Stories of Friendship, Family, Fun and Food.
All the way from the Emerald Isle!

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Welcome to the Hotel California, Such a lovely place...

It kind of feels like a hotel around here and I am settled nicely back into my roles of 'Hostess with the Mostest' and 'Dish-Bitch'. Summer is well under way here on the lovely Irish Isle and we are getting a lot of sun to go along with the season. For three weeks now we have had 2 little Irish girls living with us, and by the looks of things they may be with us for the rest of the summer. Overnight my 'Terrible Two' transformed into the 'Fantastic Four' and there is no going back. Jack and the Chef being heavily outnumbered by all the girls in the house are having a few 'manly' issues but for the most part, everyone is nicely settled.

Although local little lassies adapting to the food culture environment at the Wisehousehold  seemed like a lot to ask. For the most part the first 24 hours saw requests demands for lots of 'chips, sausages, ham sandwiches, coke, biscuits etc.'. Due to the situation the children had been removed from, we took everyone for ice-cream on the first day, to sooth away some stress and help everyone settle in for the evening.

'Militant Móna' made her appearance the next day explaining that all the food we eat at our house is healthy and actually tastes good. Thankfully my 'trusty two' backed up my statements and gave the newbies a tour of the polytunnel and even let the kids pick their own carrots for a lunch-box snack. 

A few more boundaries and enticements laid down for the first week (after dinner treat for those that eat their meals) and we sat back and waited to see how things progressed. There were a few tantrums and early bedtimes for one child, but by day three both of the newbies were 'peer pressured' into sitting at the table and eating with gusto  - just because that is what everyone else was doing.

The thing that worries me about this situation is that it shows me how easy it is for children to be 'peer pressured' into doing anything, just because they want to fit in. Now, in this case, getting them to eat a few veggies is not a bad outcome, but add ten years to the gang and see one arrive home to the playhouse out back with a box of Marlboro lights. The tables have turned.

The other thing that bothers me, no, actually makes me mad, is the fact that soooooo many parents (even friends of ours) spend a large portion of their lives complaining about their (own) children's terrible eating habits. 

Here is a few little Wisetips for those of you raising children that are fussy little eaters.

1. If you buy crap food for them and place it infront of them, they will eat it.
2. If you-yourself eat a healthy balanced diet every day, then so will your children.
3. If you think that you child will starve to death because they will not eat what you have prepared for them, relax. (a) They will not starve and (b) by the time morning rolls around they will actually be hungry.

Enter into our crazy equation three more little girls (thankfully all in the same age range). These three have been spending weekends with us (off and on) since February and are well used to the routine around here. Oddly enough one of them came with a long list of things she does not 'eat' anymore and her foster Mum cautioned me that she also liked a chocolate sandwich at bedtime because she usually did not eat/finish/like her dinner.  I assured the Mum that this would not be a problem and when she returns home to her in three weeks these eating issues will be a distant memory.

Rules explained at lunchtime yesterday, plates cleared, seconds asked for and eaten. Treats dispersed, bedtime stories and all tucked in, asleep  and happy with very full bellies by 8pm on a Saturday night.

Yesterday was my first day having seven kids under my roof. I am sure it will not be roses in the garden every day, but it is clear that children crave boundaries and routine. The environment from which these kids have come from had nothing of the sort, and amazingly after just a few days - it is what they thrive on.

OH - and just in-case you think  I am doing this alone, my handsome hubby is hanging right beside me, fixing brakes on bikes, teaching the newbies how to 'weed and grow', teaching the older ones how to collect the eggs every day, teaching the little ones how to ride the big girl bikes. In general just doing all the Dad stuff.

My kids eat everything. What do yours eat?

Those are all the WiseWords I have for this stunning Sunday morning,



Abbie Lynn Samuels said...

To: Hotel California
From: StepHouse Johnson
Thats what our visiting Kiddos call our place.StepHouse... never heard it used before but it works for us. Johnson is our small community where we also TRY to grow carrots (unsuccessfully)..But tomatoes and squash...and marigolds do wonderfully!! We have also have had as many as seven, but now we seem to be crusing at a fablous three. They are weekenders...until school is out for summer...then they usually pack it in for quite some time. We live on a lake soooo summer is fab!! Eating...WAS a challenge....but we allow them to help prepare the meals most of the time now (and i do believe there is a future chef among us) so they will at least give everything a try. And they also want the desserts (which they help prepare)after a clean plate!! Our oldest just cooked his first venison. He fried (i'm sorry to use that word) it then smothered it with gravy mushrooms and onions. Almost completely by himself! (I was there to lend a hand when the heat got a little too hot.) He was sooo proud and it was delicious!!

WiseMóna said...

@ Abbie - we used to eat a lot of Venison when we lived in Ohio. One of our neighbours was a hunter and we used to wait eagerly for his kill! Mushrooms and onions is not a bad way to go and how cool that you have a 'chef' in the house too! Life on the lake for the summer doesn't sound too bad either :-) OH - and my handsome Chef is an Alabama native so the word 'fried' is commonly used around here and goes quite well with everything!

Pama Mitchell said...

Where did you find two little Irish girls to keep for the entire summer? Lucky you! (Seriously) I bet it will be fun, though challenging at times, too.

WiseMóna said...

@ Pama - you may want to read one of the earlier blog posts to get caught up to speed :-)

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