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Humor@Home: How Do I Eat This?

Why I Was Always Starving When My Kids Were Small

How Do I Eat This?

Nothing is the same after you have kids. Take eating, for instance. And I don’t mean feeding your child. I mean feeding yourself. Actual eating. Before having children, you may have eaten two, possibly three, meals a day. These meals may have taken place in your home, in a restaurant, at your job, or in your car as you gulped down your Egg McMuffin on the way to work. Whatever. You ate. Meals. Food that you either prepared yourself or purchased yourself. For yourself.

After you have a baby, of course, there is no thought to preparing—never mind eating—meals for yourself.

In the two years after my first baby was born, I could not figure out how to feed myself. I couldn’t put the baby down, because she would cry. (And I don’t just mean fuss. I mean she would panic and scream and hyperventilate—and, if that didn’t get my attention, she would eventually vomit.) So I would stand in front of the refrigerator and try to open it with one hand. Then, I would hold the door open with a foot, while I looked in to discover that I could find no food because I had not gone shopping for food. On a good day, I might spot a piece of non-moldy cheese. If that cheese was in the drawer, I would squat down level with the drawer, holding the refrigerator door open with my back, hoping the dog would not see this as an opportunity to come up and lick my face—or the baby—and then try, with one hand, to open the drawer and grab the cheese. Then, like a mouse with my prize in one hand, and my baby in the other, I would try to close the drawer with a knee while still holding the refrigerator open with my back. There would be no way to slice this cheese or put it on a piece of bread, of course. So it would just be… bite into the cheese. There’s lunch. Only six hours to go till someone comes home to rescue me from baby duty and make some dinner.

It wasn’t just infancy that baffled me, either. I couldn’t eat in restaurants with my toddler because—duh, I had to feed the toddler or gather her up from climbing under the table. Even now, when I see a child sitting politely (or even just sitting at all) in a high chair at a restaurant, I want to march up to the parents and inform them that they don’t have any idea what a good baby they have. (In all fairness, my baby was good; she was just “good” at different things. Her talents had nothing to do with sitting in a chair. Mainly, my child was apt to fall out of chairs—up to the age of… well, I’d rather not say, as a matter of fact. And, if there was a table around, another talent was to climb—either on top of it or underneath it.)

I don’t remember leaving the house in those early years without either spit-up on my shoulder or baby food on my pants. Or both. But never had I personally eaten a meal.

My husband eats. That’s one great thing about being the dad. You get to eat. You don’t even have to just sneak M&Ms when you’re driving and your kids are in their rear-facing car seats and can’t see you hoarding the treats. You can actually eat meals. While sitting at a table. With plates and silverware.

As for me, it was cheese straight from the refrigerator and M&M’s in the car until my kids were old enough to tie their own shoes and tell time.

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Tags: Food & Home, Infant & Baby, Parenting

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