All This Food

Life with the toddler every day is pretty fun for the most part. She seems to do something new every few days, or a whole lotta new things in one day. Last week she walked around the flat singing every song she could remember. This week she’s started stretching out her syllables to make up her own songs. Just a few days ago, she put a railroad together (I handed her pieces at random and she snapped them together). Afterwards, while I was doing the dishes, she dug into the cabinets to pull out bowls and used her play utensils to set the table, serving Jack and myself chocolate pie, lemon meringue tarts, and vitamins.

These are just a few of the good recent moments in life. But of course, there are also a good number of moments that make me want to smash my head into a wall. I wouldn’t mention them all (unless you’re looking for someone to commiserate with you about the terrible twos. Then I will gladly let you that you are not alone in every terrible thing). The one thing she does right now (relevant to this post) that drives me up the wall is to point at a bite of food and demand that this bite be her bite. The problem is that the bite she wants is the one I’ve just bitten, already in my mouth, being chewed. This bite is all that matters, and the matter quickly devolves into tears.

I don’t understand why. I tell her so. “Look at all this food. This food is the same food that I’ve just eaten. You have plenty of it.” She refuses and points to my mouth. I point back to the food in front of her (usually multiple choices). We go back and forth. Ad nauseum. I can only surmise that this is a phase.

One day as I was explaining to her that she has all this food and that hankering after someone else’s portion is just silly, I realized that more than anything, I was the one that needed to hear those words. I don’t know how much benefit they had for her, but there was benefit for myself. I wrote a little while ago about wanting a second child. I don’t deny those feelings, and they still exist. But I also see the need to move past them after acknowledging them, because I have all this food in front of me, too. Life is rich and it’s been crazy good, and I want to take it all in without looking after others’ gifts as well. Seems to me that I get upset with my toddler because hankering after something someone else has when there’s so much abundance already borders on ungratefulness, and I need to learn the same lesson.

I’ve learned to just wait it out, or give lots of hugs until the toddler calms down enough to realize that there is indeed a lot of good food in front of her. In fact, when she was serving her food to us, she exclaimed, “睇下, 咁多好野食!” (Look, so many good things to eat!), something I say to her when she’s calmer. And yet I’m the same way as her. I wonder, too, how much more patience God must have to deal with me. As much of a toddler as I am in many things, I write this to remind myself that I must sit down and enjoy the good things just as they are right now.

Recent favourite food: crepes and whipped cream. Well, the whipped cream has always been a favourite. She doesn’t care that there’s no sugar. And crepes have more protein than pancakes, so hurrah! Protein and fat for the toddler XD.


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