Won't leave me alone when I eat! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 03-21-2010, 01:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a 17 month old who just will not leave me alone when i eat. He isn't hungry, he just wants to sit on my lap and feed me. He has a high chair and eats happily in it, but is usually full before I eat, so he is down and roaming by the time I eat. As soon as I sit down, he wants up. Sometimes I let him up, and I know that's problem 1: consistency.

Here's the second problem. We live with my parents, and they have their ideas about what to do. If I had my way, I'd just let him sit on my lap. But it does get messy, and I'm not always in the mood for it. And they want me to tell him no, be consistent, etc. Although then after a lecture on consistency my mom often gets up and holds him, and I feel like the bad guy for saying no.

sigh.

My heart tells me to let him sit with me, but I also doubt that I have the patience for it, really. What do you all think?

(Also, hi, I'm new here! Occasionally lurk for advice/support/to hear other parent voices, am excited to try to participate more fully.)
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#2 of 11 Old 03-21-2010, 04:18 PM
 
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My 12 month old is the same way. I usually let her eat before I eat and DH will eat while she's eating. You'd think if he's eaten, he could entertain her to let me eat a meal, but no. She comes climbing up my chair and wants to mess in my food. And I have to pick her up, because if I don't she just continues to climb on my chair and usually ends up falling off and hurting herself. I'm just glad it's been warmer outside lately, he can take her outside to play while I eat some dinner.

No advice really, just commiseration.

Mallory. Happily married to Joe since 6/25/05. Loving my adventure with my girls, Owyn Samantha, born 3/1/09. dust.gif and Greta June, born 11/2/11  babygirl.gif

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#3 of 11 Old 03-22-2010, 12:14 AM
 
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If I understand your post correctly you are feeding him before you sit down to eat? Why not just eat at the same time as him?

Surviving sleep deprivation one day at a time with dd (Oct '11) & ds (Oct '08).

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#4 of 11 Old 03-22-2010, 01:52 AM
 
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Originally Posted by lifeguard View Post
If I understand your post correctly you are feeding him before you sit down to eat? Why not just eat at the same time as him?
That was going to be my suggestion. You can always start your meal prep earlier to ensure that you are all able to eat as a family since it sounds like he's hungry before you're usually finished preparing dinner. This gives you the added benefit of feeding him what you're eating so he gets used to eating different things.

SAHM to DD (6/07) and DS (10/09); happily married to DH since 2/04 .
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#5 of 11 Old 03-22-2010, 08:52 AM
 
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I don't know about the OP, but with my daughter, she's hungry for dinner way earlier than I am. So, I go ahead and cook the meal in prep for when she's usually hungry and let her eat. But I'm just not ready for dinner yet that early, so I wait and warm myself a plate later on.

Mallory. Happily married to Joe since 6/25/05. Loving my adventure with my girls, Owyn Samantha, born 3/1/09. dust.gif and Greta June, born 11/2/11  babygirl.gif

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#6 of 11 Old 03-22-2010, 06:05 PM
 
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I'm running on half a brain today from lack of sleep (sick child), but here are some things we've tried that have helped:

*move your meal down to his level at least occasionally...have a "picnic" on the floor while he's doing some other activity. In warmer weather, eat outside if possible (no...or at least minimal...clean-up!)

*eat while he's in the bathtub

*eat earlier so you can eat at the same time he does, or eat after he goes to bed (just until he's older because I am 100% behind the idea of family dinners when possible)

*reserve part of his meal or a snack for when you're eating

*if he wants to feed you, put some of your non-messy food on a separate small plate or napkin, and make sure he can only reach that. Push your other plate far enough away that you can reach but he can't.

*put together a couple of small, simple activity kits that can *only* be used during adult meal times, at restaurants, and such. (I'm too tired to think of activity ideas, but just google "toddler activity kit," "toddler quiet bag" or some combination of that for some ideas)

*if your mom is going to end up holding him anyway, ask her in advance to take him for a few minutes so you can eat

My DS loves to sit with me, too. I love it most of the time, but have to admit that eating alone in my office at work during the week can be pure bliss! ;-)

Mama to DS (5)

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#7 of 11 Old 03-22-2010, 07:19 PM
 
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Only 2 ways to deal with this IME:

1)Eat while he's eating

2)Eat when he can't see you. Wait til he's asleep or grab a snack in the kitchen.

You just can't expect a kid not to want to see what you're doing and be part of it, especially something as interesting as eating.
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#8 of 11 Old 03-22-2010, 08:27 PM
 
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I've been known to eat standing up in the kitchen while baracaded in with baby gates.

Wife to DH (06/10) and Mummy to DD (07/08).

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#9 of 11 Old 03-22-2010, 10:14 PM
 
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I'm in almost the same boat--living with parents and I know they don't really approve DS sitting in my lap. He doesn't try to feed me though so it isn't to messy--usually wants me to give him tidbits from my plate or ice from my drink.

Some ideas--could you give him a cracker or cookie while you eat? Maybe he could sit on a booster chair next to you?

Not proud of this one, but sometimes I do let DS watch videos on YouTube (sesame st, baby einstein, etc.) while I am eating--sometimes that keeps him busy for 10-15 mins or so.

But doing the dishes afterwards is IMPOSSIBLE with him around--I just have to wait until he goes to bed.
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#10 of 11 Old 03-23-2010, 10:04 AM
 
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my 20 month old needs to eat at 5:30, as soon as we get home, but by the time we cook dinner, it's close to 7 for us, so i feed her in the kitchen while we get dinner ready, and when we eat, she can have a dessert in her chair at the table. but if she's down, she wants to be in my lap---ugh. so we let her watch a 15 minute cartoon so i can finish eating.

but at this point, it's always been she pesters me and i entertain her until my dh is thru, then they go read/play and i finally get a chance to eat.

good luck

I'm Kelly, Mom to Merryn 7/28/08 and twins Luke & Thad born 9/26/2011
Can It Get Any Better Than This? Well, I guess it just did!joy.gif

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#11 of 11 Old 04-04-2010, 10:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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yeah, we eat family dinners and my mom cooks, so we eat when dinner is ready. the three generation situation is challenging (although also SO helpful).

i've pulled his high chair right next to mine and stopped feeding him before i eat. i hate to make him wait, but i give him milk and a cracker or piece of dark chocolate to help delay him, and it seems to be working.

i don't agree with this as a long term strategy, but it will have to do for the next few months while we live with them.

thanks for all the suggestions!
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