Tuesday, February 5

Roam Around the Dinner Table

As residents of Pittsburgh, we are required by law to venture to our local dive restaurant, Primanti Brothers, for a meal at least four times per year. I'm pretty sure that failure to do so will result in us losing our Cool Burgher licenses. So tonight we fulfilled our civic duty and went to indulge in sandwiches piled high with fresh-cut french fries, eggs, cheese, tomatoes, and coleslaw. (For you non Burgh-type people, yes, you read that right. A sandwich can hold all that stuff in between its two slices of bread and you can even throw some meat in there, if that sort of thing makes you happy. While your arteries may want to explode just looking at it, you belly will be screaming at you to eat! faster! already!)

For whatever reason, the Toddler was being extra-cute as she went against the laws of Pittsburgh and dissected her sandwich (Fellow Cool Burghers, do not fear for she was also eating Pierogies. I think that means she gets to stay in the Cool Club, in spite of her obvious faux paus.). I carry my handy dandy little camera in my purse, so I whipped it out and took a couple of shots. Behold the cuteness:



As I was taking the photos, it occurred to me that something was amiss. I have tons of cute pictures of the Toddler eating, but every single one of them is more deceptive than a campaigning politician. All of my photos of the Toddler eating show her sitting down and actually placing food in her mouth. Uh, that happens approximately 2% of the time. Here's what really happens at mealtime:



Way back in September when Alexis kicked her high chair to the curb, I didn't realize that she was also kicking my happy little rule where we all sat at the table while we ate to the curb as well. Mr. Husband and I ate sitting on the couch for years, but when Alexis started to eat real food, I decided I wanted us all to eat at the dining room table, together, and with the TV off. It took me a few days to clear all the crap off of the table we had never actually used for eating a meal, but it was worth it. We acted like a family. I know! Amazing!

My happy little world was shattered when the confining beauty of the high chair became more of a battle than it was worth. It didn't take long before Alexis decided she didn't want to eat at the big person table at all, she preferred her little craft table. I let it go since she was at least sitting nicely somewhere. But that didn't last long. Before I even realized what was happening, she turned into a roaming eater. I don't think she is capable of chewing food unless her feet are moving. Really, it's like she's a goat or something. She pauses long enough to shove some food in mouth then goes back to grazing around the house.

The only time I see her consume what I consider to be a reasonable quantity of food is right after she gets home from school. Every day, she inhales a bowl of raspberries or blueberries. She is always running to and fro, all over the house, dragging out every toy she can find whilst balancing her little bowl in one hand and sucking the berries down faster than a Dyson. I usually follow her around to make sure she doesn't drop one of those $15 berries on the floor (Have you seen the price of raspberries lately? And why can't the kid eat cookies like everybody else?). I don't know how one manages to inhale berries while playing, I just know that she does.

At dinner, she rarely manages to swallow more than a bite or two of my gourmet cooking, and her little feet are in motion the entire time. If she's not walking back and forth between rooms and adults, she's dancing while balancing a macaroni noodle on her spoon. I honestly don't know the last time her bum actually sat in her chair. As for meals out, she usually manages to sit like a normal human being for 7.6 minutes. If food arrives in that time frame, she will sit and eat it nicely, sometimes even giving the mistaken impression that she is perhaps a bit lady-like. But once the timer in her head goes off, she's up and doing her best to roam like a B-52. (Do you have the song stuck in your head now? I do. Rooooam if you want to. Rooooam around the world . . .)

I know I should be glad that at least she's not playing Duck Duck Goose, but would it kill the kid to sit down and eat once in a while?

(I just know Miss Michelle from daycare is currently thinking that Alexis always sits and eats nicely at school. I am convinced that y'all drug or beat the kids in order to get them to do it. It's not normal for 20+ kids to sit in a chair at the exact same time. I refuse to believe othewise.)

47 comments:

  1. Aah, but those little stinkers do. Why you ask? Peer pressure. Plus, you just can't wrap Ms. Michelle around your little pinky like you can mommy and daddy. Even my own kids know the rules are different for them than the kids I watch. I don't mean them to be, but I'm mom and they've got me figured out!

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  2. Alas, I am not a true Burgher. (That doesn't sound good, does it?) I've heard of the famed Primanti Bros but we haven't quite located it yet. Maybe our next visit...

    I am so glad to see other toddlers doing the restaurant dance. Micah insists on staring at the people in the next booth, to the point that we're almost asked to leave.

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  3. Karen! We have got to get you to a Primanti Brothers. It's the law. And now that there are those lovely suburban locations not overfilled with drunken morons, there's really no excuse. I must check on locations out on your side of the tunnel.

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  4. Too funny I was thinking that. However these days Alexis comes to the table when she is ready or realizes we are not giving in to her.
    or we then have the many times where i need to sit on the chair while she stands or sways back and forth in between my legs. I guess that is her daycare version of moving around while eating. lol

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  5. Is that the place on those Food Network features? Mine never sits either. EVER. I have become the parent of THAT kid who bugs the bejeebers outta the person at the next table. Yah. I'm THAT GUY.

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  6. Oh, and Divine Miss M...I told my spouse SD was coming via the B-52s. Kismet?

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  7. I'm sorry . . . you lost me at the french fries on the sandwich. Seriously? Like, for reals?

    *drools while dreaming of the carb overload*

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  8. Jayna--Don't tell anyone, but Panini's is the same damn thing as Primanti Brothers. There's a whole bunch of them in your general vicinity.

    (Shhhh . . . Panini's uses better bread.)

    I may have just gotten myself kicked out of the Cool Burgher club.

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  9. Good lawd! How does one wrap their mouth around a sandwich like that? It does sound awful yummy though.

    Thank goodness my daughter isn't the only one who cannot sit still. She does the same thing whenever we're at a restaurant...and her feet are in constant motion too.

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  10. I had a lady come over to our table the other day at a restaurant and say, "Your boys are so well behaved."

    After I choked on my burrito, I politely said thanks. After she left, I told my husband that we must have an awesome freaking system down. Others in restaurants obviously can't hear our wispered threats. Sssssit doooown. Eaaaat your food. Stop staring. Sit down. Eat your food. Please eat. Ok, at least eat half of that. Three bites? Quit staring! Sssit down. If I have to tell you again..... If I have to tell you again....

    Good thing is, I think I burn at least 500 calories DURING the meal when we eat out.

    Glad to know my kids aren't the only "interesting eaters" out there :)

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  11. I am now going to have to add that song to my playlist. :)

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  12. This faze too shall pass. And Dude! Just wait until she's in kindergarten. You think it's amazing that the daycare gets them all to sit down and eat? In kindergarten the teacher rings a bell (or a timer goes off or some such ringing) and they all stop what they're doing and put their hands on their heads. I want that kind of magic bell. For real.

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  13. When I read your description of that sandwich I actually thought to myself "French fries on it?!!" But I shouldn't be too surprised because in my husband's hometown of Huntington, WV there's a place where you can get a biscuit with a fried egg, a sausage patty and a hashbrown -- INSIDE the biscuit! And I love 'em. It's called a Thundering Herd, but I'm convinced it should be a called a Thundering Thighs.

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  14. But it is normal for 20 kids to all sit nicely. That is peer pressure. At home, only the boring old farts are sitting.

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  15. Try duct tape. It works miracles!

    I love those pics! She is such a doll!

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  16. Dare I say it?! Yes, I dare. I hate Primanti sandwiches. Go ahead. Kick me out - there are so many other places I'd rather live anyway. Oh, and my kid always sits nicely in his high chair at home and in restaurants. (Just getting you back for the sickness post).

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  17. Jen, Jen, Jen. I am so disappointed in you. However, you can say what you want about Mr. Cooperative and his high chair ways. Your day will come, I just know it.

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  18. Morgan hasn't kicked the high chair to the curb. Yet. The few times I've given her a meal at her little table, it takes her 3 hours to eat. She's entirely too busy to sit and eat, apparently :)

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  19. Fellow Pittsburgh Residents: You can stop emailing me to tell me that Paninis and Primanti Bros are not the same. They are, too. And Paninis does so have better bread. I ain't afraid to say it.

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  20. Mine won't sit either and always roams the house while eating -- if he eats at all. I just thought my kid was ..... well, a freak.

    Whoo...he's not a freak..for that reason anyhow. :-)

    Also, think I need to visit Pittsburgh and get me one of those burgers. I'm only like four hours away -- six or seven if Hubby drives because he won't ask for directions.

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  21. I haven't been to a Primaniti's for YEARS. But in my single days, living in the burgh, you could find me many a weekend, about 2 a.m., in the strip, eating that stuff. Yeah, lots of alcohol made those sandwiches taste heavenly. Primanti's was a must do after a night at the Metropol. Oh....the old days....

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  22. It's hardwired into kids brains that they can't sit still for a long time.

    Hope will sit in a chair but she doesn't sit still...

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  23. A great word picture of your daughter - LOL about the berries!

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  24. Mmmm. I love Primanti Bros! I haven't been there in about 10 years. I use to go there a lot with my sister back when we were single, after a night at the Metropol! It always tasted so good at 2AM.

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  25. Hmmmmm. We don't have any Primanti Bros. here in Chicago, not that I'm aware of anyway. They sound kind of like a Chicago Dog w/everything (they have fries on them, too). Yum!

    If you get a free second when you aren't chasing little Alexis around with her food (just kiddin') stop by my blog, I have a little sumpin' sumpin' for ya!

    Lizzy

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  26. Crap. I didn't know this was a possibility. The Pumpkin is a constant mover and fidgeter, so now I know what I can look forward to. Sigh... Thanks for the warning.

    Oh, and I picked up raspberries at the grocery store last night, saw the price, and quickly put them back down. They were the most expensive berries of them all, too!

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  27. I'm not scared.
    Oh and Irene and Maria - Metropol was sooo much fun! Not a meat market like the other places (especially Chauncy's!)

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  28. Now I am just mad at you. I had forgotten all about Primanti Bros. until you brought it up.

    And pierogies. Real. original. pierogies. That's just not nice.

    If you bring up Eat and Park I'll have to hurt you.

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  29. Mmmm...I was just wondering what I wanted for dinner and now I know I have to head to Primanti's. I love them and I have to admit that I am in the Panini's & Primanti's are not the same club.

    (I'm a new reader, BTW)

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  30. You use y'all - I love that!

    Btw, you can totally make modifications to your list of 5 AS LONG AS IT'S NOT LAMINATED!!

    And know, that unless your hubby knows via a verbal mention from you, that you have switched someone out, you don't get to act on possible list member.

    You must CLEARLY let him know who your current 5 are and then CLEARLY let him know if you make a change.

    It's the rules...sorry.

    Hallie

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  31. Thanks for the song in the head. Just try and think about coordinating 3 childrens movements at the table...almost conductor-like.

    I'll tell you later if selling your soul to the devil, I mean Mamasource was worth it...

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  32. I got me a car, it seats about 20, so c'mon and bring your juke box money!!!

    You SUCK. That's a sticker.

    My kids are always under, around, on top of, but never sitting nicely at the table at restaurants. The kids that do other wise aren't natural. Or at least that's what I'm telling myself.

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  33. why does the image of helen keller cruising the table, taking bits of food off her family's plates come to mind?

    ah, it must be because my toddler days are SO many years behind me.

    but just wait. you haven't sat across the table from a sullen teen yet. :-)

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  34. I have one of those roaming kids too!! I don't know how or when it happened!!!!

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  35. she will never have to worry about her weight will she? :) she can burn off her calories as she eats.

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  36. oh and that sandwich thing? weird. how do you eat it if you have all of that stuff on there? but i bet my hubby would love them! maybe we will have to journey up north to give them a try

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  37. Mine will only sit at the table if he's allowed to sit on a grown up chair, on his knees. He calls it "I sit on legs."

    It looks extremely uncomfortable to me and I'm sure Emily Post would roll in her grave, but hey, I figure he's bound to lose the habit before his 18th b-day.

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  38. Catwoman--I WISH we could get to that point. When we go to restaurants, they always ask if we want a high chair or booster seat. My answer? No. Mr. Husband feels the need to go into a lengthy explanation of how she thinks she's too cool for such things.

    The asking makes me think I'm the only mom on planet Earth that can't get her kid to sit in a high chair or booster seat. Good to know that is not the case.

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  39. The last time we went out to eat was on our Michigan trip. The only reason Happy isn't in a high chair is because Baby is. He's fine eating meals at the table, but give him a snack and he's roaming around too.

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  40. I must get myself to Pittsburgh...soon!

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  41. Oh the pierogies sound so good. Stop making me drool, woman!

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  42. Oh yes- we used to be couch eaters too. Don't tell, but we actually moved the high chair into the living room when Ashlyn was little - then when she moved to a little table, yup, that was in the living room room. We only became table eaters when Riley was born. yeah, yeah- good mom, I know.

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  43. Ugh, I FEAR the roaming eater. Good luck with THAT. Oy.

    One heck of a cute girl, though!

    In the NICU, a nurse told me "the really cute ones always turn out to be Pills." I was like, thanks, lady!

    Thanks for your continued support! You are awesome!

    Gonna blogroll ya tonight!

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  44. After my son got rid of his high chair the only place he will actually eat is at his little table in front of the television. Horrible isn't, but it is the only way I can get him to eat.

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  45. I was in Greensburg today and saw a brand new billboard proclaiming a Primanti Bros! We'll have to check it out. I was in a hurry today or would have stopped with the littlest guy.

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  46. Hee Hee... did you know that Primanti Bros is listed in the book "1,000 places to see before you die" USA/Canada version? It is! I have the book!

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  47. my kid eats his food without a fight at school, and usually eats ALL of his food.
    at home, however, it's all fights, threats, bribes, and tears.

    and we stopped the snacks after 4pm at home to starve him into eating, but I will still get "I no wanna like the yucky fill in the blank with food de jour." But we at least stopped the wandering. ;)

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