God has given us the wonderful opportunity of living in a country where flexibility is key. There are not many rigid schedules here, everything is "tranquilo", and I really do like this. The culture I grew up in is very similar, it is not an unfamiliar concept.
Oh my, but I am a baby in February. A whiny, ungrateful baby. I can handle the heat of Paraguay in December (Christmas distracts me!), I gather up strength for January and make it through okay...but February? The shortest month of the year? I use it as an excuse to avoid all sorts of things. Laundry, cooking, and playing outside with the girls...those things I know are okay to cut back on. But grace? Kind words? Loving my neighbor? Is high heat and high humidity (day after day after day) a reasonable excuse to put those aside?
I don't know who Grandma Bodin is, but I've been using her coffeecake recipe for years.
- Offer veggies all the time. For snacks, for meals, for teethers...
- They must have at least one bite of everything.
- They are never, ever, ever allowed to spit something out of their mouth. Unless of course the food is rotten and I didn't realize it. Obviously, that hasn't happened yet.
- If they spit something out, I pick it up again and put it back in their mouth. Yes, I am a mean mother...but one, maybe two times of having to swallow "spit up" food and they never do it again. (Children who spit out perfectly good food...well, that's a pet peeve of mine. Don't get me started.)
- Fresh, crunchy veggies are yummy. Soggy, gooey over-cooked ones are not. Offer the healthy variety.
- Be gracious. Abbie only has to eat a small spoonful of beans when we have them. Elena does not need to eat a heaping pile of spicy food, but they should eat some.
Growing up on the mission field I knew many first year missionaries. One in particular that I remember meeting when I was really young. I remember that she cried about ants. There were ants in the kitchen and this made her cry. I thought this odd. Ants are everywhere. Every kitchen is crawling with ants. Since I only knew Venezuela that was a fact for me. My young mind didn't comprehend that where she came from, kitchens didn't have ants.