Meal times at our house tend to be kind of insane. Lunch in particular is a thrilling part of our day. Typically it’s just me and the girls and typically it’s anything but calm and relaxed. Today was no exception. Here’s how it all went down……
11:30 a.m. I try to sneak into the kitchen to begin heating up lunch plates without the girls noticing. You’d think that my “leftovers for 99% of lunches” plan would mean stress-free meal time, wouldn’t you? You’d be wrong.
11:33 a.m. Abby’s dish is ready to go, her milk cup is full, and I quietly plunk it all down on her little table, carefully setting it close to the wall so Evie can’t reach it from her favorite “attack Big Sister’s food” spot.
11:34 a.m. I tell Abby to come and get it (that’s right, there is no such thing as all sitting down at the same time to a calm family meal) as I’m madly dicing up a plate of food for Evelyn. Abby comes over: “Can I have keifer?” Me: “Drink your milk first and then I’ll let you have some.” She sits down, takes one bite, and then notices Evie is frantically crawling towards her table. Abs: “MAMA!!!!!!!! Evie is gonna get my food! No, Evie, Noooo!”
11:35 a.m. Me: “Think of a nicer way to talk to your sister please!” I throw Evie’s plate into the microwave and start to scoop out my own meal. Abs: “No, honey! This food isn’t for you! Mama is getting yours for you.” Evie stands up at Abby’s table and tries to reach her food. Abs: “Evie’s grabbing my food!” Me: “Abby, she can’t even reach your food OR your milk! I put them along the wall!” Abby continues shrieking and I glance over. *sigh* Sure enough, Abby has resettled her plate so it is within Little Sister’s reach. Me: “Abby, move your food back over and then Evie can’t get at it.” Abby moves it back against the wall.
11:36 a.m. Evelyn is screeching loudly at Abby for moving her food away. This is followed by a frustrated Evie grabbing the legs of Abby’s table and yanking it towards her. This is in turn followed by Abby smacking her hands down on the table to try and hold it still. Annnnd this is followed by a tottering cup full of milk hitting the floor with a nice, solid thud. Spill proof cup? Try again. The lid popped off and that very full cup of milk went everywhere.
11:37-11:40 a.m. I’m on my hands and knees with a roll of paper towels, mopping up a giant mess with one hand while holding the baby back with the other hand. Abby, “Can I have some keifer now?” I didn’t want to respond, but she asked me repeatedly about ten more times and I couldn’t ignore her any longer. (Why is it that Caleb can genuinely tune the girls out at a moments notice and I absolutely can not. I hear every. single. thing. all. day. long. Must be nice….) Me: “Sure. Give me a minute.” Abby: “Why?” Me: “I’m cleaning your mess…” Abby: “Weeeeell, it’s kind of my mess and kind of my fault and kind of Evie’s mess too. And, why did the milk spill? etc. etc.”
11:41-11:43 a.m. I place Evie in her high chair, put her food in front of her, throw my food in the microwave, and go searching for Evie’s sippy cup because she’s signing “water” as if she hasn’t had a drink for a week! Abby: “Whew! Pant. Pant. I’m sooo thirsty. Can I have my keifer, Mama?” Me: “I’m trying to get Evie’s water. Give me a minute.” Abby hops up, runs over to the living room and magically pulls the sippy cup out from who knows where. Abby: “Here it is, Mama! I found it! Yup! Yup! I found it!” Me: “Thank you, honey.” Of course it’s almost empty.
11:44-11:46 a.m. I clean out and fill up Evie’s cup and hand it to her. Then, I clean out Abby’s cup, fill it with keifer and get her settled back at her table. Abby has a bad cold and is feeling extra needy lately. Abby: “Mama, I can’t eat. Can you help me?” (she wants me to spoon feed her) Me: “sigh, Abigail, I will help you in a bit, but try to take a few bites on your own. I am hungry too and would like to eat a little.”
11:47 a.m. I take my food out of the microwave and over to the table and grab a bite. It’s cold. Back to the microwave. Evelyn is whining because she somehow managed to inhale her entire amount of food and is in desperate need of more.
11:48 a.m. – noon I get my food and take a couple scoops out to cut up for Evie. While I’m working on that I notice Abs is not eating. Me: “Okay, come over here, Abby. I’ll help you eat a few bites.” Abby jumps up and somehow manages to get her food onto my table without losing it all over the floor in transition. I cut up food for Evie, dumping it in her dish as it’s ready, and she eats it as I dump it, whining if she gets ahead of me. Every little bit I stop to pop a bite into Abby’s mouth. The trick is to catch her in the middle of a word when her mouth is wide open as she never actually stops talking (unless there’s company).
12:01 p.m. My kids have finished eating. I wash Abby off, set her down, and race to grab Evie’s empty glass dish right before she whips it to the ground. My reflexes are fine-tuned, people!
12:02-12:07 p.m. I lift an actual food tornado out of the high chair (I think this used to be my baby?) and food cascades EVERYWHERE! I give her a half bath in the sink and it turns out it really is my little Evie under all that! I send her into the living room and pick up the aftermath before she decides it’s a good idea to re-explore it all or Abby unwittingly tramples through it in her dire need to tell me something “interesting.” I grab another bite of lunch. Ugh. It’s cold. Again.
12:08-12:14 p.m. I heat my food up, yet again, and shovel it down before I run out of time. For the last half, I’m joined by my hovering crew. Abby really wants to sit on my lap, directly in front of my mouth and Evie is hungry again and would really appreciate it if I would share a few bites. Quiet time anyone?
This is an excellent portrayal of our usual daily chaos, but there’s still no where else I would rather be! Okay… maybe bed, but other than that. 😉