I was a smug, snack-making champion up until my two daughters turned 2-and-a-half. I would prepare some fresh vegetable sticks, some whole grain toast, or cut up a piece of fruit and — voila! — the girls would gobble it up. Done and done.
Then my toddlers learned how to open the refrigerator, and all hope was lost (along with my sanity).
All of my snack-preparing plans were trampled on as four hands, 20 fingers, and an occasional foot made their way into the fridge — grabbing and tossing everything out with screams of “I want to eat THAT.”
Now, preparing a snack goes something like this …
- “I’m hungry!” cries from toddlers.
- Listen to demands for bananas.
- Unpeel bananas.
- Toddler (randomly) falls to the floor and screams.
- Assume said toddler has busted her head open on marble kitchen tile.
- Panic over who’s going to watch one toddler while I take the other one to the hospital.
- Realize that fallen child is not hurt, just angry that banana was peeled “wrong.”
- Peel another banana the “right” way.
- Watch other toddler throw her banana into the trash and open the fridge — shrieking for strawberry jelly.
- Take the strawberry jelly glass jar away from shrieking toddler.
- Get caught red-handed holding a jar of jelly by other toddler, who no longer wants her correctly peeled banana.
- Curse the existence of jelly.
- Vow to throw jelly jar in the trash as soon as the girls aren’t looking.
- Yell “OKAY!” on top of piercing whines of “JELLYYYYYYYY, PLEEEEEASE!”
- Take out multigrain bread to put jelly on.
- Take slow, deep breaths as both toddlers scream “NO!” at the sight of previously enjoyed slices of bread.
- Try to convince at least one toddler to eat bread already spread with jelly.
- Eat the jelly-covered bread myself while taking slow, deep breaths.
- Consider all other foods that can be paired with jelly.
- Offer jelly and apples, jelly and bananas, jelly on top of some turkey …
- Knowingly accept defeat.
- Shed a tear or two as I give each kid some jelly straight on a spoon.
- Attempt snack #3, and reach in the fridge for their favorite yogurt.
- Watch toddler sneak around me and grab the container of Parmesan cheese.
- Firmly say, “NO.”
- Listen to toddlers whine.
- Let the girls choose anything they want to put the Parmesan cheese on.
- Sprinkle cheese on ice cream, and call it a day …
… that is, until their next “snack time” 15 minutes later.More On