What's Hard to Swallow

One thing I don’t enjoy is getting advice about my girls, especially on an already sensitive topic. You better believe I am not reading the magazine at the doctor’s office featuring a 22-year-old model without stretch marks holding what is obviously not her baby next to the headline, “How to get your child to stop whining in 3 easy steps”.

The millennial in me is not open to suggestions, especially as it pertains to what I consider to be my most glorious achievements: my daughters. I would rather stand naked in the middle of the street than say, “I need help understanding my kids!” I’m the expert because I know when they are outside shrieking like elephants they have come into contact with a bee, or a fly, or a spider which they also call a “bee”. Turns out I am not an expert in knowing how to get Charlotte to pick up food and place it in her mouth, chew and then swallow. Whether it be a vegetable or quinoa, I was bribing her, pleading and losing the daily war on food.

My husband arrived home one night last week to me ugly crying while chopping bok choy. He assumed, based on my theatrics, that I had severed a finger, so imagine his confusion when I told him that with the help of my sister, I had sought counsel with a nutritionist. My husband, having been on this carousel with me for quite a while responded with, “Is this one of those times that you want me to problem solve or do you just need me to nod and agree with you?” Sigh, love him.

I allowed myself just that night to grieve the end of the era of me knowing everything and I woke up in the morning full of hope that no matter what the day looked like we were going to do what was suggested. That day was a lot like Britney’s 2007 performance on the VMAs the year she shaved her head: too much unnecessary nudity, a lot of mis-steps and over all just a hot mess. But we got through it (as did Britney) and every day since, we have continued to have success at the table.

 Madeleine enjoying her lunch of spinach and broccoli.

Madeleine enjoying her lunch of spinach and broccoli.

The crux of it is, is that somebody else knew better than I did how to help my kids with nutrition. And me accepting her help doesn’t make me any less of a mother, but it does make me a better one. They say it takes a village to raise a child and sometimes, for us moms, that can be hard to swallow.

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