I t seems like yesterday, but a few years ago, during a snack break my eldest with a look of disgust shouted at my middle child: "Use a spoon! You’re breaking the rules of Jell-O!!” It’s another one of those kidisms that I have filed away to share with my kids when they start dating as a subtle means of embarrassment. Parents are good like that, and I look forward to utilizing that right as a parent. By the time my kids are teens I will have more than earned it.
My biggest boy has always been a bit of a boss man in my free spirited little lady’s presence, but she has never had trouble standing her ground because she was graced with a voice seven times the size of her beanpole body. While they’re seemingly Type A & Type B polar opposites, they do know how to balance their little, growing personalities. At the time, it was pretty gross to witness her scooping gelatinous food with her fingers as she ate it, but I didn’t put the kibosh on it the way my eldest so abruptly did.
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That's one of the many things that's seemingly fun about life at the ripe age of three - the rules of Jell-O and the like. Can they really be broken?
I’ve witnessed my daughter eat her food and sip on a straw simultaneously. This is also alarming table etiquette, but if she’s happy I feel I shall pick and choose my battles when teaching manners. At least she has stopped putting her spaghetti noodles into her straw. Tonight at dinner I witnessed my rigid seven year old son scooping peas into his fingers and then onto his spoon prior to shoveling them into his mouth. I did utter something about the proper way to use a spoon, but honestly I was just proud he was putting a hurting on his peas!
Perhaps I choose to be a lackadaisical parent at times, but I can’t help but think that life would be slightly better if we could occasionally play with our food, not be so tidy at the table or in the home, and just chill out? I’m tired. I’m tired of cleaning. It’s a job that never ends. I’m tired of attempting to maintain a home while balancing a work life, a romantic life, a sleep schedule, etc. Motherhood is utterly exhausting no matter what age your child/children is/are. I’m tired of running in circles and feeling like nothing really gets accomplished. I’m tired of pretending to be Rosy. I want life to slow down. I want to learn how to relax.
The only thing I can think of that may help my situation is to start breaking the rules of Jell-O more often. My future retirement village, the fictitious Shady Acres, will surely kick me out for this behavior some day or stick me in a padded room where I will most likely belong someday. Until then I’m going to start making some messes, learn to curb my undiagnosed OCD’s, and enjoy the messes I make. I’m not going to waste any more time being too particular. Life’s too short. Please pass the Jell-O.