Tag Archives: toddler

The Vegetable Monologues

Meet Lieutenant Dan.  He’s mean, he’s green and (believe it or not) he is a vegetable machine.  NO really.


Lieutenant Dan is my (not so) secret weapon in the fight to get vegetable into my VEGETARIAN son.

My soon to be 3-year-old has never been a fan, but I don’t know a whole heap of toddlers who are.  My daughter took some warming up when she was around 2 and seemed to fall for the “look, broccoli are mini trees and corn is treasure” trick.  She eats enough different types of vegetables for me not to have to worry about it.  The Monster on the other hand is so terrible that we have to ensure we create a hidden veggie sauce at least once a week in the hope that’ll be enough.  Oh, and he pretty much eats veggies at nursery 2 days a week.  Mostly.

So about a year ago the kids got these parachute soldiers in a party bag and once the strings got tangled, we were all set to chuck them and left them on the dinner table.  We were sitting down to dinner and The Monster was yet again eating all the beige, low nutrition items on his plate and ignoring the colourful vegetables, so I grabbed one of the soldiers and started a little show as the soldier started chanting “Must eat the peas. Must eat the peas”. Lo and behold when I pierced a pea with the bayonet/rifle and brought it up to TM’s mouth he hate it with glee. He then started shouting “More. More”.

And so, for a week. I was able to feed him peas and corns, provided I was up for the puppet show, the voice, the enthusiasm and the time to sit next to him to feed them one by one.

Then we lost the soldier.  For a time we made do with a plastic figurine of Sebastian (the lobstery thing from The Little Mermaid), who, with his many legs, was able to have more peas in one piercing but his legs started wobbling and we lost a few and TM lost interest in him.  The pea and corn eating stopped.

You can no imagine my utter delight when sorting out the new sofa we found the soldier again on Sunday.  We were eating a roast dinner with peas and corn that night so out he came.  A new name was attached to him (not very creative I know) and he started barking orders at TM about eating peas and corn.  Which he was very happy to do, but wouldn’t accept the broccoli. Oh well.

Of course it’s not just the voice and the barking of orders that TM like. He likes being called “Soldier” or “Private” and when he’s done well, Lieutenant Dan gives him a high-five which is TM’s opportunity to knock him for six across the table.  Causes much hilarity as he dusts himself off and grumbles about it.

Thought I’d introduce to you the one thing that has managed to get a recognisable vegetable pass my nearly 3 year olds lips.  No mean feat.

What tricks and gimmicks do you use to get your toddler’s to eat a vegetable?  I’m up for trying anything.  Next stop, Broccoli and carrots.


Not Enjoying The Age……move along please

With my first, I fought really hard to get her. Pickle was eventually conceived by IVF and then as soon as she was born, she screamed for, what felt like, solidly for 6 months or so. We found it really hard to deal with. We once came downstairs from our 6th trip up to soothe her (she was probably still crying) and sat on the sofa and cried and cried. Hubby told me that we mustn’t feel like this, we must enjoy it, we fought too hard to be miserable about it.

He was wrong of course. He knows that now. That added pressure did nothing for our feelings of failure. My daughter had colic (we did try to treat it with various things, but nothing worked) and I was in denial. It settled down eventually, of course, and then the joy began. I bonded with her, found her an absolute delight and started telling people “I’m really enjoying this age”. With each new year, I embraced the new age and the experience of getting to know this amazing little person.

3 years later and my son arrived (The baby destroyer -TBD) Natural pregnancy (albeit a few scares during it about size and amniotic fluid) and another c-section. He didn’t cry like my first. He slept……a lot! He was lovely and snuggly and because I already had my daughter Pickle I had bonded with him whilst still pregnant. He was an absolute joy to be with and as such (although it’s awful to say) he was much easier to love in those early days.

He’s 17 months now. So very different to Pickle, as boys are, and a real handful. He’s really frustrated in life too. He’s only just started walking (not very well) and he can’t talk. His pointing hasn’t proved to be very helpful to him either and so every couple 10 minutes or so he does the mother of all hissy fits. Sometimes you make him angry without really knowing why. I once brought him downstairs (he was cheerful) and he saw everyone was up and burst into tears and cried solidly for an hour. I can only assume he wasn’t expecting everyone to be there. I really don’t know. He also doesn’t eat very well. Refuses to be spoon fed so feeds himself and only wants to eat “beige” (pasta, bread, toast, biscuits, breadsticks, bread, pasta…..you get the picture). He gets VERY angry if you give him something he doesn’t want. I tend to put some pasta tubes in everything in order to coax him to try stuff.

I’m exhausted with him to be honest. I can’t seem to make him happy and I can absolutely confirm I Am Not Enjoying This Age at all. I can’t wait for him to get more able, to talk and to be a better walker. I just know he’s going to be a lovely little boy but the waiting is killing me.