NSG: (Walks bleary eyed into the dining area, retrieves dirty bowls from yesterday's breakfast that are still on the table (hey, give me a break, we were at a funeral in Mona all day and it was my night off last night), proceeds to wash them. Pauses, turns back to dining table, sees five portions of untouched rice pilaf from last night's dinner, neatly laid out on the table.)
NSG: OK, guys. Rice before oatmeal.
Bella: (face crumples...) NOooooo!
MayMay: (Sighs, sits down at the table.)
NSG: Loli, is that your breakfast from yesterday? (indicating bowl full of nearly-untouched oatmeal).
Loli: (Guilty face.)
NSG: Loli, you need to eat your food. You're going to turn into a toothpick.
Loli: (makes face) OK, mom.
(20 minutes later)
MayMay: Mom! I'm Ooone! (barely discernable through chuck-huge mouthful of pilaf, bulging in both cheeks and smashed against roof of mouth).
NSG: OK. (removes clean plate, Starts ladeling oatmeal).
MayMay: I have to go to the bathroom.
NSG: Oh, no you don't. Go sit down until you've chewed and swallowed all that.
MayMay: (Jumping up and down) I harrrr Pah-tee! I harr-goooo--pahhh-tee!) (slight dribbling of pilaf down barbie pajamas)
NSG: I don't want any dinner in the potty or in the trash can, so you can go sit right now at the table until you're finished. And then you can have your oatmeal.
MayMay: (sigh of defeat) sits at table and begins laboriously chewing.
Bella: Mom! I'm done!
NSG: (moves in the direction of the kitchen, then checks herself. Points in the direction of plate, now ringed around the edges with a light layer of rice and vegetables. Takes fork, scrapes back into sizeable pile in the center of plate.) Nope. Finish, then oatmeal.
Bella: (face crumples for second time that morning.) OK, mommy.
NSG: (escapes to bedroom and nurses baby.)
(Five minutes later):
Bella: Mom, I'm done!
NSG: (Removes clean plate, grabs bowl of agave-d, soy-milk-ed six grain cereal and places it in front of Bella) Good job.
Bella: (digging in with relish) Thank you mom.
Loli: I'm done!
NSG: (Clears loli's plate from the table, gives her bowl of six-grain.) Thanks, Loli.
MayMay: (Laboriously chewing)
Jaws: (Staring mutinously at plate)
Squirt: (Running around living room with empty nerf-gun, clicking ferociously at random inanimate objects).
NSG: Squirt, go sit down and eat your rice. So you can have oatmeal.
Squirt: Six grain, you mean.
NSG: Six grain, I mean. Sit down.
Squirt: No, I want milk.
NSG: OK, you can have your milk and some six grain. But you have to eat rice.
Squirt: (calmly looks up at NSG.) Nope.
NSG: OK, no six-grain then. (retreats to room to finish nursing.)
(five minutes later):
MayMay: Mom! I'm done with my cheeks!
NSG: Good, MayMay! Yay. Ok, here's your cereal.
MayMay: (Pouts) I want milk on it!
NSG: There is milk in it. The cereal just soaked it up because you took so long. Ok, Ok... (pours a little more milk to prevent meltdown).
Jaws: Mom, I'm done!
NSG: (Glances at plate half-ful of Pilaf, pushed up against the salad from the PREVIOUS night, yes, we're working on giving our kids food poisoning. Either that, or it's just been a hectic couple of days and someone forgot to clear Jaw's plate... you decide which is more likely) No, you're not.
Jaws: (face crumples)
NSG: Look, I'll show you what you still have to eat. (seperates Pilaf from wilted salad so it stands on its own in a pile in the middle of the plate.)
Jaws: (Face brightens)
NSG: Goes in room to finish nursing baby
Jaws: (sticks head around bedroom door/barricade, left cheek bulging with food) Mah, mime oone!
NSG: Ok. Finish what's in your mouth, and you can have cereal.
(two minutes later):
Jaws: (Sticks head around barricade for second time) "I"m done!"
NSG: (slides bowl onto the table) Good job, Jaws. Squirt, are you done?
Squirt: (playing on floor, gives a wide-eyed, whimsical look) mom, I want sess-green.
NSG: (Confused glance.) Go eat your rice, Squirt.
Squirt: (face slowly stretches into outraged frown, piercing shriek)
NSG: Here, Squirt. look, I'll only make you finish half of it. Here, sit in your chair... I'll give you bites.
Squirt: (Screaming hasn't ceased yet)
NSG: Squirt, do you want airplaines or trains. (chugging forkful of rice toward mouth)
Squirt: (bats fork away, scattering rice across the table.) No trains!
NSG: Airplanes, then?
Squirt: No airplanes! I want, I want, I want... milk.
NSG: Ok, I'll give you a baba AND oatmeal if you finish your rice.
Squirt: Six grain!
NSG: Ok, six grain. Here.
NSG: C'mon. Milk, Squirt. On your six-grain. Ok, Just one bite. I'll only make you eat one bite.
Squirt: (desperately sad look, opens mouth slowly, looking tortured as if inviting a forkful of scorpion instead of delicious rice-cooked-in-broth-and-leeks-and-mushrooms that every grownup devoured the previous night)
NSG: (puts forkful of pilaf in squirt's mouth.)
Squirt: (Gags, heaves in an alarming fashion, leeks and mushrooms dribble down his front.)
NSG: (Scrapes up mushrooms with fork.) "C'mon, Squirt. Chew and swallow. one bite, that's it."
Squirt: (Weeping) But it's soooooo yuuuuuucky!
Rose: (Wailing, from the bedroom)
NSG: (sighs. Pries open lips with gentle-ish fingers, shoves forkful of veggies in, puts hand over toddler's mouth.)
Squirt: (gagging, heaving, then a swallow.)
NSG: Good job, squirt!
Squirt: (opens mouth, out come mushrooms and leeks, all over front.)
NSG: (Sighs). Good job, squirt. Here. (Places six-grain cereal in front of him, grabs bottle, pours in some grape juice, places that in front of him as well.)
Squirt: Smiles, starts shoveling down forkfuls of six-grain, takes a gulp of juice. "Thank you, Mom."
(Fifteen minutes later):
NSG: (Wiping table, discovers large scattered amounts of pilaf on Bella's chair.)