The Hunger Games: Toddler Edition

19 months.

Jack associates Jill with food. He associates me with… doing weird activities, I guess.

When he whines or gets antsy, my wife’s natural reaction is to assume he wants a snack. So he gets one.

But my natural reaction is to move him to a different room or take him outside. I just change the scenery and he so quickly forgets about why he was upset.

When I am taking care of Jack, he doesn’t get snacks. He doesn’t ask for them. He doesn’t think about them.

My wife is the nurturer. I am the adventurer.

For the rare times I get home with Jack before Jill gets there, Jack and I head straight to the living room and start playing.

It’s not until Mommy arrives that Jack remembers he’s hungry and immediately runs to his high chair, moaning on account of the munchies.

With me, he only wants three meals a day; no snacks.

With my wife, he wants three meals a day, all complete with 2nd helpings; and of course, a snack or two in-between each meal.

Why? Does his appetite truly increase when Jack sees his Mommy?

Nope. But seeing her triggers him to think, “I could eat…”.

What made me think of this double standard is the routine of our family car rides on the weekends. Typically, whenever we leave the house, it’s just after a meal.

Then we load up in the car, with me in the driver’s seat and Jack and Jill in the back. Once we’re all strapped in, I start driving. Then I hear Jill getting out a snack for Jack.

Not because he’s hungry, but because he wants an activity to entertain him. And hey, if Mommy’s activity involves food, he’s not going to turn it down.

I imagine if Jill was the one driving and I was the one entertaining, Jack wouldn’t be eating at all in the car. Because I would be too busy annoying him with his toys for him to think about unnecessary snacks.

 

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