Ask the Readers: Handling Picky Eaters

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Categories Ask the Readers, Feeding, Feeding Older Children, Foodie Fridays, Solid Foods, Theme Week, ToddlersTags , , 8 Comments

It’s been a while since we’ve Asked the Readers. Please, help us out in the comments!

What is your favourite trick for tempting a picky child at mealtime?

I was quietly ecstatic when my kids first took to solid food. Fish, spinach, fennel—they loved them all. I thought they were set for a lifetime of adventurous eating. I hadn’t read far enough into child development books, though.

At around age 2, kids tend to get pickier in their eating habits. It makes sense. The hunter-gatherer argument is a compelling one. 2-year-olds stop putting anything and everything in their mouths, including many foods, because that is the age they would start straying farther from their mothers in hunter-gatherer societies. This pickiness is a survival instinct that lasts until they are old enough to make mature choices regarding what is safe to eat.

Whether their pickiness is explainable or not, picky eaters present an enormous challenge to parents. When M was at her pickiest, she could go two days on nothing but milk if nothing struck her fancy. I worried that she would starve. She’s only recently begun enjoying food again.

Please share how you deal (or would deal) with picky eaters.

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can i make my twins wear Thing 1 and Thing 2 shirts?

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Categories Ask the Readers, Identical, Mommy Issues, Multiple Types, Other people, Parenting Twins, Relationships, School-AgeTags , , , , , , 9 Comments

Nearly everyone has an opinion about dressing twins alike. (Mine? It’s adorable when they’re little, but a luxury people who dress mostly in hand-me-downs can rarely afford!) My boys have a handful of matched shirts — gifts from their grandma, or the fruit of a Target clearance rack. Every so often they like to dress alike, and cackle together about their plans to confuse people. For the most part, though, they dress in totally different things.

It has not helped people tell them apart, except that once a person asks, “Are you G or P?” he or she can keep track more easily for the rest of the day.

All last school year they had different haircuts, but still very few of their classmates and teachers could remember who was who.

This year they have a wonderful teacher I trust. I know he cares about them as individuals, and is working hard to learn to tell them apart. They have the same haircut now, and it obscures the two easiest “tells” — their different hairlines, and a fading scar on one boy’s forehead.

As I said last year in one of my many *upset* posts [that got me crying again reading it now],

…my little boys …are actual peoplewho deserve to be recognized and called by name and valued as individuals. How can you love or even like a person if you don’t recognize him, or can’t differentiate him from another?

So I’m trying to help their teacher (and them) out, by color-coding them. G in green or grey, and P in blue.

Problem is, they don’t always want to wear their assigned colors. They understand why we’re doing this, but sometimes P wants to wear the grey shirt. Or they both want to wear blue shirts. I’m only comfortable pushing this up to a point.

What are your thoughts on this? My boys are 7. How hard should I push them to wear color-coded clothes to school? I feel like I am crossing some sort of civil rights line in the sand when I tell P he has to save his grey shirt for the weekend and wear the blue one like I asked.
Jen is a work-from-home mom of 7-year-old twin boys, and two girls ages 4.5 and 9. She also blogs at Minivan MacGyver, where she teaches readers how to survive various life crises with materials commonly found in a 5-door family vehicle with seating for 7.

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Climbing Toddlers

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Categories Ask the Moms, Ask the Readers, Parenting, Parenting Twins, Safety, Toddlers13 Comments
Andrew's infamous window climb. Window was taped off with cardboard shortly after.

I thought I’d given myself enough time for this post, but once again, I’ve procrastinated. …and by procrastinated, I mean I’ve cleaned, chased babies, did laundry, made meals, and cleaned some more. Hello, I’m last minute Margie from Double the Giggles.  I’m so happy to be a new addition to HDYDI, a blog I’ve turned to for multiples advice many times in the past.

As a mom to two very active ‘almost‘ two year old boys, I face many challenges.  Daredevil was never something I’d thought I’d have to deal with…well, not just yet, I guess.  My little Andrew is very strong and loves to jump, leap, climb and flip.   The kid does a better summersault than I did after years of gymnastics class.  That’s problem #1.   Problem #2 is that my little Wesley is not as coordinated (ahem, bull in China shop) however, has a severe case of the Monkey See, Monkey Do’s.

Insert Band-Aid here.

The boy’s latest feat is the bookshelf in their room.   The bookshelf has been stripped of it’s many toys and books (by the boys, themselves) and is now used as a playground toy.   Fear not, it’s firmly bolted to the wall.  My husband and I have come up with all sorts of innovative baby-proofing in our house, but where does it end?  If I tape poster board over the lower shelves to deter climbing, it will only get torn off.   The changing table/dresser has already been removed from their room due to climbing… Is it time to remove the bookshelf now, too?  Is it crazy to have just beds in their room?

My question to other moms of multiples who have dealt with this is:  When saying “Don’t Climb” and/or “Feet on the Floor” don’t work, and your toddlers are determined to climb and jump beyond where it’s considered acceptable (say, at a playground or in a bounce house), what tricks worked for you in keeping them grounded?  I have endless kisses for boo-boos, but all these Band-Aids are getting pricey…

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Ask the readers…. How do YOU do it?

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Categories Ask the Readers, Preschoolers6 Comments

We are making some changes with the blog.  Over the next month will be welcoming some new bloggers which will mean more frequent postings and more diverse experiences.  In August we are going to have a theme week (Back to (pre)School).

I though I would start of this period of transition, by changing my approach. Rather than telling how I do it, I’m going to ask you what you would do.

Here’s my situation.  All three kids (4 year + 2 year old twins) are going to full day playschool one day a week in the fall. My son, the older child, is also going to playschool the rest of the week. I’ll preparing lots of lunches, snacks, backpacks, and changes of clothes.

I bought sticky name labels for my son (blue labels with a train) when he started playschool, and I think they’re great.  Instead of finding a permanent marker, I just peel and stick labels on his shoes, clothes, snack containers, etc. I’m planning to order labels for the girls’ playschool supplies too.

Name Labels

Here are some of the options I’m considering:

– Ordering a batch of labels with a color and style different from my son’s with just our last name for the girls to share.  If we run out of labels for my son, he’ll use these ones too.

– Ordering a batch of labels for each girl with a symbol for each. They are only 2.5 so I’m not sure they’ll recognize their names yet. The color options are limited so I’m not sure I can get a different color for each girl – and I don’t want to have everything pink just because they are girls.

– Ordering some of each.  That way shared/family items like dishes for snacks and lunch can have just the last name, and individual items like backpacks can have the full names.

Colored containers

Keep in mind, our girls still share everything.  They are the same size so all clothing, shoes, and hats are shared. The only things that they really have that is their own are their beds.  They always sleep in the same bed. They also tend to choose the same chair at the table.

I’m looking forward to your suggestions!

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