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November 5, 2009

Welcome to Limboland, Population: ME

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Oh hello there! Nice of you to stop by.  I thoughtI would take a moment and share with my current state with you.

You see, I’m going through a situation.  A situation directly related to my kitchen—where I spend a lot of time.  Unfortunately,  I’m not doing fun things- Nope!  Fun things require work!  Fun things mean that I have 6 extra bowls on the counter and 30 things to put away…It also means that I have floors to clean and have to wipe the food off my camera THEN find a way to upload photos before I lose the steam I had that started it all in the first place.  All this while nap time is happening!  Which is changing greatly at this stage.

My situation also includes a cute little toddler who is testing my limits.  One day he LOVED spinach and eggs soo much that I made a second batch and he devoured it! SPINACH! PROTEIN! DING DING DING.  I was so proud of him, that I pulled that “hit of a meal” out for him today and he hates it and throws it at me.  It’s like a kick in the balls.  It makes me NOT want to make a mess in the kitchen and clean it up if I have to deal with this.  And don’t get me started on the food waste…Oh lord the food waste!

This has all stirred up flashbacks of when I was a kid—- I’m sitting at the dinner table leading to a complaining session with my brothers “CHICKEN AGAIN MOM?!!”  My mom knew that it was something most of us would like and she didn’t want to put the energy into something that might never get appreciated.  I feel her.  I know you are reading this mom, and maniacally laughing on the inside.  I bet it tickles you!  🙂

It makes me realize that I am getting it back.  There’s more to come, but I see it.  It makes sense.  We don’t appreciate what our parents do for us until we get a taste of it ourselves. This is the royal “I TOLD YOU SO.”  And yes, I am being hit with it. It’s especially hard when I am a mom who can’t WAAAAAIT for my kid’s FIRST TACO or his FIRST donut.  I live for food, and I can’t UNDERSTAND WHY MY KID DOESN’T LIKE PASTA!  He doesn’t have to worry about not fitting into skinny jeans!  Embrace an alfredo sauce!!  Savor every tortellini, KID!

So, back to this situation. How am I venturing through it?  I’m testing the waters and seeing what I can throw on Cooper’s tray without him sensing my urgency and hope that he’ll eat it.  It actually worked today.  The kid liked red bell peppers and I wouldn’t’ have known until I took that leap.  I am not cooking elaborate meals for him like I was doing.   I am taking it slow and seeing what he is into…and how my presentation changes things.

I’ve also spent the past two days reading up on kid-friendly foods and techniques.  As a result, my kitchen looks pretty clean!  There’s a lack of dishes piled everywhere on my counter and in my sink.  I’ve actually put things back to where they belong and have kept some type of order in my life *aka kitchen.* I cleaned out my fridge and tossed soo much unusable stuff it would make one cry.   The worst part of it is that I actually like it.  I like knowing that at the end of the day I don’t have at least an hour’s worth of cleaning in the kitchen left to do before I get to sit and relax.

So, I’ve been taking a break from getting my hands dirrrrrrty. I am regrouping and finding some time to collect myself.  I am being a mother and putting time into tackling this food thing with my son. I am not going to let it get me down, because what will that accomplish?   It’s energy I have to put in.   So that when I get back in the kitchen again to PLAY, I am gonna appreciate every single crumb and

I am being a mother and putting time into tackling this food thing with my son. I am not going to let it get me down, because what will that accomplish?   It’s energy I have to put in, so that when I get back in the kitchen again to PLAY, I am gonna appreciate every single crumb and pile of sticky goo I create on the counter.  Because—HOT DAMN, it was fun.  And then maybe, Coop can enjoy some of my hard work- for real.

See you real soon, promise!

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  • L.

    You make me swell with good feelings. I loved this entry. Put the alfredo in his bottle.

    That little boy has a lucky life and a lovely mom (and pop). Keep on with your bad self, lady.

  • jujubefamily

    we’re behind you 100 percent! take a step back and enjoy Cooper and the stage that he is in.
    Good luck!!! =)

  • maija

    sounds like you’re on the way to figuring it all out.

    My first nephew only ate what seemed like grapes & cheerios from a tupperware he carried
    with him while moving constantly for the first 4 years of his life. now he eats like a horse!

  • Ryan

    For the record, I never complained about anything mom put on the table (a direct result of my weight problem!).

  • tanja

    I love your blog and I have a toddler too and I’m going through the same things…

  • Dana

    Now you know why moms like me (who are good adult cooks) make the same 5 or 6 dishes over and over again for our children. And also why we bribe with dessert. I can’t stand to throw food away and I will NOT be a short order cook. So I make what they like and they eat it. I’d love to experiment more and see if they like things like red bell peppers (good for Cooper!) but the truth is that I don’t have the energy.

  • Tracy

    thank you SOO much for your comments! Every stage of being a mother brings on it’s own little challenge huh?

    Dana- I hear ya! I am not going to be a short order cook either. I grew up having to eat what my mom made and if I didn’t like it- TOUGH.

    I’m working through it! Still not liking pasta…

  • jenny

    girl. you are such a good mama, don’t worry about a thing. i know the food battles, i want SO MUCH for my kids to eat healthy- and i know they do. but henry, that boy has a major sweet tooth. and he can be a real stubborn stinker over trying new things. and sometimes it makes me CRAY-zee. and it’s a really fine line, you want to encourage, you don’t want to be a freak show pushy mom and create food issues.

    but you know what? i think that coops will surprise you. i think babies go through little phases, i remember dotty going nuts over avocados and i was all HELLS YEAH! and now she won’t really touch em. anyhow, i am babbling. i totally hear you on making a huge effort, cooking great meals and not having it go over how you’d like it to. a lot of nights, i will spend an hour cooking only to arrive at the dinner table with everyone seated, food plated and cue the meltdown, let the chaos run wild. sometimes it makes me nutty, but most of the time i just try to laugh and enjoy it and say, hey- this is family.

    a few foods that dotty loves: hummus! hummus on anything. she has recently learned to dip (we say, dotty! diiiiippppp! and she goes nuts for it) and tofu cubes (still) and chicken, cheese, sliced apples, milk with a banana blended into it, raisins, yogurt pretzels, black olives, and creme cheese on toast or bagels, or straight up even (not that i give it to her that way)

    hang in there, mama XO

  • Mama JJ

    I came over here via Joy’s blog—I enjoy your writing and photography (and those soups look fabulous).

    Anyway, I know all about how it feels when kids fuss about the food you fix for them. It makes my blood boil, and sometimes I get so fed up with it that I have to stomp off to cool down. And still, I’m creating new dishes all the time. It’s a compulsion of mine, and I figure it’s good for them, even if they don’t know it yet. They’ll thank me later; I’m fairly convinced of that.

  • Tracy

    thanks for comment mamma jj & jenny!

    it’s soo nice to see other people going through the same thing. I am plowing through it and exposing him to more things. I just learned that I can’t stock up on any one thing or I’ll be in trouble!
    I too am creating new dishes all the time (which I can’t help) and hopefully there will be one that he goes apey for!

    cheers to mommas!

  • Procioria

    Kick-ass post, amazing looking website, added it to my favs.

  • Jenn

    Hi Tracy, I don’t know if you read comments on super old posts… But in case you do, thanks for this! I have a one year old and I searched “toddler” to see if you had any genius toddler snacks, but I think this is really what I needed to read instead. I’ve been reading your blog for years and seeing what a big guy Cooper is now kind of puts it all in perspective for me. <3

    • Tracy

      OH MY GOD.
      I really needed to read that today!! I can’t believe I wrote that. What a trip- and it’s so very helpful for me to see this right now with what I am working on– SO THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!

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