Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Mealtime Madness

Since we began feeding Marlo solid foods around 5 months, there has not been a food she has tried that she didn't like. For breakfast she had organic french toast sticks dipped in apple butter with a side of strawberries and oranges, for lunch a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (on multigrain bread) with a side of cottage cheese, for dinner we had pieces of chicken with avocados and beets on the side. I like to think that is a well-rounded day of eating for a 13 month old!

My problem is not getting her to eat, as she eats a lot. My problem (one of them) is the absolute disaster area that is left after every meal. She is a mess, I am a mess, and our surrounding area is a mess. 

mid-scream after a turkey dinner
conditioner was applied
About 3 weeks ago she started to throw her food. I took this first as a sign she was done, but no, it just seems to be something she likes to do. And my girl has an arm on her. From her highchair that is attached to the kitchen table, she can whip food on the floor around her up to about a 5 foot radius. It isn't something that she gets amusement out of either - she doesn't throw her food and then laugh, she throws it and then looks at me with this look that says "yes mother, I like to throw my food. Now you clean it up and deal with it and let me express myself..."

As you all know she wears a helmet, and around mealtime I like to take it off and let her head breath for a few minutes. Another reason I like to take it off is because Marlo has a habit of rubbing her food on her head. That's right, it's like she is putting VO5 hot oil on every meal (not that I have ever done that :). So if her helmet is on, it gets all over her helmet, which isn't easy to clean...BUT, if her helmet is off, it gets all up in her hair. This she thinks is hilarious. She gets her hands all fooded up and then puts both hands on the side of her head, and closes her eyes and rubs away with a big smile on her head. I am guessing it feels damn good to her...who knows. 

Click at bottom of post to view video
Another problem we have been dealing with for months now is her feeding our always-begging-for-human-food-dog Ellie from her high chair. When it is mealtime, Ellie is right there sitting at her side, and Marlo is happy to give her scraps. Now, she isn't dropping it on the floor for Ellie, she is actually holding out her hand with food in it, so that Ellie licks her hand and eventually gets the food. Again, this is high comedy for Marlo. So, I am constantly saying no! stop it! and cleaning off Marlo's hands, but occasionally the dog-licked hand goes in for another piece of food and makes it into Marlo's mouth. Which should gross me out more than it does, but I guess I am used it by now.  

And then there is the screaming...whenever we are out to eat as of late she is constantly screeching just to hear herself and get a reaction from us. Also considered very funny to a 13 month old. 

And finally there is the dropping of the sippy cup. She takes a sip and either bats it off the tray with her hand and sends it crashing to the floor, or holds it out in her hand, looks at me with that aforementioned look and drops it on the floor. Fun game for everyone but Mama. 

I end up being a mess due to the food thrown at me, the hands wiped on my pants, the milk dripped on me, and the hands in my hair when I bend over to pick up the mess on the floor. 

Maybe I should get her a job in a salon as a shampoo girl. 
Click here to view this video