So many great comments on the boring toddler feeding post! Thank you.
Here's my plan for tonight:
Give them all their food at once, at least what they can self-feed (tonight that would be some kind of fruit, pasta/red sauce/ricotta casserole, some kind of veggie, and Cheerios or crackers or some kind of starch). Let them eat what they want while I wash up daycare cups and containers. Food that goes on the floor stays there.
Once I'm done cleaning up the daycare stuff and they are done eating and have moved on to playing with their food, wipe down trays. Give them each a spoon and a bowl with some of their oatmeal in it. Feed them the oatmeal while they try to feed themselves (with occasional success!) Use the "three strikes, you're out" rule with spoons and bowls on the floor, emphasizing that "spoons/bowls stay in your hand or on the tray," and "if you throw that again, it stays there." Continue until oatmeal is gone or meltdown ensues. Clean up toddlers and release them from the torture that is dinner.
We'll see how it goes! I feel like the most important thing is to be consistent. If I'm going go with "three strikes, you're out" on utensil throwing, then I need to do that every. single. time.
I don' t think I was entirely clear in my last post about the suction cup bowls. I do expect that the kids will be able to un-suction them. But the bowls the kids have now slide all over their trays when they try to scoop something onto their spoons. They get the "spoon into food, food on spoon, spoon into mouth" concept pretty well, but they often can't achieve "food on spoon" because the bowl is sliding all over the place. Then they get frustrated and throw the whole shebang. I think if they can accomplish getting some food on the spoon, they might be less frustrated by the whole experience. Maybe? Maybe.
I talked to my mom for a long time last night and she pointed out that some of this evening kid crankiness could be due to going back to daycare this week. They love their daycare, but being there makes them quite tired in a way that they don't get tired when they are at home. Good insight, Mom! I know this is just a rough patch, made rougher by me feeling like crap due to having a cold.
I am so tired today. I didn't sleep well at all due to being all stuffed up and drippy-nosed. It didn't occur to me until about 5:00 am that since I'm no longer nursing, I can take cold medicine! Revelation. Of course, I don't have any in the house. Will go get some at lunch.
Also, I am seriously behind at work. Yikes! Part of me fails to care, but that's not good. It's so hard for me to focus lately. I just want to hibernate: read, write, be home. I think it's a grief thing. Wish I could take a leave of absence, but not sure that's possible.
I've been doing art therapy twice a month with a social worker from Early Intervention. Last time I saw her, I made a mandala. The exercise was very therapeutic for me, and I've been wanting to do another one or more. No time! Wish I could stay home and make mandalas all day. Sigh. Maybe I could just take an isolated day off, but I have a big deadline on 6 August, so I don't see that happening before then.