Monday, September 27, 2004

Tidbits from the Weekend

This weekend we joined the hordes of suburban families seeking a little dose of the bucolic life at a local farm. Having decided to pick pumpkins on a separate outing, we focused on feeding the animals. Well, Jeff and I focused on the animals. After a brief stroll along the animal pens, Sean discovered what is surely a specific part of Toddler Heaven: an enormous pile of sand studded by huge tractor tires. Once ensconced in the sand, he refused to budge.

"Come look at the pigs, Sean!" we exhorted, displaying a lot more enthusiasm for the pigs and their rather distasteful smell than perhaps was warranted.

"No, I stay in the sand," he replied, and with each iteration of this exchange he grew increasingly agitated that we were asking.

We've learned our lesson in similar situations before, so we just let him be. Eventually we persuaded him to leave the sand pile. (Well, actually, I picked him up and brought him over to the llama yard [or, as he called them, the "mamas"], but he didn't object too much—just a token "No" or two to save face.)


Dinner on Sunday proved to be a study in contrasts.

I made chicken and sweet potatoes for Allison. Unlike her brother, whose food phobias include almost all foods known to humankind, Allison's been quite receptive to a lot of different foods. This was her first exposure to chicken.

I put some tiny pieces on her high chair tray, and waited with bated breath. I can scarcely believe it, but she actually ATE IT. Really! A child of mine didn't spit it out, didn't toss it on the floor, didn't clamp her mouth shut. She ate the chicken, and then she ate some more. Then she ate actual sweet potatoes, not jarred baby food. I kid you not.

Contrast this, if you will, with Sean's dining experience that evening. (Oh, stop it. I know parents aren't supposed to compare their kids, but how can I resist this opportunity?)

We started off promisingly enough. Sean seemed eager to try the chicken (in the past, he's been known to eat chicken). On his way to the kitchen, he said, "Mmmm. Chicken!". He sat down in his booster seat, still on board with this chicken idea. I attached the tray, placed a few small pieces of chicken on it, and witnessed some amazing alchemy. "I WANT GRAHAM CRACKERS! I DON'T WANT CHICKEN! I WANT GRAHAM CRACKERS!" Even I have my limits when it comes to accommodating Sean's palate, and graham crackers for dinner is one of them. I got him down from his chair, and he ran sobbing into the living room, where he alternated between two high-decibel demands: "I WANT GRAHAM CRACKERS! I WANT TO GO OUTSIDE!"

Allison can't talk, but her look clearly said, "What is his deal? This stuff is good!"

After several minutes of having his desires ignored, he came back into the family room and sat down on the couch to read (well, look at) a book. An hour later, he joined Jeff and me for our dinner. His entrée? Oatmeal. Jeff and I are battle-weary over the food situation, so we consider that a good compromise.