I had seen a lot of buzz recently about this book ‘French Children Don’t Throw Food‘ and thought I would give it a read. Don’t get me wrong, my children aren’t angels to any degree but one thing I can always rely on is their appetite, Bean has loved food from her first taste of butternut puree and Bites although a little hesitant to start never fails to amaze me at what and how much she can put away bearing in mind she has NO teeth…9 months old and nada.
Anyway, I digress (as usual!) as I said Bean has always loved food and I can hands down say I have never cooked anything that she wouldn’t eat, the stronger the flavour the better in all honesty. Cue our family trip to South Africa earlier this you to introduce the girls to the rest of the family, and suddenly getting her to eat became a Task, rather than something that just happened naturally, and it was every meal, obviously we were worried she was ill to start with and also worried about her waking up or generally just starving but she maintained the eating little routine for the entire 3 weeks, bar a 3 helping round of Jamie Oliver’s pregnant Jools Pasta, a somewhat staple in this house that thankfully my FIL also loved to make. At first we tried to bribe and coerce her into eating but after 2 days I decide to let her run with it, going by the thinking that if and when she was hungry she will eat…which she did albeit it sporadically but also random non meals.
My husband was beside himself, I was trying not to let it bother me too much but it did you can’t help but worry at such a drastic change in your child’s behavour. I am still not 100% as to what bought it on, the heat, the constant stimulation (cousins running round and TV on 24/7) or perhaps it was just the only thing she could control when everything as she knew it had changed – she was sleeping in a room by herself that she had never seen before and in a double bed and she was as good as gold so for that we thanked our stars…I think sleeping randomly trumps eating randomly I could not have coped with anymore interrupted sleep at that point especially as her sister was still waking for a night feed or two.
However, upon returning home she was back to her old ways, thankfully. But more recently it has become a battle at meals times, how much of it is my own making I’m not sure – my girls go to bed earlyish Bites @ 6.05 and Bean after the night garden (which I record incase its a bad day and she goes to bed earlier @ 6.20) so my evening schedule is a bit rushed, Bites eats no later than 4.30 as a general rule but that is too early for Bean but most days she wants to eat then with her sister and I am not joking it is SUCH a process, we can easily spend an hour at the table as she chats and faffs her way thought the meal, asking me to feed her when she is more than capable or wanting to sit on my lap and I know the reason is because I am feeding her sister so obviously she is getting less attention from me, but I can’t wait to give Bean her dinner when her sister is in bed it’s just too late (they are early risers so late bedtime means she would still wake the same time and be grumpy all day, not my idea of fun) so in the end I have to cut her meal time short and get them in the bath…but I can’t help but worry that she is not eating enough. I have cut out her afternoon snacks to make sure she is hungry enough to eat in a more concentrated manner althewhile I have this niggly feeling that really she still needs her afternoon snack as toddlers calorific needs are so great and she is always busy busy busy.
The other thing is potty training…she got it so quickly and so well I was flabbergasted and then 10 days a go poo-gate began. No telling me she needed to go even if I asked her and then just doing it, in her knickers, on the floor…it is driving me crazy we even had a poo painted bed (it was nap time to be fair to her and it leaked out the top of the pull up so she was obviously intrigued and touched it) but I am at a loss for how to deal with it – the shouting hasn’t worked, neither has telling the poo off(!) and asking her all the time just gets her (understandably) irate.
So, I am giving this book a go to see if the French have insights to offer on the matter, it’s my first foray into parenting books / advice I’ve always trusted my gut and when really panicked looked to the best known parenting sites on the web – NM & MN and I think that was pretty much in the breastfeeding days anyway…
But, dear reader if you have any advice or amazing resource I should know about please please share..or just let me know I’m not alone. (or have you read the book – what did you think?)