Wednesday, October 15, 2014

noodles in the bathtub



I came home from work today and started the play-eat-bath-bed routine with Ingrid. Only it was one of those days, the kind where things don't go quite as planned. After a few minutes of play that resulted in tears, hitting, and attempts to bite me, we quickly moved to dinnertime.

But it was a lost cause. Again, just one of those days. Thankful for the dog to inhale the food tossed on the floor, I reflected back on how I thought I'd teach my child to eat. When I was pregnant, I had consulted blogs and books like Bringing Up Bebe and French Kids Eat Everything.

But today? None of that helped. To be honest, while there aren't many days that are quite this extreme, there are plenty of days that she's just...picky when it comes to food. So tonight, we quickly ventured into the land of buttered bread and mac and cheese, still with no success. We labored over peas and a ripe peach (usual home runs) and only made small strides with babybel cheese intermingled with stale cheerios. Blasphemy, I tell you.

Finally, I put some plain noodles on to boil and tried to give her a few. But by that point? We'd exhausted our time sitting in the high chair, and so with a fussy baby in one hand and a glass of wine in the other, we trooped upstairs to the bath. Putting her in the dry tub to strip her down, the food caked to her diaper fell to her feet. Mostly those last-ditch effort noodles.

And lo and behold, she ate some of them right off the bottom of the bathtub.

So after a quick call to my husband for him to keep a minute's watch in the bathroom, I did what any sane person in my position would do: ran downstairs and back up again, this time with a small handful of noodles. For my baby. In the bathtub. 

None of this is to say that I wasn't expecting any of the strange and unsavory things that come along with parenting. I anticipated becoming closely acquainted with bodily fluids. I wasn't stunned at having to wipe said fluids off of the couch once in a while. I halfway expected to become very adept at wrangling diapers on a writhing/rolling/crawling/toddling baby with one hand tied behind my back. These types of examples aren't hard to come across, especially in today's world-wide-webbed collective voice of motherhood. 

But like almost anything, preparation only gets you so far. Because did I ever count on running up the stairs with a fist full of pasta in my hand? TO PUT IN THE BATHTUB WITH MY KID? Nope. Never saw that in the literature review. 

So, to recap:

Today, my one-year-old ate part of her dinner in the bathtub. Not because it falls under any parenting theory I ascribe to (that I know of) or because it was mentioned in a book I read and loved, but because today was one of those days that you try anything that has a chance at working. Somewhere in between the rock of desperation and the hard place of doing what it takes to figure it out, you may end up trying something that you—in a former vision of being the perfect parent—would have previously found yourself scoffing at.

Noodles in the bathtub? I'm here to tell you: motherhood will do that to you every once in a while. And it, you, they—well, we'll all be just fine. 

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What's your noodle-in-the-bathtub parenting experience? In the name of solidarity (not to mention being able to laugh at ourselves), I'd love to know. 

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