Monday, July 2nd, 2012
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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Monday, December 12th, 2011
Though I’m still pretty new to this parenting thing, I have been noticing for the past several years the hilariousness of kids’ menus in non-fast-food restaurants.
Evidently, the food pyramid for children consists of peanut butter of jelly sandwiches, chicken fingers, pizza, and of course, macaroni and cheese.
Yes, I know the stress of eating out at restaurants with a kid. I’ve written about it before. Still though, it’s almost insulting that the popular food staples found on kids’ menus do not contain any unprocessed vegetables or fruit.
They are not nutritious meals; they are simply better than fast food snacks to keep a kid from whining that they’re hungry.
Even though we avoid eating out as much possible, there are times when we have no other option; like being on vacation.
Last week while we were test driving a Chevy Volt across southern Florida, our dinners mainly took place at the fancy restaurants in the glorious hotels we stayed at. Though we had brought our own fruits and veggies for our son Jack to eat throughout the three day trip, we still wanted to incorporate “big boy food” into his meals as well.
Right now Jack is in his “mac-and-cheese” phase. He’s obsessed, man. So naturally, that’s what I ordered each night for him at dinner. The first night in particular was my favorite.
After waiting a good 12 minutes or so for the cooks to prepare his mac-and-cheese, the waiter brought out a regular sized glass bowl as if it were the most premium version of the meal a person could find. It looked just like normal mac-and-cheese to me.
Jack ended up eating it in our hotel room. It tasted just like the normal stuff. Nothing over-the-top about it. Just plain ole mac-and-cheese.
But it cost 7 bucks! (Thankfully, we weren’t the ones paying for dinner.)
I mean, it’s already a joke when you have to pay 5 bucks for kids’ mac-and-cheese at most places… but 7 dollars?
For that much, the cheese needs to be made from magical goats in Switzerland that spit gold. The noodles should have been freshly hand-crafted by the grandson of Chef Boyardee himself. For seven dollars, when I changed Jack’s dirty after that meal, it should have smelled like Play-Doh.
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