Dug had the holiday off so we spent yesterday at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Molly really wanted to touch a bat ray until she had a chance to, at which point she freaked out. Then when I suggested we get out of the way for people who aren't scared to touch a fish, she got mad. She was also furious that the sea turtles are currently off exhibit. We steered clear of the children's exhibits for fear we'd have to spend an hour sitting in front of a tank of clown fish trying to figure out which one is Nemo, which one's Marlin (every. Single. Trip).
Dug's usually got a late night at work several nights a month, where he isn't home for dinner. I usually indulge the kids with some stereotypically kid-friendly grub and give myself the night off from cooking. But he's got a big project at work that's going to keep him a way quite a few nights in the near future and I don't want to play all my cards at once, so tonight I made risotto, chicken, and steamed broccoli for the girls and I. True to form: Molly just wanted risotto, tolerated the chicken, agonized over the broccoli. Maggie mowed down the broccoli and threw a fit when I asked her to eat the chicken and rice first. I had seconds of all three.
(For what it's worth, risotto's a really good trick to have in your arsenal if you have a picky eater who really likes rice. You can get really creative with addins and liquids, and even if your kids don't like "stuff in their food", like Molly, you can blend the "stuff" enough so that it's not even noticeable. I've done risotto with diced carrots and carrot juice and Molly's sucked it down without batting an eyelash; an actual carrot causes her paroxysms of fear. And even though risotto's labor intensive, it requires no brain power.)
In an effort to both encourage good behavior and help remind myself of things that the girls should be doing every day, I made little charts for them. Each has a list of things they should do and ways they should behave, and they get to put a star on the chart when they do something without too much hassle (Molly won't be getting a star for her broccoli-eating performance tonight, but nor will Maggie who was even worse about her rice). I hope it helps things get done without fits, fuss, and tears.
Of course when I showed them the charts and then wouldn't let them play with them, they threw fits.