Mammu (Food) Time aka the most tiring time of the day to spend with Abhi and Achu. That is the time when we give Abhi and Achu their breakfast or lunch or dinner. It’s the most challenging task of all with Abhi and Achu. I have to be honest, only 10% of Mammu Time if fun for us. Rest of the feeding time, we have to focus on pooling our energy, not losing it and continue to keep feeding. But the 10% fun is what keeps us going.
♦ To give Abhi and Achu as much space as possible, we ditched our dining table so Abhi and Achu eat their mammu in these little booster seats. When we get food ready, we call out ‘Mammu time…Get booster seats’. Abhi and Achu run to the corner where we keep the seats. And they wait there until one of us comes and gets the seats from behind the toy boxes. Its like a competition already among them on who will get to those seats first. And then we leave the seats folded on the floor, they fight to open them into seating positions. It might sound like the are so eager for their meal. You know, even the kids who eat really really well wont be so interested in setting up their seats like this. But they are not. Their interest and activity ends here. Rest is all our fight. 🙂
♦ If Abhi or Achu ask for ‘Kab Kab’ or ‘Kabbaki’, don’t worry. They are only asking for water. 🙂 It’s the name Achu randomly gave the cup and the water in it. Naturally, Abhi uses the same name and we do too. We have stopped referring to the word water and only use ‘Kab Kab’. I mean, we have called water, ‘water’ all our life. Calling it ‘Kab Kab’ is different and fun.
♦ And you have no idea what an important role ‘Kab kab’ plays during the meal time. It’s actually like kab kab feeds Abhi and Achu, not us. Without it, Abhi and Achu cant make small pools in the feeding tray and splash water everywhere, they can’t mix different types of food and give us facial with it ( Yes, the mix also includes everything from bowl, food back from their mouth and much more 😦 ). Without it, they also can’t throw water and food as far as possible to them ( I tell you, sometimes its like we have taken bath after they are done eating, sometimes we have to really take bath because of the mess they made).
♦ Of course, there also has to be twin things with the meal time. Yes, yes, there is that too. In the special, twins eating mammu episodes, that happen very very frequently, we see,
♦ Coughing is very very contagious. Abhi coughs up (mostly genuinely) and then Achu thinks she should cough too. Even though she wont get one, she will manage a fake cough. That fake cough wont go away unless she gets so much ‘kab kab’.
♦ One of them refuses to eat. Ofcourse there are million different ways they can refuse food. And now, does the other one say, ‘Oho. One baby is already crying. Let me be the good one and finish my food’? No. The other one ALWAYS thinks, ‘Yayy! Lets join the movement fight-against-food with this other baby and not eat’.
♦ One of them is done eating his/her meal. Now, for the other one, it means, ‘Okay. I am done too. I don’t have to eat anymore’. Really, tell me what logic is this? Sometimes, Abhi doesn’t even eat few spoons from his bowl, but if Achu is done, he thinks he should be done too. Hmm. That’s why we keep both of them locked in the booster seats until both of them finish eating. (Also gives us a chance to take some revenge 🙂 )
♦ Achu is eating food on her own. By mistake, one spoon spills and falls next to her booster seat. Abhi notices that and thinks he has to do the same. Dumps every spoon next to the booster seat.
♦ Abhi and Achu decide to have a party throwing food, some behind the booster seats (they mostly end up on the wall. I spent some time today trying to get rid of food stains on the walls), some on each other, some on us, some on toys, in short, all over the living room. Last time, P found something in the corner. I asked what it was, she said it was peas from their food.
♦ Achu doesn’t want to eat food. She is already protesting, fighting, crying, trying to get out of her seat etc. etc. Abhi may be eating food that time, just by our luck. The way she takes revenge on us for trying to feed her is she stops us from feeding Abhi. Literally falls all over him or his seat and covers him, pushes our hands away or kicks the bowl.
♦ Abhi and Achu, each have some toy/object. Suddenly Achu doesn’t want hers. Instead of throwing it, she pushes her toy to Abhi’s tray. Abhi doesn’t want it. He shoves it back. Achu thinks, ‘how dare he?’ and gives it back to him. After the object makes couple of rounds from one tray to another, either of Abhi and Achu get cranky and finally throw it on us and suddenly neither of them wants to eat anymore. Sigh! How was it our mistake that one of them didn’t want the toy?
♦ Mammu time is the only time Abhi and Achu get to watch TV. In fact, I have concluded that the weight gain seen at last drs. appointment is all thanks to TV. Food from bowls was quickly stuffed into their mouths and swallowed because they were so busy watching TV. But most of the Telugu movie songs they were watching on TV (One channel almost always broadcasted these same set of songs, we were very thankful to them, then). I took a little offense that they were watching all this crap raunchy songs. But I didn’t say anything. Nanny and P were completely fine with it. But when Murali saw this, he objected. At the last drs. appointment, our pediatrician also said no to TV during feeding time. Add to that, Abhi developed a super good habit of keeping food in his mouth and not swallowing it. He would keep it there for few minutes, swallow suddenly, cough and throw up the entire food. So, we got rid of TV. Now, we are on our own when feeding them. Mostly, we get it done playing tricks, giving them water, toys or cups to play with. All this also means that the food intake has significantly gone down and so I should prepare for not-so-good news at the next drs visit.
♦ Abhi and Achu are still learning to eat with spoon. Some foods that wont fall off the spoon, they can empty it into their mouth. Some foods that I give them, they can pick it up with their fingers and eat. The way they so carefully pick up the food, examine it, let it touch their lips for a second to taste it and then put it in the mouths is very very cute. When they do all this and then push the food inside their mouth for couple of times without swallowing it and eventually spit it out, is the time they should be thankful that they look cute. Because that’s when I am telling myself ‘Control, control’ over and over again. 🙂
♦ Kaki (crow) is our other friend when feeding Abhi and Achu. if Abhi and Achu don’t eat, Kaki gets so hungry, you know. It will also get Ishi, Ishi. Abhi and Achu are very kind that they eat for Kaki. If Kaki doesn’t get the job done that time (Of course, even they know kaki can’t be that hungry that two kids have to eat continuously), ‘Diddu’ comes. Abhi and Achu have to eat one spoon at least to stop Diddu from coming. Last time our nanny said ‘Kaki come here. Abhi and Achu are not eating’, Achu replied, ‘Diddu, come here’. 🙂 Looks like they have silently elected Diddu to be their representative. Now kaki and Diddu have to fight and Abhi and Achu will eat based on who wins. 🙂
♦ Trust me this was one of the cleaner times after they finished their meal. In fact, I should say it looks almost clean compared to what mess we had cleaned up before. 🙂
As long as they finish their meal and not throw up the entire thing, we really don’t mind the cleanup of the mess. No one will. Of course, meal times are going to get more and more tough. We need to pack up more energy and patience for the future. Sometimes I wish if there was a single tablet or something that we could eat and not worry about feeding at all. 🙂 No, wait. Where is the fun in that.
Go on Abhi and Achu, Invent millions of new ways to refuse mammu and we will find some way to get some food inside you (at least try to. 🙂 ).