I have really loved hearing all this feedback about feeding toddlers and preschoolers. I have gotten so many new ideas for things to incorporate into my own family meals, and I hope you guys have, too. This will be the last post on food for a while because I am pretty sure this is what you call beating a dead horse. But I’ve gotten lots of good follow up questions about our family’s eating routines, and I thought I’d tie up all the loose ends by answering those before moving on to other fun topics. Like teething. Oy.
How do you get your kids to eat all those fruits and vegetables? My rule at mealtimes is that you eat what you are given. As the kids get older, I will add, “…and you will be grateful for it, darn it!” but at this point, I’m happy if they just eat it. Mealtimes have always been fairly strict with that rule. Of course, this is easier if the kids LIKE what they are given. To start mine out when we started switching over to healthy, simple meals, I gave Bean a choice. He could choose one thing to put on his plate (out of several options I gave him). Usually, he got to choose between yogurt, applesauce, and Cheerios because I knew he liked all those things and I knew they weren’t bad for him. The kicker was that he could only have that one thing he chose after he’d eaten most of everything else. This was also a good substitute for dessert sometimes, too. Although, I do also reward a clean plate with a marshmallow. But he has to clean his whole plate for that treat. Gradually, Bean got into the habit of eating whatever was on his plate, and now he doesn’t even ask to choose anything anymore. But it was a very gradual process to get him to try and learn to like a variety of new fruits and veggies. Gracie is a slightly different because she’s still pretty little. She can’t reason as well as Bean. And, thankfully, she’s a really good eater on her own. If she starts to have problems eating when she gets a bit older, then we’ll start using some of these little tricks with her, too. I think the key really has been introducing the food to the kids without forcing it on them. They always have a choice. They can eat what they are given, or they can choose not to. But the food on that plate is their only option.
Another thing that helped significantly was changing the kinds of snacks they got. If they knew that they could blow off breakfast or lunch because they were going to get Cheez-Itz or Teddy Grahams for a snack, there was no incentive for them to eat when the food was in front of them because what was coming later was better. But when I traded out their regular snack-like snacks for fresh fruits, veggie slices, cheese, nuts, sunflower seeds, etc., they started to see those foods as both snack items AND meal items. Seeing the same foods at snack and mealtimes helped to reinforce that this was the only option. If they didn’t eat it now, they’d see it again at snack time. It might sound harsh, but there was not one meltdown about it. I don’t even think the kids noticed. It was just a conscious effort I made to make their meals and snacks similar.
What and when do you and Chris eat? So many people told me that I should only be preparing dinner once a night. That the kids should be eating what we were eating, and vice versa. And I tried that for a long time. But the kids never ate anything, and Chris and I had a miserable time trying to make them eat and enjoy dinner ourselves. Plus, the kids get really cranky if they don’t eat early. It would throw our whole evening off if I made them wait until Chris got home around 6:00. I see us getting back to that traditional family sit down dinner when they are a bit older, but for now we eat in two shifts. I feed the kids around 5:00pm, before Chris gets home from work. Because their dinners take so little preparation, it really doesn’t take me any time to get them to the table. Then, I sit down with them and eat a little snack (usually I have whatever they are having to set an example) while they eat their dinner. It takes about an hour for them to eat. It’s a process. Bean likes to get up 1,000 times, and I have to wrangle him back to the table. Gracie likes to feed the dogs, but she cries whenever they touch her, so that’s a mess. It’s not a calm dinner, but it’s healthy! Chris gets home around 6:00pm, and if the kids are still eating, he sits down with us while they finish. When dinner’s over, Chris gets some play time with the kids before baths and bedtime routines begin at 7:00pm. This really works out well for our family. Before, the only hour that Chris had to sit down with the kids was miserable while we all tried to eat. Now, they get good quality time together, and we all eat at times that are comfortable for each of us.
Chris and I do bath time with the kids together, and then I put Gracie down and he and Bean begin their incredibly lengthy bedtime routine (Bean has LOTS he likes to do before bed…). While Chris and Bean do their thing, I come back downstairs and start dinner for me and Chris. Usually, it’s ready (or close) by the time Chris comes back downstairs and we eat together so that we get some time alone each day. It really isn’t a lot of effort to prepare the kids meal and then cook our dinner. And this just works for our family. To each their own.
As for what we eat, Chris and I eat relatively healthy ourselves these days. A lot of grilled chicken, a lot of ground turkey, a lot of steamed veggies. Our favorite are tacos, and stir fry is also a big hit (and super quick!).
Where do you get your meal ideas and nutritional information? I get them mostly from the same places as everyone else. Pinterest is a big one these days (just search for healthy meals). I also use that Super Baby Food book I’m giving away (giveaway ends today!). But I think blogs are fantastic for food ideas for families because they are usually written by real moms with real families cooking real food. One of my favorites is Healthy Tipping Point. Caitlin is a mom, and blogs about feeding her active, healthy family with practical tips and ideas. Daily Garnish is also pretty good (I just made her strawberry banana bread this week – delicious!). My all-time favorite healthy living food blog has to be the famous Mama Pea herself, Peas and Thank You. Though their family is vegan, I still use a lot of her ideas. She gives simple ways to substitute what you might be used to using with more healthier options. She’s the reason I switched to whole wheat flour and whole grain pasta! Another go-to for me are the Gooseberry Patch cookbooks. You can find them, randomly, at Cracker Barrel, usually. But I have also ordered them online from Amazon. These are cookbooks by real people who submit them to be included. Usually, the recipes can be made with the ingredients in your kitchen already. They aren’t always the healthiest recipes (lots of cream of… soups), but I at least get a lot of ideas from them and then health-ify them if I need to. I have four or five of these, but my favorites are the 5 Ingredients or Less and Speedy Suppers.
How do you feed your kids when you are traveling and on the road? We used to get them Happy Meals. I loves me a Happy Meal, don’t get me wrong, but we finally stopped because they never ate anything except the apple slices! My kids don’t like French fries, which, had I not birthed them myself, would really cause me to wonder if they were actually my children. And since they don’t eat a lot of meat, they won’t touch a hamburger or chicken nuggets. Lately, if we’re on the road and we MUST stop for fast food, I go to Wendy’s and get a sweet potato for them to share, along with two sides of mandarin oranges. Bean will also eat those grilled chicken snack wraps from McDonald’s in a pinch because I told him they were the same as the wraps we make at home. Mostly though, we bring the kids their own cooler of snacks and meals that are basically just what we feed them at home. That’s the great thing about simple eating – it travels so well! I pack little snack-sized baggies of pretzels, grapes (but cut them up small so they aren’t a choking hazard on the road!), carrot sticks, strawberries, peanuts (don’t give to a toddler in a rear-facing car seat, if you ask me… If they choke, you can’t see them!), yogurt covered raisins (shhh… Bean thinks they are candy…), animal crackers, etc. Another thing I always pack on road trips are those individual cups of peanut butter for Bean. Gracie can use them, too, but I have to do it for her. But Bean Man can dip whatever he wants into his peanut butter cup. We also bring juice boxes and those baby food and applesauce pouches.
How do you handle other people feeding your kids foods that you don’t normally feed them? I’m assuming from this person’s question that they are talking about grandparents???? Ahhh…grandparents. I love my mom and dad, but they can wreak a little havoc on the kids’ diets. They feed them healthy foods, but they also feed them dessert after every meal, ice cream when it’s too hot, warm pie when it’s too cold, pudding if they get a boo boo, and cookies just because. It used to bother me. Sometimes it still does if the kids over indulge and get stomach aches. But for the most part, I’ve let it go because that’s just what grandparent DO. Mine did it to me. Chris’s did it to him. That’s their job. They get to give the treats and sweets and then hand them back to parents to clean them up and shove some broccoli down their throats. I just remind myself that the kids eat healthy 95% of the time. So, that 5% isn’t going to hurt them. All things in moderation. Even healthy things.
How do you get your kids to eat so neatly? I never see them wearing bibs, and you even have a tablecloth! First of all, let me clarify the “neat” comment by sharing this photo…
There. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about the tablecloth. I use tablecloths to cover up how crusty and nasty my kitchen table gets. I find it so much easier to let the kids go to town on a tablecloth, then I just shake it off outside and toss it in the wash. I have four or five different tablecloths that I rotate through. I don’t like the plastic ones because I don’t like how they feel. No pretense there. They just stick to my arms, and I hate that. So, I use the fancier $6.99 ones from Home Goods (living large!). If they get stained, oh well. They are strictly for our family’s use only. And I don’t mind putting a stained tablecloth on the table for our family dinners. I have several nicer tablecloths that come out when company is around. The kids also eat have a cheap plastic placemat that goes over the tablecloth, just to keep them from destroying the tablecloth in a single meal (which they could totally do).
The fact is that kids are messy eaters because they are learning. So, we use mealtimes as a learning opportunity. They occasionally pull on the tablecloth (though not as much as you would think, really), but we correct the behavior when it happens and move on. We also work on manner with the kids from the time they are Gracie’s age. She is learning to keep her plate on the table and to use a spoon. The plate on the table hasn’t been too bad. She doesn’t throw it or anything, but she has their weird need to GIVE me her plate when she’s done eating – even if there’s food still on it. Sometimes that’s messy. But she’s learning. She is messy because she still likes to use her hands to eat, and because that spoon thing can be tricky (see photo above), but we expect that and we allow for that. It’s not her fault she doesn’t know how to eat correctly yet. It will come with time, so we don’t try to force cleanliness on her. Instead, we try to redirect when things get… a bit dodgy. With Bean, we’re working right now on talking with our mouths full, using a napkin, and participating in dinner table conversation (we’re teaching him to wait his turn to speak, and so say, “excuse me,” when he needs something if someone else is talking). I think teaching table manners – really any manners – at this age is critical and it can be fun for the kids, too. Also, when I’m engaged in their mealtimes through teaching and correcting them, accidents and mistakes happen less often because I catch them. Whereas, if I’m just chilling in the kitchen or playing on my phone while they eat (terrible, I know), then there are a lot more accidents and messes made.
So, that’s about it. You now know every possible thing about how I feed my family! Whew! Don’t you feel smarter? Or dumber? Or are you asleep?
You can wake up now. I’m done.
This post is the second installment of a series of posts that tell the story of my seven year marriage. Hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed living it…
We got married too young. My parents knew it. His parents knew it. I knew it. Chris knew it. Everyone knew it. At our wedding reception, our first dance was to Elvis Presley’s Fools Rush In. “Wise men say, only fools rush in, but I can’t help falling in love with you.” That was us. Fools. Fools completely in love with each other. Fools who had grown up together – who were still growing up together. Fools who were too foolish to know that we didn’t know the first thing about being married. But fools who couldn’t take another step forward in life without having the other fool by their side. That was us. Just a couple of fools.
Though it surprises some people that Chris and I are still happily married seven years later (pools by our high school friends had us clocking out at two years…) the miracle to me is not that we are still married, but that we ever made it to the alter to begin with. Chris was what you would call a…let’s see…how can I put this delicately? He was a man-whore. Yes, a high-school aged, hormone crazed, charming the pants literally right off of girls, man whore. And I was in student government, youth ambassador at my church, and part of an abstinence education program in the public school systems. We were polar opposites from the very beginning, though I am happy to report that like a good barrel of wine, our flavors have married together over the years and we seem to be a nice, robust blend now. But back then, we were a whirlwind of drama that would make any teenage vampire/werewolf/wizard novel of today look like Sweet Valley High.
Even at the age of fifteen, I saw something in Chris. I saw that he went home for dinner with his Dad and sister every single night, no matter what was going on and that told me that he, like me, put family first. I saw him spend summers working with middle school kids at camps and that told me that he, like me, made giving back a priority. I saw him skipping classes but only so that he could spend more time building theater sets (which he would later do professionally for Broadway) and that told me that he, like me, was driven and focused. Even though Chris was a man whore whose high school parties were infamous for underage drinking and…everything that goes along with underage drinking…we actually had a lot in common. And we had the things in common that counted.
And so, I waited. I waited for Chris to grow up. And when he made mistake after countless mistake, I still waited because I knew that mistakes were just part of his growing up process and I could see that he truly cared enough to learn from those mistakes. And because I waited for him, he fell in love with me not because of what I brought to his life, but because I saw the value of what he brought to mine. I think that was my first lesson in love. It’s not about what one person does for the other person, it is about what you can do together for each other.
So, with that in mind, we graduated from high school with the scars of adolescent heartbreak on our sleeves and we headed off to separate colleges, agreeing to stay together until one of us found someone else. No big promises. Just the love of our high school sweetheart as the baseline for any other relationship to surpass. And over the four years we were in school, nothing ever surpassed what Chris and I had. We spent those years traveling back and forth to see each other every couple weekends. We sent love notes and spent God knows how much money on cell phone bills.
Our junior year of college, Chris and I took a Christmas vacation, just the two of us, to New York. Neither of us had ever been to New York before. I look back now at pictures from the two of us on that trip and we look like such babies. Like we had to take cabs everywhere because we may not actually be old enough to drive ourselves. That young. But isn’t that what they say? New York is for young lovers?
No? They don’t say that?
Well, they should.
We spent a week exploring the Big Apple like the two wide-eyed small town tourists that we were. On our last night in New York, Chris and I went to see The Rockettes in Radio City Hall. Classic New York. I was in love that night. In love with the lights of the city. In love with the sound of the Salvation Army bells ringing on the sidewalks. In love with the dancers in their soldier costumes. And in love with the boy who was sitting next to me. All was right with the world.
Chris would later tell me that the platinum band in his pocket set off the metal detectors as he entered Radio City with me that night. When the security guard patted him down and found the little red box tucked into his jacket pocket, he patted him on the back, gave him a wink and a big smile, and said, “Enjoy your evening, Sir.”
After the show, Chris and I walked down to Rockefeller Center and Chris asked if I wanted to ice skate. I squealed as we tied on our ice skates and took to the ice. As we skated hand-in-hand, Chris talked about what a great time he had had on our trip. He talked about what fun experiences and adventures we had had so far together, about fun things we’d done and crazy stories that build up only when you’ve been together since you were children. And then he stopped skating and turned to face me on the ice. Right there in under the lights of the enormous Christmas tree, he got down on one knee.
“The life that we’ve already shared together isn’t enough for me. I need more than that,” he said, pulling the ring box out of his jacket and holding the most beautiful diamond solitaire out to me. “Will you marry me?”
I said yes and jumped into his arms, just as the crowds of tourists looking down from above started cheering for us. It was, and still is, the most magical moment of my entire life.
The wedding would be over a year later on June 4, 2005. The doors of the church opened and there at the end of that long aisle, stood my groom. The love of my young life. And I remember thinking how fitting it was to walk down the aisle of a church where I had grown up and into the arms of the man that I had grown up with. He looked handsome. And terrified. And incredibly happy. And as I walked down that aisle, we never took our eyes off of each other.
1. This morning I checked my email and saw that one of the mom email lists that I am on from church sent out an email announcing that Jake and the Neverland Pirates will be doing concerts for the next ten days at Downtown Disney. So, I very quickly decided that instead of having a laundry day at my house, we’d be packing up and spending the afternoon swigging root beer and singing pirate songs. Isn’t that what summer is all about??? I’m really going to miss being able to do things like this on the fly when work starts back in ONE WEEK! It will be a real challenge to see how much of a “Yes Mom” I can be while working.
2. Although I’m going to miss being home, I think it’s time I headed back to work. I’m starting to get pissy with Chris about his work schedule, and that usually happens when I’m at home and he’s gone all the time. He was super busy at the beginning of the summer preparing for a big festival and several summer shows they have running, but the festival has come and gone and the shows are up and running, so his schedule should have slowed down. And yet… Ahhh, the any yet. And yet he is still busier than ever. He is working on building renovations for the theater with architects and engineers, which is a huge and very expensive project. But COME ON, MAN! We miss you at home! Come back and play with us!
3. My sister is officially full term in her pregnancy now. She’s due in two weeks, but according to her, she is going to deliver TODAY. She also said she was going to deliver on August 1, but that didn’t work out so good. And why do you think she is confident in her delivery date? Not because she is having contractions or because the baby dropped or because her doctor thinks she is going to go early. Nope. None of those things. She is convinced because this is the day she has CHOSEN. She will now WILL her baby to come out. Oh, goodness, do I love my sister. She cracks me up. But let me just say now that this baby is going to rock her planned, orderly, and scheduled life! And she is going to love every spontaneous minute of it!
4. SARAH GETS BACK TO TOWN TODAY!!!!! After an entire summer without my BFF to play around with, I am so excited because SHE GETS BACK TODAY!!!! Hooray!!!!! I have missed having her to get into shenanigans with! Even Bean has been asking every morning, “Does Say-wah get back today????”
5. I finished reading “Crossed” last night. It was excellent. I know I have said that I’m not a big fan of dystopian books, but the two series I have read this summer (“Matched” and “Divergent“) might have made me a believer. All of those books were the perfect blend of romance and adventure. Excellent for summer! I started my last summer reading book the minute I put down “Crossed” last night. Now I’m reading “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.” My Grandma recommended this to me last year, and it has been on my to-read list ever since. I’m so excited to start it. (To see what I’m reading, you can check out my GoodReads page. My user name is KatieMC. I update it every time I start or finish a book.)
6. I was in a training class all day yesterday on how to use technology in the classroom. That is one of my favorite topics ever. It’s actually what I did my Masters thesis on – how to teach using technology that students are already using. In my thesis, I designed this mock website that looked like Facebook, but was a place for students, teachers, and classmates to interact, discuss, and learn. So, yesterday I sit down at this training seminar, and what do you think the first thing we learn to use is? A program called “Edmodo” which is an interactive educational website with a Facebook interface. Seriously. It was my thesis project. I spent the morning thinking about all the millions of dollars I would have if I had copyrighted my idea and sold it. Boo. Ahhh, well.
7. I planned a mini-vacation for our family last week. I’m super excited. Chris didn’t have time this summer to take a long vacation (see #2 above), but after such a busy summer without him, I was adamant that we get away SOMEWHERE for SOME period of time as a family. So, I booked us a couple nights at a local resort here in Orlando. We’re going to play by the pool for a day, eat at all the touristy restaurants, and go to Disney World. It will be Gracie’s first time at the Magic Kingdom, and I think both kids are the perfect age to have a lot of fun. We’re going next weekend, which is the weekend before I go back to work and the kids go back to daycare. It’ll be a little summer send-off, and I couldn’t be more excited. Even Chris is ready for it. When I called him (at work, naturally…) to ask him what he thought about the idea, he didn’t hesitate at all before saying, “BOOK IT!”
8. A lot of you asked how I had a picture of Chris’s proposal taken. Actually, that is a snapshot of the video I have! When Chris knew he would propose in New York, he found a friend in the area and asked them to stand in the crowd on the night of the proposal and film it. I didn’t know Joe had been there until we got home from our trip and Chris gave me a video of his proposal for Christmas! And not only was it the proposal, but he had video footage of him buying the ring, getting his ideas together for the proposal, and even a photo montage of pictures from our entire relationship. I have been trying for YEARS to figure out how to share it on my blog, but the video is set to a Nora Jones song, which I don’t have the rights to, and so I can’t put it on YouTube, and it’s too big to post straight to my blog. It is quite the conundrum. Until I figure out what to do (and, trust me, we’ve been trying everything for years!), you’ll just have to trust me that it is the sweetest video ever!
9. My dad got an iPhone this week. He said it was the most exciting thing to happen to him in years. And I’m pretty sure he was serious about that. He has been waiting for a LONG time for his cell phone contract to be up so he could get one. He’s been texting me ever since. It’s pretty funny. I texted him a picture of the kids this week and got this text in response: “Is that a video? Because I can’t get it to play?” I responded, “No, Dad. It’s a picture. It won’t move.” Cracked me up. He’s a funny guy.
10. I am loving watching the Olympics at night! I don’t watch them during the day so that I can watch them with fresh eyes with Chris and Tray at night. It is so much fun! And those two guys are hysterical to watch with. Most of their comments are not appropriate for a family-friendly blog, but they are pretty entertaining. Last night I mentioned that one of the Lithuanian girls always looked like she was about to cry. “I think it’s her make up,” said Tray. “…and maybe her face.” Makes me giggle. You know what else makes me giggle? Watching the parents watching their kids. Did you see the video of Aly Reisman’s parent’s? Love it! The weird thing is that I’m doing that at home, too, and she’s not even my daughter!
The kids go back to daycare the week after next, and when they go back, both will move up to the next classroom from the one they left at the beginning of the summer. Big dudes! Bean is excited because a lot of his friends had already moved up to the three-year-old classroom before he left for summer, but he wasn’t old enough to go with them. Now, when he goes back, he’ll be in class with them again. He’s very excited about that. Gracie is moving up out of the baby room and into the toddler room. Big doin’s at our house! She was supposed to move up back in March when she turned one, but girlfriend wasn’t interest in walking yet, and you have to be a walker to move up. She started walked about a month before I pulled them out for the summer, and rather than go through the transition of changing classrooms only to be pulled out altogether a month later, we decided to keep her in the baby room until summer, and then she could start in the toddler room in the fall.
Well, fall is unofficially upon us, and Gracie now has to move up to the big kids room. This, among other things, means that she will not be able to have to her binky with her all day. In the toddler room, they can use them at nap time, but not during the day. This was just the motivation I needed to yank the binky from her. I’ve been meaning to do it all summer, but there was always an excuse. She had ear infections, she had just gotten tubes, she was finally happy, we were traveling, she was teething….and the list goes on. There was always something. But finally this week I decided one morning that that was going to be the day.
With both of our kids, we went cold turkey with binkies. I knew Gracie would be harder because she has become VERY attached to her binky these days. But, it was time. With Bean, I snipped the end off the binky, gave it to him, he put it in his mouth, took it out, and threw it on the floor, announcing that it was “bo’ken,” and he never looked back. So, I thought we’d try the same thing with Gracie.
I snipped the end off the binky, and gave it to her. The idea is that it is supposed to be the baby who decides they don’t want it anymore because it’s broken. So, I waited for her to do the right thing. Because we all know that toddlers ALWAYS do the right thing…
She put the binky in her mouth, and quickly realized something was wrong. She took it out, and examined it thoroughly. I waited for her to throw it or something, but instead, after standing there thinking for a minute, she simply put the broken binky back in her mouth and walked around for the next 10 minutes holding it in her mouth with her hand.
Hmm… this was going to be tricky.
I spend the next hour rounding up all the binkies I could find, snipping the ends off, and throwing them away. It took a while. Gracie has LOTS of hiding places. Finally, the only binky left in the house was the one she was physically holding in her mouth. I went over to her and told her that she was a big girl now, and that big girls didn’t need binkines. I convinced her to walk over to the trash can and throw her binky inside. And that was it, for a while. She played all day without her binky, and was fine.
I knew bedtime would be rough because she always gets her binky and her bunny when she goes night-night. So, she started crying for bunny and I gave that to her. And then she asked for her bee-bee (Gracie speak for binky), and I told her very sweetly that, “Big girls don’t need binkies, Gracie. You are a big girl now!” I laid her in her crib, said goodnight, and left, like I do every night. But instead of going quietly to sleep like she does every night, she cried for about 15 minutes. All things considered, that wasn’t too terrible. I expected it to last much longer. But she really took it like a champ. And the next morning, she slept later! I got up at 7:00, which was when she usually gets up, and I realized that she hadn’t made a peep. So, I poke my head into her room and found her sitting up with her back to me, playing quietly.
“Wow!” I thought. “We should have done this months ago!”
But as soon as I opened her door, she turned to look at me, and there in her mouth was a flippin’ binky! She must have had it stashed somewhere in her crib! The little cheater!
The next day was a little harder than the first. She cried for her bee-bee every couple hours, but only for a couple minutes. When I went to get her to put her down for a nap that day, I found her trying to get into the trash can, saying, “Bee-bee! Bee-bee!” But I reminded her again that she was a big girl now, and that big girls didn’t need a binky. She cried for about 20 minutes at that nap time. It was her first real time going to sleep without one, and she was PISSED. But by bedtime that night, she was starting to understand. She said, “Bee-bee?” and then she laughed and shook her head no. She cried for about 10 minutes when I laid her down, but that was it. She still cries a little bit before she goes to sleep now, and that’s different for her. But she’ll learn how to soothe herself, which is the point of taking the binky away. She has to learn how to calm herself down without something doing it for her.
It’s been two days now, and she is hardly asking her it anymore. Though, she did see a kid with one in a store the other day and said very loudly, “BEE-BEE!” but she wasn’t really crying for it. More like just pointing it out. It’s still tough in the car because I can’t distract her when she asks for it, so that’s been hard. But overall, it hasn’t been as bad as I thought it would be.
There are lots of different ideas for how to get rid of the binky. If you’re the kind of family who wants to go cold turkey, like us, then I would suggest getting the binkies completely out of the house. Throw them away, and then take the trash out. Because it’s not the child who you have to worry about – it’s YOU! ME! If a binky had been at hand when she was crying in the car the other day, I would have just given it to her. It’s easy to give in out of sheer exhaustion. But if there aren’t binkies around in the first place, then that takes that option completely off the table.
Every time we eliminate some part of infancy for Gracie, it’s a little hard for me. She’s our last baby, and so when she’s done with the high chair or the bouncy seat or the walker or the binky, I get a little sad because that means I’m done with it, too. Ahhh… toddlers. They tug on your heartstrings until you just about can’t breathe, and then they throw a temper tantrum that brings you right back down to earth. Gotta love ‘em.