Esenbee—whoa! We definitely haven’t had to have that conversation yet, though sometimes my MIL makes vague comments about spanking that I have to tamp down. I think DP understands that that isn’t on the table, but it’s hard to tell your mom that, especially when it’s hard to know if she’s joking. Glad you’re feeling better!
Carmen—oh, it’s totally a game. And we don’t give her enough of anything to make a real mess.
OMOM—that’s hard. I don’t know when I’ll be done. Will it be when we get to DP’s pre-set limit? If we manage to overshoot that and get to mine? Never? Good luck figuring out the best path for your family!
Starling—hmm..I hadn’t thought about whether we’ll want her to stay at the table with us until we finish eating, but I guess I better decide while we can still tie her down! Which is to say, usually we start eating at the same time, but when she’s finished we tend to let her out of her highchair. Maybe we’ll work more on keeping her busy while we finish. She’s good at restaurants, mostly, but I guess we should start good habits now, before she’s old enough to make up her own mind.
Cascadia—Ooo! Exciting to be planning for the next one!
Ahope—Ugh. Nothing like feeling kind of wiped and then having your DP go down with an illness to really run you over. I have two thoughts, which may or may not be helpful. The first is, would Z and L be able to share a room? I know that might not be a long-term solution, but that way Z wouldn’t be alone at bedtime waiting for you to go to sleep. The second might be more realistic—how about a timer? Just a little cheap one—you set it for 20 minutes, and that’s how long she has to bathe, etc. It might help her keep on track a little better if she has a visual representation of time. Good luck! And for what it’s worth, I think every kid has a run in late elementary/early middle school where they are not so hot at things like personal hygiene and time management. For a long time I thought it was only me, but DP tells stories about how gross and disorderly she was, too. She’ll grow out of it, eventually!
Thanks for all of the advice! We’re just going to keep on going. The only real adjustment is that when she switches from putting food into her mouth to only on the floor we call time now.