Yesterday was a Thursday like all others I guess. We ate a quick breakfast, did the dishes and tidied up. I pulled together a picnic from leftovers, did a bit of faffing about in the house and then headed out the door in time to make our Dance with Toddlers class at noon.
We arrived at the class and the first 10 minutes were great. The lady was in great form dancing with all the mums and other toddlers. Then the hunger monster made an entrance. Of course once the monster makes its presence known you have to soothe it as soon as possible (anyone with a toddler will recognise this. Between the “mummy I’m hungry” and the screaming for food can be anywhere from 30 seconds to 1 minute). So I got our beautifully yummy picnic out of the bag and fed the beast.
It was quite cute to see my precious lady with her little tutu on munching on pesto pasta, crackers and a fruit pouch, but it really wasn’t where I wanted to have our lunch. I had a lunch date with our friends set for 1pm at the park. That was where I wanted to eat, enjoying the sunshine. I had it all planned out that we would leave class, make our way to the park, have a spot of lunch with our friends and then play in the warm(ish) October sun.
It’s not that we didn’t have a great afternoon, it just wasn’t what I was planning on. Instead of a post class lunch with our friends, it was a grazing session that spanned throughout class, post class (eating other toddlers food) and well into our entrance into the park (she was a very hungry kid). We still got to enjoy the sun, still saw our friends and did have some food with them in the park.
I guess the take-away from this is that you don’t always get to eat where you want. Flexibility is key. You don’t set the schedule anymore – they do!
I live by the rule that you have to be prepared for any food emergency. Hunger strikes anywhere and everywhere. Whether you bring a bag full of food, have money to buy something in the shop or be close to home for a quick bite, its always important to have options at the ready.
The better prepared you are, the less likely you are to experience tantrums, tears or screaming.
(Keep in mind that just because you’re prepared doesn’t mean your toddler will eat everything… but that’s for another post).