I am convinced that while the rest of the household sleeps, any toddlers in residence are whisked away to a special place where they are taught how to be good toddlers. By ‘good’ I mean masters of the craft. Lessons provided at the mysterious toddler school include:
Lesson One: How to Wriggle Effectively
- Whole-body involvement is key.
Lesson Two: How to Avoid Walking
- Sit. The two activities are mutually exclusive.
Lesson Three: How to Avoid Being Picked Up
- Arms in the air (straight up, give no warning, speed and surprise are instrumental to success).
- This skill is often required immediately after implementation of lesson two.
- If adult still manages to get a grip, refer to Lesson One.
Lesson Four: Food 101
- Eating everything put in front of you? That must stop. Gross vs acceptable foods to be determined on a daily basis. A list will be provided at the start of each class.
- If one of the day’s gross foods is offered:
- Put head back, purse lips, shake head.
- If adult does not get the message it may be necessary to exclaim, “No!”
- As an alternative (or accompaniment) to “No”, you may repeat your food of choice from the day’s acceptable list (example: raisins, raisins, raisins…cheese, cheese, cheese).
- Parents are slow, this may take persistence.
- Spinach is gross, always.
- Grass is edible (no matter what the parents say).
Scrambled eggs are among the food items that flip-flop between gross and acceptable. On this particular day, they were on the gross list. There was much head shaking and lip pursing. I might have thought Kiddo wasn’t hungry if it weren’t for all those requests for raisins and cheese. One bite was the goal, but even that was looking lofty. Then…
Kiddo: “More raisins, more raisins…” he paused and pointed to the eggs, “Yellow egg.”
Me: “Yes, the egg is yellow.” (much enthusiasm)
Me: “You’re right. The eggs are yellow and white.” (more enthusiasm)
Me: (with as much enthusiasm as is possible when faced with cold scrambled eggs) “And look, the eggs are squishy.” I proceeded to demonstrate how much fun it is to squish eggs, first with my fingers then with my tongue.
He ate two thirds of the egg. I’ll take my Awesome Mom award now. Oh, scratch that. This was the same day he ate grass. Sigh.