I love my twins. They are my pride and joy. I stay up at night looking at Instastories of them and send way too many photos of them to my family and friends. But four times a day they turn into gremlins and it literally drives me crazy. My twin mom confession? I hate feeding my toddler twins.
1. The mess.
Perhaps your children are angels and you lovingly spoon feed them homemade organic yogurt you cultivated from your farm. Perhaps your children are insane and paint themselves in store-bought generic yogurt like mine. Maybe I just gave them too much independence from day one and thought that letting them explore food, taste, and texture was the way to go. Maybe I was tired and just didn’t want to sit through an hour-long meal. But whatever it is, my children cannot stay clean during mealtimes.
I can literally give them a graham cracker and they will end up with a mess of cracker caked on their face, hands, hair and all over my floor. Their teachers at school, grandparents and the like all comment on how messy they eat. Is this normal? I have no idea, but it is maddening.
What’s worse, one of my girls is in Occupational Therapy and her therapist insists that I need to let them explore textures even more to help with sensory processing. So on one hand grandparents think my children are a hot mess, and a professional thinks they are too clean. Me? I’m just over here with a glass of wine praying I make it through dinner.
2. Are you really eating anything?
But really. Why is it that they are ALWAYS hungry yet all their food ends up on my floor, walls, and ceiling? True story, I recently found applesauce splattered on my ceiling. Don’t ask because I have no clue how that happened.
I’m fortunate that I don’t have picky eaters, except during designated meal times. Meal time is a chaotic symphony of splatters, crumbs, and World Series pitching of food. Any time outside of meal time, they will eat ANYTHING I put in front of them – even broccoli. However, the second they are buckled in the high chair, throwing food becomes an Olympic sport.
3. Why is gravity such a hard concept to learn?
I’m constantly amazed at what sponges little ones are. They understand everything, even if they can’t communicate it yet. My girls are learning a second language and they can understand anything you say in Spanish or English. Yet the concept of gravity must be extremely difficult because they still don’t get it. Day after day, meal after meal, food is dropped from the table. How long did it take Newton to understand gravity? Because I’m pretty sure even he figured it out faster than my girls.
4. My dog is getting ill.
Our dog is 13 and he’s not able to eat like he once did. The first few months after our girls started eating solid foods, he became really sick. We ran blood work, constantly took him to the vet and then, after all those expenses piled up, discovered that all the table scraps from our gremlins was the root cause of his mysterious illness.
Not a problem, we just keep him away from the kitchen during mealtime, right? Not so easy. Any parent of toddlers will tell you just how important it is to throw snacks at your children when they get a 4 pm sass attack. Except that now my girls LOVE their fur brother and are constantly sneaking him their snacks. And thus the cycle of dog throw up continues.
5. The ants go marching…
I knew it was inevitable. One cannot have a toddler, much less two, in the home, without finding crumbs everywhere. And I consider myself a relatively clean person. I swear by my dust buster, sweep after every meal, wipe down the highchairs, etc. Yet one day, those darn little ants came marching in by the dozens. How is it that no matter how hard I try, I find Cheerios everywhere? I even invested in those little snack cups they stick their hands in but those have failed me too. Thank goodness for exterminators.
6. Al fresco dining.
The weather is finally tolerable where we live, so my husband and I have taken to al fresco dining. We encourage the twins to eat as many meals as possible outside. Why? I can literally take the hose and spray down the picnic table and patio. Problem solved, sanity restored.
I know this season won’t last forever, and I know I will look back on photos and videos of their messy faces, hands and applesauce finger paintings with a chuckle one day. But for now, I’m just trying to get through mealtime without losing my mind. And on days when I just can’t handle cleaning up one more time and we go out to eat, I apologize in advance if it’s your restaurant. Believe me when I say we cleaned up our table and it’s still a hazmat zone.
Stefani Zimmerman Drake is a wife, twin mom and lover of rescue dogs. As a strategic communications consultant who runs her own business in Charleston, South Carolina, Stefani and her husband spend their time capturing all the sweet moments of their girls, while always dreaming about their next big adventure. You can follow their adventures online or via Instagram stories.