The other day I was trying to coax (shove) breakfast into my two-year-old’s mouth. Guess who won? (Spoiler: grown-ups never win.) It’s been somewhat of a battle lately to get my toddler to sit down and start a meal, let alone finish one. She’d much rather do more urgent things like drive her bunny around in her shopping cart or jump off the couch cushions. Some days I just leave her plate out and let her graze while I try to convince myself not to worry about it. But let’s be honest: we moms worry.
Then it hit me one morning as I loaded some fruit onto my oatmeal that my food and her food rarely look alike, and that we rarely even eat at the same time. I’d been spending her mealtimes feeding her and cleaning up, then waiting until she’s playing or napping to have my own food. And when we do sit down together, her plate is some candy-colored plastic, with food presented totally differently from whatever is on my white porcelain plate. So even if we’re having the same food, it doesn’t feel like we’re sharing the same meal or eating the same thing.
So in the spirit of sharing, I made a “mommy and me” breakfast by adding what was on my oatmeal to hers:
It was a hit. She smiled and shouted, “same!” and happily dug in. She only powered through about half of her bowl, but I was happy: it was more than she’d been eating for breakfast for the past few days.
I’m doing this as often as I can, and even letting her big brothers in on the fun.