The foundation of the child diet is evasion of rest, especially at 2 a.m.
Just when your metabolism thinks of slowing, with your heart and breath lingering into a lullaby rhythm, someone startles you awake. They’re hungry, thirsty, verbally processing in their sleep, sideways in their crib. Dazed and confused, you run into the door, literally, and wake to their unending needs.
The next morning, once you stumble out of bed (after a couple of two-hours-at-a-time sleeping stints), you’ll encounter their chipper early morning energy. You have no choice but to chug a full pot of coffee. How else could you keep up?
This means you need to eat everything in sight to keep from shaking through the morning, but it doesn’t matter. You won’t ever sit still. Also, everything you eat will be snatched away mid-consumption by the seagull behavior of your children.
With two very busy boys in the house, you’ll play baseball, basketball, hockey. You’ll snowboard. All before 9 a.m. Also, your two-year-old knows pitchers are supposed to stand up. Who taught him that? And why?
When both children find themselves tired and finicky, they’ll make you carry both of them up two flights of stairs – all 55 pounds of them. They don’t care that your arms are puny. Inevitably once you make it upstairs, their cup or snack or beloved toy remains downstairs. When you go down to retrieve it, you’ll be informed of a new needed toy. Which is also downstairs.
I think they secretly laugh while they run me up and down the stairs.
Meal times are comical, at best. Oh, you’re hungry and excited to eat dinner, but once you sit down, one child informs you he’s sticky. He needs a napkin. No, it needs to be wet. He’s that sticky. Sit, again. The other one throws his spoon. You’ll bonk your head while trying to retrieve it. Your children will laugh. So will your husband. You take one bite. One child has eaten all his food already, so you’ll cut up some more for him. The other child is supremely bothered by the shape and texture of his bites. It’s too stringy, too green, too gooey. It is, after all, making him sticky. You spend 5 minutes coaxing one bite into him, and the other child has cleaned his plate again. At that point, you move your face about one inch from your plate and shovel ten bites in ten seconds like a teenage boy with no manners. You always want seconds, you’ll even take them cold, but your children want dinner to be over.
Every time you leave the house, you make sure your children are fed and hydrated. You pack ample snacks for them, spend a half hour rounding them up, dressing them, undressing them to change diapers and use the bathroom, redressing them to get them into the car. You start the car to leave and realize you are famished beyond reason. You turn off the car, unlock the door, run inside and grab two handfuls of Cheese-Its and shove some in your grimy pocket. Back out the door. You let them get soggy in your mouth, so the seagulls in the backseat don’t realize you’re eating something.
This is the Child Diet. Good luck enjoying food for the next five years.