It Takes a Village

The time between rains is getting longer and longer, and Eric has actually found himself watering the last few days. The irrigation system is up and running after taking the winter and spring off. It’s not uncommon to see the sprinklers running out in the back fields. This means Eric and the crew have had time to replant a number of seeds that were washed away. The strawberry beds are producing fruit like crazy, and they are the kind of strawberries that are red and juicy all the way throughout. Milo and I find ourselves sitting at the kitchen table eating off the top of the buckets as Renee and Matt bring them into the house.IMG_3743[2] 

This week at the market, the Speakeasy will be up and running. We have been providing chairs along the west side of Ralston Creek, but feel free to bring your own as well. We will also have lettuce, greens, scapes, choi, radishes, cilantro, strawberries, spinach, eggs and chicken.

 With all this yummy food around, Eric and I have been very fortunate that, for the most part, Milo is a great eater. From the beginning, when I told Eric I haven’t liked something, he has responded, “most people don’t like something because they didn’t like how it was prepared or the quality was poor.” As time has gone on, I have found myself eating things I thought I had previously hated. Now, saying that, there are just somethings people don’t like. And this brings me to today’s topic-It Takes a Village: Making it Through the Day with a Toddler.

Eric has always prepared Milo’s food. We have also explained to Milo that what was in front of him was his only option, he wouldn’t get anything else, and would go hungry if he made the choice not to eat. One of the other things we have implemented is “no thank you bites”. I’m not sure which blog or parenting site we read this on, but it involves having your child take so many bites before they can say “no thank you.” We try to implement 5 bites. We have found that by the time Milo gets to 5 bites (no matter how big or small), he has decided it’s not so bad and will eat most of whatever the item is. We also make sure that at least one of us, usually both, are sitting down with him and can patiently out wait him. We feel really fortunate to have such a good eater. We have a number of friends who really struggle to get their kids to eat. I’m not saying this to toot our own horn, I’m saying this to lead into the fact that there always seems to be a trade-off.

Originally when I was thinking about this post I was just going to write about how we have succeeded in getting Milo to eat. I was talking with a friend about food struggles. As we talked and she shared her food frustrations, I told her about Milo’s change in sleep patterns and how it was getting a bit overwhelming. Milo has taken to waking up 2-3 times a night and asking to be rocked back to sleep or coming into our room and sleeping with us. My friend responsded was, “Just tell him he has to sleep in his own bed.” I wanted to tell this person, “Why don’t you just tell your kid to eat his food?” As I gathered my thoughts, I instead replied, “I wish it was that easy.”

It just seems as one thing goes well, something else becomes a struggle, and it seems to morph as Milo ages.  I am grateful that eating has (knock on wood) not been too big of a struggle for us. The best thing I have learned so far, well best things, 1. Always be motivated to speak and act out of  love (a totally different topic and not todays point, but maybe the most important) and 2. we haven’t had to walk in each others shoes. Every parent and toddler relationship has their own struggles. All we can do is be supportive and help each other get through the day.

What have been your successes? What was the key to success?



About saltforkfarms

A small organic farm in Iowa that raises Standard Breed laying hens and hybrid broiler chickens suited for a pasture-based system, as well as varieties of vegetables and fruit suitable to our Eastern Iowa climate. We grow food, we eat food, we sell food!
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2 Responses to It Takes a Village

  1. hi eve, we went through this EXACT same thing with our 3 1/2 year old a few months ago when our second baby was coming. (she’s one month old now.) we were getting really worried about how to balance this waking up with the demands of a newborn at night! basically, for us, we found that satchel was likely just so excited about the new baby/changes he sensed from us. he needed a little more there at the end. we were up just like you are…and some nights he was in our bed again, some we just needed to get him a water. it was a pain…but it has changed already in less than 6 weeks time. (feels like forever, but passes!!!) when the baby came, our TODDLER was who kept us up! (we have a SLEEPER this time in the newborn department, which has been a miracle in itself.) Satchel was waking 2+ times a night and flipping on all the lights…really no amount of debating it with him was helping. it woke all of us up. i finally put 15 watt bulbs in the 3 overhead fixtures in our bedroom (long attic bedroom sitch) and of course, after that he stopped doing it- i think just naturally. he acclimated to the excitement of having a sister here, understands she needs to sleep in bed with us, and is now happy with his 6 AM snuggle time in our bed each morning. this is not really a prescription, i realize, but a fairly good ending on the story you are currently in! everything changes…and quickly! all my best: wendy (old friend of eric’s from college and archy days!)

    • saltforkfarms says:

      Thanks for the comment, Wendy! We are taking it all in stride. I’m grateful for such great friends and family. Another friend just commented on the nature vs. nurture debate on Facebook. It’s just amazing how different kids can be. I have found that helping each other out with love and kindness goes a long way!

      Congratulations on your new one!

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