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Katy England Katy England
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edge staff writer


Fair weather moms

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When your kids are doing something well, you want to take credit for it. Clearly, they are eating well because of my phenomenal parenting capability. Anyone who has a finicky eater must be doing something wrong, because look, they eat what I give them. Until they don't.

Two out of my three kids are awesome eaters. They are offered the same food in the same way, but one of my daughters will literally turn her nose up at some foods these days. Just weeks ago she was eating like a champion, but now she's too good for mashed potatoes and peas.

It's tempting to attribute our parenting skills to things that we really don't have much control over. My kid is sleeping through the night - I must have an awesome bedtime routine. They eat like champions - it's because I started offering them nutritious whole foods at an early age. They never bite, hit, or misbehave - I deserve mom of the year. Well, maybe you do. But it could also just be the way the wind happens to be blowing at the time.

I remember not very long ago when all my kids would drop right into dreamland twice a day for a nap. Now my odds are 50-50. All three used to eat with gusto anything spooned into their mouth. Now I have to coax one into tasting something she liked yesterday.

Kids are fickle. There's no telling exactly what they are or aren't going to do. When they hit milestones early, all I want to do is telegraph everyone and inform the evening news that I have super geniuses. When they're late with those milestones, or, let's face it, eating dirt off someone's shoe well, who needs to know about that?

There's no harm in basking in your awesomely well-behaved children. But there is a great temptation to tell people exactly what parenting techniques you used to get there. And there's an even greater chance that the person you tell will take it as a critique of their own parenting skills.

Just remember, you don't know when things are going to change. Your little person could go from being a connoisseur of organically grown kale to someone who will pitch a fit if you don't give them a graham cracker from one day to the next. Your peach who slept for two hours twice a day can begin to skip naps, start staying up until 10 p.m. and developing night terrors.

So enjoy the good times and don't judge if you see other parents dealing with crap you might not have experienced yet. Count those lucky stars that things are easy (if they're easy), and take comfort in knowing that if you have a biter, chances are they'll grow out of it. Hopefully before they become teenagers.


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