Every day the wonderful happens…

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It Really Was for their Own Safety January 30, 2012

Filed under: everyday life,mama of boys — Elizabeth @ 9:15 PM

There are many, many things that make me want to tear my hair out and gnash my teeth and put on a hair shirt when we’re talking mothering.  Isaac stops mid-dinner most nights and announces that he needs to poop and that he would like someone to come watch him please.  Matthew spills yogurt drink on his cloth dining room chair pretty much every day.  But the two things that push me over the edge are 1) the constant “Mom?  look at this”, “hey mom, look!”, “check this out, Mom” coming from the back seat while I try to drive.  I must get asked to view something behind me about 18 times for every mile I drive.  And I calmly say, “you know I cannot turn around while I drive.  My job is to keep you safe.” every time.  And bite my cheeks until they bleed.  2) I’m hungry.

Shall I elaborate?  I put on a 25 minute TV show and start washing dishes, paying bills, relaxing, anything.  Right when I get going, Isaac calls, “I’m hungry!”.  I get him a snack and get back to business and Matthew mumbles, “I hungry too.  Hungry.”  This cycle continues forever.  They each ate about 4 snacks during one TV show the other day.  I think Isaac is growing.  He ate 4 bananas before lunch the other day.  So for their very safety, I made the snack drawer.

Behold:

There is one in the refrigerator too with cheese sticks, yogurt, and homemade granola bars.  The rule right now is get whatever you want, whenever you want.  I don’t want or need to know about it.  The trick is that I feel pretty darn good about 85% of the food in there.  The other 15% I still feel good about, I just want them to have it in moderation.  There is only one catch.  No snacks when the pantry says “STOP”.

I switch it over when meal time is coming up or if I just think they are overeating or something.  But if they see this, it’s a free for all:

There is only one change I think I will make.  I’m going to take the snacks that I want them to eat only in moderation (gummies, yogurt raisins, and cookies) and put them in a special basket that means they can only have one thing from the basket every day.  I’m trying to gauge what they are eating now and see if I need to.  The first snacks they chose were an apple (Matthew) and pretzels (Isaac).  If they start to abuse the sweets, I may move forward.  We’ll see.

Already I am less hostile towards them, and in general.  Leaving for church on Sunday, I just hollered, “everybody grab a snack”.  And while they still ask if they can have a snack, no action is required on my part.

Glorious.  Glorious, I tell you.

Now how can we make them leave me alone while I’m driving?

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10 Responses to “It Really Was for their Own Safety”

  1. deb jacobs Says:

    what a great idea!!

  2. I think you may be brilliant. Seriously! Although I cannot relate to the constant hungry thing because I pretty much have to bribe Ben to eat anything. Coincidentally, I implemented the red light / green light signs in my preschool classroom 2 weeks ago and it is already helping me to be a much more sane individual. Kudos.

  3. Kimberly Says:

    I’ve done snack baskets during the summer when the endless “can I have a snack?” thing was driving me batty. Unfortunately, Leah is terrible with the part of the rule that necessitates her eating the entire snack before grabbing another. Half-eaten apples and cubes of cheese hidden under furniture are not fun to find three days later. Ugh.

  4. Yvonne Says:

    Ahh! A great answer to the question of how to limit the availability of snack near meal times! I hope it continues to work well for you and it’s something to consider over here as it seems a couple of my kids are always hungry!

  5. claudia Says:

    This is brilliant. BRILLIANT.

  6. Christy Says:

    Love it! My girls are constant snackers too. I can never tell if they are truly hungry or just bored.

  7. christine Says:

    Oooo… I love the red light/green light action! We have a snack drawer as well… but too many meals have been ruined. I’m so “borrowing” this idea! Love it! As for the car thing… we have a “red light rule” – he may only ask me to look away from the road when I am at a red light. It doesn’t always work, but it has helped!

  8. I REALLY love this idea.

  9. Melissa Says:

    I LOVE the snack drawer idea, but I think my controlling self would worry (probably needlessly) that they would eat it all the time and not want dinner.

    And so glad to hear that my kids are not the only ones who ask over and over and over for me to look at their stuff while I’m driving. And I bite my cheek too to keep from yelling sometimes. 😉

  10. Sue Says:

    you are a genius and i am stealing your idea!!
    leo is in a terrible state of S’s:
    spilling (i have given up mopping my floor…don’t walk in my kitchen barefoot)
    spitting (mostly at drew…with food or drink in his mouth)
    scared (all the time of anything and everything)
    snacking (it is RIDICULOUS the amount he eats…all carbs…nothing else and it’s driving me insane)

    you have just helped me solved one of my problem S’s. thank you very much!!!


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