Thursday, January 31, 2008

To Whom it May Concern:

I give up; I quit. I’m a lousy mother and I don’t want to do it anymore. I cannot get my children to eat or to sleep. Can you think of two more basic animal instincts than eating or sleeping? Breathing, perhaps.

They do breathe, most of the time, except last weekend, E got either a piece of chip or part of a large grape or one of the large grape’s large seeds stuck in his throat, pointed to his neck and squeaked “hurt me.” He didn’t stop breathing, but he might of while I was debating whether to call the on-call doctor or rush him to the emergency room. Fortunately he vomited all over me and the bathroom and himself before I had to decide.

Which just proves I’m a lousy mother, because I let a two year old eat chips (they were for the hummus) and I don’t bother with cutting up grapes anymore. I even broke down and bought hot dogs, for the first time in my life. We were in the health food store and they saw the turkey dogs in the freezer and started clamoring for them, and I read the ingredients, which although they were “all natural” sounded kind of full of “all natural” additives. Then I saw organic all-beef hot dogs in the refrigerator, and they seemed less full of extra stuff, so I bought them, even though they were obscenely expensive, and they made the boys really really happy. (OK, so they do eat sometimes--chips, grapes, hummus and hotdogs, and yogurt, cereal and pancakes and pretty much any fruit).

E kept calling them “hedgedogs” which is what he calls the hedgehog in “Trouble With Trolls,” and I kind of worry that he thinks hot dogs are actually made out of hedgehog, which is kind of disturbing, but is it any more disturbing than cows, when you think about it?

If I do quit this gig, I will kind of miss that sort of thing. I would also miss this, which M wrote in his diary at school last week: “01/17/08. This morning my mom wouldint let me bring my cd player and thre CDs. I tried to convinse her but she wouldint let me. I told my mom thate I would give my mom Allawinse but my mom would not let me do it. I told my mom yesterday Leah brout hers she said If Leah Jumped off a cliff would you do IT No I said.”

Well maybe I won’t quit, not yet. But maybe I could hire someone for the night shift. The sleep experiment is failing. It worked for about a week, and they still will fall asleep in their own bed, if they haven’t had a nap. Ever tried cooking dinner at 5:00 with two really tired and cranky two-year-olds hanging from your legs? It should be an Olympic event, I think, or a new form of torture the CIA could try out. The other nights, when they do nap (the three days they go to daycare and about two of the four days they don’t), forget about it. Right now it’s 9:20 p.m. and they’re doing puzzles and eating the toasty cheese sandwiches they refused at dinner time. I just want to curl up in bed with a book and pretend I’m a grownup without two 35-pound mobile growths on my body.


  1. i hate to tell you this but hot dogs are one of the top choking hazards for kids. but if i am a good mama for making pink rice crispy treats with sprinkles then you are really a good mama for getting the dogs. you can't quit now. ps: the rice crispies were organic--like that makes all the dye and sugar ok, ha ha.

  2. I know you didn't ask for advice, so don't read further if you don't want it. Can you ask the daycare to keep their nap short?

    That's all. Advice over. Back to sympathizing.


  3. the list of foods your boys eat looks positively long & varied compared to what my boys eat. yes, somehow along the way, i just gave up that fight. every once in awhile we put our foots/feet down, we battle it out at the table, it's miserable for everyone & they still don't eat the veggies or turkey or whatever it was i got stuck in my head they must eat. yes, i've read all the advice about how many times a kid needs to be exposed to a certain food before he adjusts to the taste, etc. but it isn't happening in practice at our table.

    the guys, however, are quite well versed in what MAKES for a healthy meal & body. they can talk all about protein & fruits & veggies---they just don't want to put these things in their mouths!!! you could try the whole hide-the-pureed veggies in the humuus thing (or even brownies) but i think about that more than actually pureeing so i'm definitely NOT giving advice here.

    sleep & food. two things we ultimately do not control for our kids. we can set up the 'right environment' but in the end, we can't actually make them sleep or make them eat. somehow little people know this....

  4. Med School Mama--The hot dogs were cut lengthwise. I do have some all-natural food dye...maybe I'll try the red rice krispie treats too (doo they make organic marshmallow fluff?)

    Wheels on the Bus--I used to periodically ask them to wake M up after an hour (we had the same--perhaps worse, except that there was only one of him--problem with him) and they would do it...that day...and never again...until I asked again. (They still try to make him nap during vacations--six year olds!!) The thing that finally got him to go to sleep easily at night was all-day, every day school with no naps (only two-and-a-half years to go!)

    Sara--yeah my foot goes up and down more than a caller at a square dance...I do make M try everything on his plate now (and he goes, but how come my brothers don't have to???) and it takes a good hour and half to eat like two ounces of food...

    All this talk just makes me want to eat and sleep...


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