It’s a very popular phrase in my house and sometimes I feel like responding by saying ‘I don’t like you anymore’. Let me set the scene, ma petite famille consists of JuJu aged 2 years and 2 months and Tt aged 10 months, not forgetting Maman et Papa. Yes I’ve got Irish twins or as we like to call them French twins (well there is 16 months between them and their papa hails from the land of frogs and snails).
So what is life really like with two babies? Crazy, chaotic, neurotic, sleep deprived, messy and full of amour. When JuJu arrived my life was thrown into complete chaos. I was overwhelmed, terrified and clueless about how to look after a tiny little creature. They don’t send you home from the hospital with an instruction booklet. When we rescued two dogs we had to go through a big interview and had a home visit yet when you have a baby you are pretty much left to your own devices! I doubted myself at every turn, shed buckets of tears and feared that my days of ever being able to go to the toilet on my own were over. I assumed that all new moms felt this way and as I made my merry way along to a few ‘new mom’ type activities wearing my heart on my sleeve I got the shock of my life….. the other moms were all just fine and dandy. All of a sudden I was confronted by the dark underworld that exists, the ‘let’s pretend our babies are perfect, that life is amazing and it’s the most magical time of your life’.
Post pregnancy hormones took over, I reacted badly to the fact that everyone was doing fantastically well apart from me. Just to clarify I am the type of person who believes what people tell me, I take things at face value. I believed everything all the new moms said and drove myself insane thinking that I clearly lacked maternal feelings and instinct and had something wrong with me for wanting to run away and join the circus on bad days. Luckily for me a little angel in the form of my very grounded sister who is a pro mother of three gorgeous boys finally set me straight, she explained to me the world of fibbing and blagarding that goes on amongst mothers. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate that society pressurises us into being supermums or at least making out like we are but that’s just not me. I’m honest, I tell it like it is and don’t believe in making out that my life is perfect, it’s not! I made a decision when I discovered people stretch the truth about parenting to be always truthful about my experiences both good and bad and I’m going to share them with you in this blog along with a few other bits and bobs.
So back to the headline…. ‘I don’t like it anymore’… yes the tricky world of toddler eating! When Juju started eating solids I thought it was amazing. I could give her any combination of vegetables, meat, fruit and she would devour it. We thought we were great sending her off to the childminder with explicit instructions not to give her any junk. I’m going to keep her pure and wholesome…. fast forward 18 months. The world of food has now turned into an ongoing battle of wills. I am told every day all day that she doesn’t like anything anymore and I tell her that I will have to call Doctor Brown Bear (for those that have wall to wall Peppa Pig you will be very familiar with this expert Doctor) to tell him that she didn’t eat her dinner. Of course let’s be honest here and recognise that if Kinder Eggs and biscuits were superfoods then I would be on Peppa Pig’s back. There have been times in desperation I’ve used the old choc-choc bribe… eat your dinner and you can have an egg. Some days it works and others I get told that the untouched dinner is ‘all gone’ and therefore an egg has been earned. I beat myself up over the awful eating. I feel guilty like I’m not looking after her future well-being.
Then I pull myself aside and remind myself that I can only do what I can do, it’s a phase that she will come out of – eventually. This works until I accidentally bump into the Sugar Rush show on RTE where Dr Eva tells us that there should be no sugar before 2 and after 2 it should be 4 teaspoons a day. Ok Eva don’t visit our house, we try our best but it’s bloody hard.
I should have mentioned that I love cooking and trying new recipes. My recent cooking is a far cry from the goats cheese, pesto and truffle oil revolution that has engulfed the nation. It’s now about trying to sneak a few good things into the food world of the belligerent toddler. Here’s a simple one to start with and it’s surprisingly good and low in sugar!
Cheeky Tomato and Veg Pizza
3 medium sized tomatoes
splash of olive oil
2 red peppers
3/4 tsps. of grated cheddar
Wash and quarter the tomatoes, wash, de seed and slice the peppers. Wash and slice the courgettes. Place on a baking tray and sprinkle a little olive oil over. Bake in medium oven (180 degrees C) for 20 mins or until soft. Remove your veg and push through a fine sieve over a bowl to remove seeds and skin. You will be left with a smooth tomato and veg sauce.
Heat a dry frying pan for a minute or two, place a tortilla wrap into the pan. Spread a couple of tablespoons of your tomato mixture on top, sprinkle with grated cheddar and cook for approx. 2 mins. Remove from the heat, allow to cool to room temperature, slice and enjoy!
This delicious and simple pizza is a great way of tricking the fussy into eating vegetables. The tomato sauce can be placed in containers and frozen. You can use this sauce for a variety of things, sauce for pasta, a base for Bolognese a substitute for the very heavily sugar laden ketchup. All sugars in this are naturally occurring apart from the wraps which contain roughly 1.6g of sugar which equates to a third of a teaspoon. All of the ingredients are available in Dunnes Stores who have a great selection of fresh produce.
Thanks for reading, and look forward to sharing more views/ideas and loves with you soon