So I am pretty much a clean freak. I think something happened when I was pregnant with my first son that made me that way... I sure wasn't like that growing up. I think I always try to think of all the clean-up I'll have to do after the fact, and try to prevent the mess from happening in the first place. Well having 2 kids, boys at that, has surely taught me there is no way to prevent a mess.
I have learned a very valuable lesson having messy boys around. If you can't prevent it...just have fun with it! That is something I have to remind myself daily, because my boys really do have much more fun when they don't have so many rules all the time. The dinner table is usually the place we try to teach manners, and how to eat in a polite way. Don't get me wrong, we sure do that on most occasions. But once in awhile we shake it up. Jacob was going through another "no, I don't like that," stage. Every parent has their ways of handling their child and their eating habits. What works for Jacob...playing with his food.
Jacob - eating cucumber "sandwich" on top of a spinach "blanket"
One night I told him to pretend with his food. I called his spinach a blanket and he thought it was the most clever thing ever. He carefully wrapped his shredded chicken on top of the blanket and put another piece of spinach over it. He started talking to his food like they were characters in a long-drawn out story. At the end...he ate. That's all I wanted. Just eat, kid. Although it took an extra half hour for him to finish...he ate everything on his plate.
He loves stacking cucumber circles into "sandwiches", rolling up things in his spinach "blankets," and un-rolling his meat roll ups to bite different shapes in the middle. Some times its gross when he puts things on the table and mixes things together that I don't even want to try. But it is getting him to eat healthy, paleo dinners that make him feel good. Actually, I should go and clean up what is left from our lunch creations before it dries onto the table.