Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Playing by the Rules

It's all about rules these days. Sure, we've got lots of them that we're trying to get E to follow, like no whining, saying please and thank you, staying in bed until 7:00am...you get the idea. But far more important, at least in the eyes of one toddler and two parents trying desperately to keep her happy, are the rules that E is establishing for our household. She is forging swiftly and bravely into that stage of toddlerhood where things must happen in very specific and reliable ways, and if they don't, well, there are as yet no limits to the depths of her - shall we politely say - discontent?

Case in point: Breakfast.

9 mornings out of 10 it consists of blueberries and yogurt. Somtimes we substitute with strawberries, occasionally we break out of the routine with cereal or pancakes, and as of late she has, unsuccessfully, been trying to bend the rules to include snacks like raisins and granola bars. It's not so much the regularity of the menu that matters, but how that menu is served.

This is what I hear every, every morning as I'm preparing her breakfast:

"Blueberries and yogurt please, mama. First bite blueberries. I help mama with first bite of blueberries. Then - yogurt time!!!" (double fist pump)

If I screw up the order and try to give her yogurt first or - gasp - mix the blueberries into the yogurt before she gets that first bite of pure, unadulterated blueberry...you can't imagine. And people, sometimes I'm doing this before my first cup of coffee. I'm not at my best. She's got me on eggshells, this one. Also, we must both be touching the spoon for that first bite. After that, she can feed herself or I can feed her, no big deal, but that first bite is key. JUST blueberries, mama AND E holding the spoon.

Now...who wants to babysit???

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