Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Big Step

Up until now (as in, this very morning), we have been allowing the boys to eat breakfast in the living room while watching their morning OPB cartoons. Also up until now, breakfast has been fed to the boys by Daddy or Mommy's hands, as it consists of oatmeal and bananas...not exactly the most toddler + carpet friendly meal around. We've let this continue so long simply because they hadn't yet started fighting us on eating lunch and dinner in their highchairs.

Until now.

All the sudden, Asher was throwing fits and refusing to eat every time we stuck him in a high chair or booster seat. Every meal was beginning to feel like a battle. It wasn't until last night - when I took him out of his high chair to switch him to a booster seat, and he immediately ate the forkful of food he was refusing only 30 seconds earlier - that I realized maybe he was refusing to eat simply because he was confined to a chair.

Sure enough, as soon as he was in the booter seat, he was refusing to eat again. An ear-splitting 30 minute tantrum followed, as we tried to get him to feed himself while in the booster seat. It was painful. We ended up leaving him alone downstairs to cool off (nothing we were doing was stopping the screaming and crying), then giving him his sippy of milk and putting him to bed at 6:45 without dinner. Before you start thinking of us as terrible parents, let me remind you that this boy eats a TON of food throughout the day, and was flat refusing to eat dinner. He wasn't going to starve and is no worse for wear this morning.

At that point, we immediately resolved to not allow them to eat anywhere except at the table. It was time to nip this in the bud.

We've also decided to move the boys' lunch to just before their nap. For some reason, the boys' schedule had ended up being as follows: 8:00 wake up, breakfast, 12:00-3:00 nap, lunch, 5:30 dinner, 8:00 bed. This results in a space of only an hour and a half between lunch and dinner. Up until now (notice a theme?), that short amount of time hadn't been a problem. But we're hoping that by moving lunch to before their nap, they will be more hungry for dinner when it rolls around.

Well, this morning was my morning to get up with the boys, and I was determined to start the new eating rules. It worked like a dream! I'm sure some of you aren't all that surprised, as your almost-two year olds have already mastered the oatmeal on their own. Just let me remind you, we have twins. Twin boys, no less. Who are obsessed with throwing things on the floor. Oatmeal + twin boys = HUGE MESS! But not this morning!

I set up the booster seats, made two bowls of oatmeal, put two place mats down on the table, and let the boys go at it. They immediately dug in, and dig a great job. No mess! Ok, there was a little mess, but just right around their mouths. This is a huge deal, and an even bigger relief.

Levi (left) and Asher (right).



One of the best parts? It's officially time to retire the high chairs! My tiny dining room is heaving a sigh of relief. Now if only I could figure out how to convince the boys not to push the dining room chairs all over the place. Area rug? We also need to invest in some vinyl place mats that will stay in place and keep the boys' dishes from scooting all around the table.

Unfortunately, the chandelier in our dining room (you know, the one you would logically center your dining room table under?) is in an absolutely ridiculous spot. They put it smack dab in the middle of the room, rather than taking the breakfast bar into consideration. So when you center the table under the chandelier, the breakfast bar feels crowded. Sigh. Oh well, at least we don't own the place! Again, I'm thinking maybe an area rug? Maybe that would help create a new "center" to the room.

Or maybe I'm just too OCD.

Yeah. That could be it.


Kate said...

Wow, they look so big! Yay for a successful breakfast!!

Joellen Armstrong said...

Great job!!! I do the same thing... give the boys freedom in things for a while (things they don't need but are convenient for me) and end up regretting it a while down the road. Way to go tho, sticking to it and making life easier for everyone in the long run!! Also, yes, we need to talk pics!