Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Marshmallows: the other white meat

Marshmallows: Great for hot chocolate, s'mores, and, if you are one of the baby birds living in the Colucci nest, dinner. Wish I could insert a cute little 'lol' here, but sadly I speaketh the truth. Before you call CPS on my malnutritioned mothering skills, lemme explain.

While I was pregnant with Bells, I read every "How to be the most insane perfect mother book" that Amazon sells. I was SURE that I would be making my own baby food (from organic fruits and vegetables, of course). My precious little kumquat was going to get three well-balanced meals a day, and I was DEFINITELY not going to give her juice, chocolate milk, or anything that contained that sneaky little four-letter enemy, HFCS (high fructose corn syrup).

A little background information: Growing up, dinnertime was a war zone in our house, and looking back, I'm 100% certain that my mother should be awarded a Purple Heart. She cooked dinner every night for the six of us, only to hear, "EWWWWW!!!! I'm not eating that!!" or "Mommmmm, why don't you ever make anything I like???" This poor woman, a SAHM, made a nutritious meal each night, only to be pelted with whines and demands. Then someone would spill their drink. Then my dad would yell...and about 5 minutes later, someone else would spill their drink. Don't get me wrong, I had the most AH-MAAAZ-ING childhood, and I probably have a slightly skewed memory of dinner, since I was the one doing most of the whining and demanding. I pretty much hated everything my mom could've possibly cooked, with the exception of pizza and pancakes.

Knowing what a royal pain-in-da-tush I was as a child, I was determined to raise 'good eaters'. Forget peanut butter and jelly, my little culinary geniuses were going to be eating roasted butternut squash ravioli with a sage brown butter sauce, made with free range, organic, hormone-free squash.

I will say, I started off strong. I nursed both of my kiddies for one year (Luca, a total boobaholic, six months a tad bit longer). That's pretty much where my career as a child nutrition expert hit a brick wall. When my fussy 9 month old wouldn't eat his peas, I sprinkled just a teeny-weeny bit of sugar on them. When my 2 year old curly girl wouldn't eat anything....ANYTHING...we would clap and cheer when she would finally eat a handful of M&M's and half a slice of cheese. And so, the bad habits were born.

The whole "feed your child what you're eating" idea went straight into the garbage, along with my sanity and my super sexy nursing bras. My personal chef/husband would grill up a delicious steak, cut it up in those tiny, safe little pieces- only to have it smushed all over the high chair tray and then thrown to the landsharks, aka our Boston Terrors. Panicked, we started what is now known as the Mac and Cheese Era. I'm no financial genius, but I'm pretty sure that we should have invested our life's savings (all $150 of it) in several shares of Kraft stock. What's better than powdered cheese? According to my little monsters, apparently nothing.

These days, we've made some small strides. We've graduated from the orange Kraft crack to actual, real life pasta. We've had glimmers of hope. Over the summer, Bella ate a hot dog. You would've thought someone granted my husband a starting position on the Jets. She has Cocoa Pebbles most mornings for breakfast (Don't judge. They're made with whole grain). Lucs is our champion eater who will actually eat what we are eating most nights, for which we are very, very grateful. But on those nights when the dinner table is starting to resemble the Peloponnesian War, a few deep breaths and a handful of marshmallows can work a small miracle.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Never Never Land...

We are all guilty of it. Maybe you were out to dinner with your husband or one of your girlfriends in the PK era (pre-kids), and at the table next to you, there was a mom letting her two-year old smash Cheerios into the carpet underneath the table. The mom was seemingly oblivious, talking to her husband, enjoying her wine, while her little monster was dumping out her purse, eating her lip gloss and creating abstract art with those delicious little honey nut O's. You lean over to your dining partner and inconspicuously point and whisper, "OMG, look at this mother! She is so busy talking and drinking, and totally not paying attention to her baby! That floor is so filthy, and she has no control- I would NEVER let my child do that."

Let's look at this from the now much more familiar POV- the "irresponsible" mother...who we alllll know is not "talking to her husband and enjoying her wine"- she's arguing with her husband about why there is only 14 dollars left in the checking account, thinking about the 9 loads of laundry she has to fold when she gets home, and wondering if she has time to chug just one more glass of Pinot before her little cereal-smashing artist enters the melt-down zone.

I think we can all agree that in the BK era, we would throw around the 'N-word' quite often..."I will NEVER do that when I have kids..." "I would NEVER say that to my children"...and I think it's pretty safe to say that by the time your first baby is one month old, you've probably broken about 99% of your "I would NEVER..." promises.

Motherhood is both the most amazing and the most frightening journey you will ever take. It is filled with bumps in the road, bumps on the head and the most horrid smells your nose will ever come in contact with...but one super squeezy hug from your Kindergartener as he gets off the school bus, or a sniff of your newborn's tiny little head as she snoozes in his car seat makes you say the ONE true "I never" statement...I would NEVER trade one moment with my little circus for anything.