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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

riddle me this

beware the ides of march: i was called in for jury doody today. i had already postponed once, so imagine my surprised delight when i went to the courthouse this morning in person only to be granted another six-month stay. sweet.

actually i was looking forward to jury duty. i have never served and i figure anything has the potential to be fun the first time around. plus, it's your civic duty, right? gotta do right by the legal system. i have seen 12 angry men and often wondered which one of those dudes i would have been -- always fancied myself the henry fonda white knight, but who am i kidding? i'm more likely to wind up being the guy who'll change his vote solely in order to get out of the building sooner.

i was also glad to go to the courthouse this morning because for the last two days i have been, oh how shall i put this, about as frustrated as stevie wonder at a marcel marceau concert. the baby, she does not want to eat at meal times. i prepare her favorite foods, make goofy faces, hoist the spoon up to her mouth and ... she purses her lips and vigorously shakes her head. i give her delicious finger foods. she throws them on the floor (which i have taken to lining with newspaper at mealtime). never in my life have i been so quickly and so thoroughly filled with blind red rage. this is my number one argument against hiring a nanny: if i, the biological father, can barely refrain from strangling my baby with acid-dipped piano wire, how on earth can i leave her with a stranger that has no reflexive yen to let her live?

the kicker: we go to the playground after lunch and she shovels two fists-full of leaves, sticks and rocks directly into her mouth. and begins chewing!

or take bathtime. this is when we brush her teeth. she has far too many teeth for a girl her age. she has like 92 teeth. it's amazing. you put the toothbrush into her mouth and she pushes it out with her meaty tongue. then she somehow manages to scream with her mouth sealed shut. no toothbrush will pass these lips! "fine, yuckmouth," we say. "let your teeth rot right out of your head. see if we care." then we stick her in the tub. then we hand her the toothbrush. then she sticks the toothbrush into her mouth and begins chewing on the bristles! wtf!?

is this really how an incipient rational being behaves? christ!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

My son will only chew on his toothbrush as well, I'm a dental assistant so this drives me nuts! You just want her to not be scared of the toothbrush. As long as you're rinsing her mouth with water she'll be fine cavity wise.
And the food thing is just a phase...she won't starve herself :)

3/15/2006 4:07 PM  
Anonymous Kristen said...

My daughter also loves to chew the bristles...In fact she bites so hard on the brush the bristles are almost yanked right out of their spot. I worry that she is going to choke on them!

3/15/2006 5:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe it's some non-eating protest against parents going on at the moment. Pierre at Metrodad ( has a similar post.

3/15/2006 10:08 PM  
Blogger tAnYeTTa said...

that was hilarious!

as far as brushing her teeth- a nice warm cloth rubbed over her teeth and tongue will do the trick!

i'm still crackin up over her stuffing her face with the leaves, sticks and rocks in her mouth! hilarious.

3/16/2006 12:55 AM  
Blogger Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

The Goon Squad loves to brush their teeth, but really they mostly just chew on the toothbrush.

I've started making them watch me brush my teeth and then letting them see themselves in the mirror when they brush their teeth. It seems to be helping a little bit.

3/16/2006 9:57 AM  
Blogger KristieD said...

I have exactly 3 seconds to brush my son's teeth and then he insists on taking the toothbrush and "brushing" his teeth himself (which means he mostly chews it)... As far as the eating thing, i totally feel your pain. My son eats like crap & has since he was about 16 months (we are 20 months now)...HE used to eat so well. Once he refused EVERYTHING i brought with us to the park, but ate everything this little girl about his age shared with him. His mom gave us some of their cheerios because apparently they were better than our cheerios i suppose. Good luck, i am still looking for a solution to this problem myself.

3/16/2006 10:36 AM  
Blogger bernalgirl said...

When MZ refuses food I know she likes, it makes me a little crazy, too. In these moments I think a nanny who isn't so vested might be a really good thing. But as our ped said, it's not about the meal or the day, it's about the week. So I try to step back, and then I realize she's doing fine. And just think of all the fiber in those rocks and leaves!

3/16/2006 3:19 PM  
Anonymous milkmaid said...

I use a big piece of oilcloth (laminated fabric) under my daughter's high chair. It wipes up easy with a sponge or 409 and you can throw it in the wash and hang dry it when it gets really messy. Plus it comes in cool retro 50's patterns. You can buy it at your local fabric store.

Your daughter is showing signs of wanting control of her life! Since food and teeth brushing are some of the few things she can control, they become hot buttons for parents. Don't make a deal out of it and it will take some of her power over you away. Easier said than done, I know only too well!

3/16/2006 3:56 PM  
Blogger jolie said...

mr. nice guy, get thee to blogfathers. who is this 'genuine'? please, for the love of formula - deal with this man, tout de suite.

3/16/2006 7:44 PM  
Blogger Mary P. said...

I was called for jury duty and then sent the "oh, never mind" letter. I was kind of looking forward to it, too, but my clients were all thrilled to hear the news...

Little ones are faddy eaters. Bernalgirl is right: see how she eats over a week. If it balances out over a week, you're okay.

Speaking as both a parent and a caregiver, I think I can safely say that you're much more likely to get angry with your own child. A nanny isn't so likely to lose it because:

a) she's not as emotionally invested. Yes, she'll be fond of that little muffin; she may even love her - but not like a parent;

b) she's only seen this a gazillion times before, so she knows when to worry (which is not nearly as often as parents do!), and she knows it's not personal.

3/17/2006 8:07 AM  
Anonymous Stephanie said...

Hilarious. We are going through this with our 11 month old. We do some pretty weird stuff to get her to eat. We discovered last week, at our wits end, that she likes beans, hummus, and the like, on crackers and will use the cracker as a spoon to scoop it into her mouth. She totally ignores the cracker (and spoons, for that matter. She won't use them or be used BY them. Evil). The best part? No gas...

I tend to think if it's not so messy you'll still be finding pieces in your hair at her high school graduation, she won't find it worthy enough to eat...

She loves banana bread, string cheese and cooked noodles (fortified or veggie) of any kind. But not every day. I have to be inventive or she gets bored (or I'm not inventive and she spits her food out). I'm bad...I don't bother with dishes any more and just put the food directly on her high chair tray. I wipe it down afterwards with a clorox wipe. She's like three kids in one so I rarely have time for anything else.

We put cereal on our coffee table for her to graze on while playing (Chex and Kashi "people"--she turns her nose up at Cheerios). Hey, it's fortified. I do what I must. She loves it--walks around, grabs a handful, bangs her play table. Crushed cereal is where it's at. However, she eats more in two minutes at the coffe table than she does in ten minutes in the high chair. She'll also eat ANYTHING when we're at a restaurant, a friend's house, the babysitter's or if it's someone else's food. This kid who ate like she was starving two months ago and loved veggies! ALL about the independence.

3/19/2006 6:29 PM  
Blogger nita said...

new here.


my kid is the most amazing eater. i've always put 4 or 5 things on her plate and let her do her thing. she signs for 'more' so i know what she really likes. i'm as wound as they come, but i've managed to allow her to eat what she wants to, out of a bunch of healthy choices. try it!

and she brushes her teeth in the tub! again, it's the not making a big deal out of it. she'll let me help her a little but, as my husband says, those teeth are going to fall out anyway and a little brushing is better than no brushing.

3/20/2006 6:26 AM  

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