed on food- thats a first. After reading all of these comments, I must say that it sounds like everyone deals with this and its a stage. To this I would add, that Taylor also chewed on food forever (mostly cereal with milk- yum) and eventually she would spit it out. It was a stage and it passed. I wouldn't give her anything else to eat until the next mealtime if she did this though. There has to be a consequence. And, I would feed my kids by hand until they were old enough not to throw food on the ground, but that would be hard for you since you have 3 little mouths to feed so it seems like you have to give up cleanliness in order to feed all of your kids. I would give him less to eat at a time- maybe two or three bites at a time. And, if he throws those on the ground, he must not be hungry. I would give him a couple of chances to eat (maybe try again 30 min. later). Then, don't feed him again until dinnertime. Just a guess!

Josh, Dagmar, Sofia, Lilian and Jasper Jewkes said...

Emily!

I am sorry you're having such a hard time. Maybe you can have Luke eat it off the floor? I tried that with Lilian 1 time and she never did it again. Just make sure the floor is not poisonously dirty! :)
You know that Lilian did the not swallowing thing for months too, remember? It was really yucky and so foolish asd she did it because she didn't like the food. I don't know why she stopped doing it but I always made her finish it, no spitting out that is absolutely forbidden in our house. She just learned that swallowing it more quickly meant she didn't have to taste it as long I guess?
I consider my kids to not be that picky eaters, and like to think it is because I always made them eat 3-4 bites of every kind of food offered (BIG bites)when they were 1-3 yrs old and now 5 bites as they are 5. (they have asked me if they need to eat 36 bites when they are as old as me; by then they probably will eat 70 bites if they are into food like I am :) ). I hope it will help. Good luck! Love, dagmar

Jen said...

It looks like you're not the only one with feeding problems, if that can make you feel any better. :) Our Luke throws his food on the floor as well; but, I've noticed that he only does it when he is done with eating and doesn't want any more. I just have to be proactive enough to get the food off of his tray before he throws it. He usually threatens me before he actually does it. I have heard that kids can regulate their hunger much better than adults, meaning that if Luke isn't hungry, he won't eat. It could also be because his mouth hurts from teeth -- that's when Luke won't eat at all. Luke will gobble up smoothies though, even green smoothies that don't taste very good. I think it's because the texture is like ice cream. Can you hide vegetables in other things? Good luck! I think you are a super woman with those three kids!!!