Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Taste Testers of the Most Determined, Undiscriminating Sort (My Nanny Diary)

Toddlers Taste Testing Trials and Errors

Sophie pulled up and had her hands flat against the bathroom door while her sister was in there.  (The twins tend to make a bee-line for the bathroom whenever the door opens and Vivi is in there.)  Sophie glanced at the wall next to the door, then gingerly made her way over and after a brief pause, licked the wall.  It must not taste as delectable as my shoelaces because I haven’t seen her do it a second time.  It made me think of the wallpaper in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

My shoelaces are such a big hit that I kind of wonder what they taste like.  Not enough to put them in my own mouth and suck on them, mind you.  I don’t have a problem eating things the girls leave behind on their trays that are meant to be eaten and still resemble somewhat the original food form they had when they were first served to them, but you’ve got to draw the line somewhere.  I’m pretty sure I read in a book or some article that the calories from leftover food on the kids trays don’t count.  Or was it that eating a cookie or piece of cake a child gives you won’t add excess calories to your diet?  Maybe both.    
Disney stickers, dehydrated vegetables that fell from their trays or sticky fingers the last meal or the day before, any paper products, free-ranging goldfish or Cheerios, pretty much anything they can find and get into their mouths is fair game.  If it seems they’ve been on the same piece of whatever for a couple minutes, then I check to make sure that what they have popped in for their between snacks and meals snack is edible and digestible.

Potluck Lunches 

Packing my lunch and snacks for the day always means considering what the girls will want of what I bring.  Apples, bananas, clementines, melon, pretty much any kind of fresh fruit is always of interest.  Cinnamon graham crackers are a big crumbly hit.  Veggie sticks have been well-received, though, not with as much enthusiasm.  I’ve even been able to get Vivi, who has had something against bread for a long time, to eat some bread when I break pieces off and give some to the girls.  Don’t get me wrong, their house is already well-stocked with a variety of healthy foods, but for whatever reason they always seem more interested in eating something that I’m having as well.    

I’m very grateful for plastic plates that their mom’s cool with me using as cutting boards.  The girls eat almost all of their meals in the living room, unless I move their high chairs into the kitchen or outside on the deck, so it’s nice to have something easily portable on which to cut fruit, veggies, and such into smaller pieces.
Vivi is the only one with whom I have shared pretty much everything in my lunch since she doesn’t seem to have any food allergies and is able to chew her food properly.  It’s also been sort of fun to see if I can entice her to eat a red velvet cupcake, a piece of pastry, or a cookie, since at one time she had an aversion to all things that resembled bread.  She’s come around.  I’m sure that having cake with frosting at birthday parties has helped ease her into such delicious desserts and higher calorie treats.   

An Affinity for Small Appliances

Livie has tried very hard to climb into the Dora the Explorer refrigerator part of their kitchen playset.  The only thing stopping her is that there are a couple shelves in there.  Sophie has been on a mission to fit herself inside the play microwave while it is on the floor, on its side, and usually when the door has been removed.  (Yes, it is indeed the same one in which Vivi used to put her plastic Dalmation puppy dog.)  Sophie’s most frequent method of entry is putting one of her bare feet in.  Let no one say that little ones are hopeless.  She tries several times a day to fit her cute little self into that play microwave, each time approaching it with the same level of care and anticipation of possible success.  All of them have gotten very good at removing the plastic door from the hinges of the microwave.  They walk around carrying it like an iPad, tablet, or Kindle.      

Got Milk?

The way that milk goes flying around, it’s clear that the girls have a very unique form of lactose intolerance which comes not from a sensitivity to lactose, but a desire to share the milk with everyone, spreading a little everywhere, a puddle here, a few drops there, an occasional squirt in the eye.  The twins are transitioning from breast milk to whole milk, and we’ve been experimenting with mixtures of both in bottles and sippy cups this week. 
I got a few strange looks when I gave them the mixes, but they gulped them down without a problem, especially from the bottle.  The nuances of the sippy cup are still intriguing to them, so they aren’t quite as likely to consume everything that they are served in it.  A portion ends up down the front of their Onesies, some in their high chair, a bit over the side on the floor, some in their hair from waving it around upside down…you get the idea. 
I prefer they not waste what I refer to as “Mommy’s special milk,” but at this stage they insist upon experimenting with the sippy cups in ways that make it downright impossible.  I’d put my foot down when they’d squirt me with their bottle or turn their sippy cups over and shake the milk onto their trays or the carpet, but let’s be realistic; this trial-and-error process is going to be messy.  
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