What’s Up, Doc?

This is the dichotomy of the (now) full-time working mommy: by day, triumph consists of finally landing somewhere that allows some measure of work-life balance and also holds the (possible) promise of affording one’s young child a world-class education in a fabulous but expensive city; by night, triumph consists of…carrots.

Yes, Babyman consumed a carrot — two, in fact! — by which I mean he not only tasted said root veg but actually chewed and swallowed it.  Enjoyed it, even, chewing for several minutes with careful contemplation of the crunching sound and the chunky texture.  And there it was: living proof that eventually there will be breakthroughs, that it just may be true that young children need to be exposed to something 15 times or more before accepting it, that we are not confined to a lifetime of sneaky pancakes, quesadillas, and sweet potato mash!

I am inspired by this revelation.  My son is not picky; these mealtime battles are more nuanced than that.

My husband last night was remarking on how intensely Babyman sleeps, 14 hours a day or more, and deeply, like his body needs that time-out in order to process his environment on some subconcious level and to grow in it.  Mealtime is one small chance to exercise some control over a loud, wild, digitally-enhanced world that is coming at his 22-month-old brain at Google speed.  God bless him.

I (like Babyman) tend to try to control my environment: I make lists, plans, schedules.  That’s part of why I need a job, so I can exercise (exorcise?) these natural tendencies around other adults and then be a bit more spur-of-the-moment with my toddler.

Sadly, these spur-of-the-moment moments are going to be fewer going forward.  One week in, I am already missing our days together, almost viscerally.  We will find a new rhythm, but for now we both need to be a little bit forgiving of one another.

So here is my takeaway from the carrot incident: RELAX.  Everything has its moment.  What’s important at breakfast, at dinner, on the weekends, is that we are laughing and communicating.  The vegetables will follow.

Recipes I’m considering right now…

Shrimp (or chicken) fried rice

Cream cheese dip with apple slices
Three tbsp sour cream
Two tbsp Boursin or other savory, soft cheese
Thin slices of apple, peeled

Mix sour cream & Boursin.  Dip apples.

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