Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Backyard Picnic

I've mentioned before that my daughter is not the most well behaved child. She's wild, loud, and very stubborn. Lately though I've noticed that her behaviour is more manageable when she eats three balanced meals and doesn't do a lot of snacking in between. Don't get me wrong, she's still wild and loud and stubborn, just more on an even keel. So I've made it my goal to get her to eat better.

There is a one flaw in my plan: She's four. She has no desire to eat better. Some days she has no desire to eat at all and would be perfectly happy drinking glass after glass of Ovaltine. Plus, there is no reasoning with her and she doesn't even understand bribes yet. So I have to resort to trickery. Occasionally I sneak veggies into her food but I know this isn't good for building a lifelong love of good stuff. I have to make eating the good stuff fun.

Yesterday I broke the routine and packed her lunch in a picnic basket, grabbed some blankets, and we went out to the backyard.
She was totally excited about the idea of a picnic.While we ate she told me stories. Stories about Spongebob Squarepants and crabby patties and how Plankton is always trying to steal the secret formula. (Spongebob is a huge part of our lives.) Maybe this was what was missing from our usual lunches, the togetherness and the chit chat. Normally when she's eating, I'm cleaning the kitchen or folding laundry.

After awhile she was all talked out and she had eaten her lunch (an organic yogurt tube and a peanut butter sandwich--it was on disgusting cheap white bread, but whatever---I'm choosing my battles at this point.) Almost unbelievably she then laid next to me and rested for a bit. It didn't last long, but the few moments of quiet were nice.

I think I accomplished a lot with this little picnic. The girl ate something moderately healthy and I was reminded that there is nothing wrong with taking a few moments to relax everyday.

Yesterday my friend CT was talking about stopping to notice and enjoy the everyday things we may take for granted. I know I'm guilty of overlooking some of the good in my life. Being a stay at home mom can be a drag a lot of the times but yesterday was fun. What other job allows you to leave work and sit on a Spongebob blanket with your daughter and bunch of Yo Gabba Gabbas?


Nowheymama said...


Miss D. said...

That sounds so sweet and fun (for both of you).

Carla said...

How nice! Moments like that are one of the great parts of being a mom. As I'm sure you know...I totally understand the eating challenges with kids. You can't force feed them, just give them healthy options which it sounds like you're doing.

Mari said...

Sounds lovely! 4 is a great age.

hester said...

I loved this post, Tammie.It sounds so much like our house. I just wish we could come over and hang out in your backyard with you. My big girl is a fussy eater and she LOVES Spongebob.

Tammie said...

thanks hester. its a struggle for me sometimes--finding balance between what i want to do and what i need to do, especially when it concerns this kid. she can be trying at times and my first impulse is to just leave the room and let her do whatever she wants. i know thats wrong obviously, but she can be exhausting.

consider this an open invite to come and hang in my backyard--just give me notice so i can make sure the boy picks up all the piles of dog poo---they can definitely ruin a picnic pretty quickly. :)

Missa said...

You've inspired me, I think it may be time for Clover and I to have our first mother/daughter picnic ;)