By Heather Woods
Parents of fussy and messy eaters, starting nodding now – please! Please tell me I’m not alone! If there’s one thing I struggle with as a parent, it’s the never-ending parade of food stuffs over my couch, through my clothing and in my hair.
I understand it’s not their fault. I understand it’s all part of their development to learn their senses of touch, smell, etc and that food play is an important part of that. And I wouldn’t trade it for anything, but it doesn’t mean I have to enjoy it.
It drives me absolutely raving bonkers. I can’t stand the stickiness of honey on my skin, but this is exactly what happens when my toddler asks for honey on bread and then proceeds to pick the honey off with her fingers before deciding mummy needs a hug. I love hugs, but not when they include honey. I find myself cringing and silently praying with panic ‘don’t touch me, don’t touch me!’ And then the sticky fingers wrap themselves around my leg.
Juice boxes and yoghurt poppers must have been created by people that don’t actually like children, or maybe they don’t like their parents? As soon as a little person gets their mits on either of these their first instinct is to squeeze. No prizes for guessing what happens to the contents! It goes everywhere – usually over my jeans. You know, the ones that I just pulled out of the clean washing basket?
While we’re on washing, it’s awesome how a clean set of clothes (mine or theirs) is like a magnet for spilt milk or mashed avocado.
As a treat she’ll sometimes receive a funsize chocolate bar, but after she’s done with it (and not fully consumed) it’ll get dropped straight on the floor in a melted caramel mess instead of politely going in the bin or at least handed to me. Then the rice crackers are picked up, so we have chocolate fingers topped with vegetable seasoning now. The dog wanders over to say hello (and I’m actually scared to see what we’re now dealing with) before she finds some leftover banana from breakfast that she’d hidden.
Sounds like quite the party menu doesn’t it? Not so fun when you end up cleaning in between the floorboards, or picking things our of your freshly washed hair after a toddlery-kiss was given.
Just the other day my toddler had an epic meltdown because the 5th raspberry wasn’t as tasty as the 4th, so we weren’t going to have anymore. Instead of calmly putting it down and pushing it aside like an adult would, she looked me dead in the eye and upturned her bowl (with the rest of the raspberries) onto the cream rug she was standing on. Then stood on them to mush them around a little just for good measure. Not wanting to induce my 3rd heart attack for the day I picked the bowl up, cleaned the raspberries and walked away. But my blood was boiling.
Now, before you think “serves you right for having a cream rug with kids”, it’s an old rug anyway that already has stains, but I really don’t need anymore and could use a little less cleaning.
And then there’s the special moments where they find non-food items to delight themselves with. Namely talcum powder. I hate talcum powder.
The worst culprit of all is the common ice-block. On hot days I love watching her cool down by slurping away on something nice and cold. Practical and giving her about 8 minutes of enjoyment after which the melted component gets traipsed straight through the house. But I’ve managed to combat this one. If we’re at home we hold out as long as possible during the day and then the ice-block is consumed in the bath! She’s happy and I’m happy. And my furniture stays dry.