There are now two items on our banned food list. . .a.k.a. the 'Do Not Feed to Triplets' list. Upon disclosure I am confident there will be knowing nods of "ahhhhhhh" and possible choking on laughter. This list is a fairly new necessity in our home and just another one of those things that I am not sure that parents without multiples have to consider. Interestingly enough, both items earned their ban status within the same month. More specifically, I recognized my stupidity during the super-busy chaotic window of weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Because, really, I was feeling the need to add just a little more work to my tasks for each day.
For the most part, I think others would say the babies have fairly healthy meals and snacks. I pureed and froze all of their baby food until after their first birthday. They drink milk and water and on rare occasions have a small splash of juice mixed into their water. They love fruits and vegetables and eat whole grains with very little canned or processed foods. And the day that item number one provoked the need for our "list" started out like any other day. After diapers and breakfast and face-washing and clean outfits I was bustling around trying to get organized enough to scurry three babies out to the van and get moving on our long day of errands. In between folding diapers and pouring bottles I managed to get six little feet into three pairs of socks, secure two pigtails on a bouncing and twisting blur, and attach one pink bow to the top of a very cute head.
A quick glance at the kitchen clock evoked a sigh with the realization that, as with most days, the morning was slipping away while I checked off the tasks on my list before we could walk out the front door. Considering my cranky-prevention options since lunch would soon be heading our way I remembered a quick snack I had grabbed off the shelf at a store the day before as we were wrapping up our shopping when Cranky-Snout, Crankapotmus, and Crankodile informed me they were tiiiiiiiiiiired and hunnnnnnnnnnngry. Pushing their stroller and pulling our cart, I did a quick scan of the shelves and snagged what appeared to be a good hand-held snack. Strawberry toaster pastries. Ahhhhhhh. Tearing open the package and dispersing half a sugary treat to each snatching hand of a gnashing Crank, I dropped the box into my cart and convinced myself that a little goodie now and then was okay. After I made it home that night and got the babies to bed I unpacked the shopping bags and set the box of toaster pastries on the counter thinking we probably would never finish the last three.
Until that next morning. Hmmm. Quicker than toasting up some bagels. Neater than an almond butter sandwich. Okay, why let them go to waste? Strawberry toaster pastries it was. Tearing open the shiny silver packet containing these deceptively safe snacks I took them in to my little darlings. What happy faces! What pleased shrieks and giggles when they saw their treat! Yes, I am a good and smart mommy. We were all dressed in our fun new Christmas outfits, our hair was still neatly brushed and pig-tailed and bowed on the appropriate heads, and my list of things that had to be completed, collected, and transported to the van before we left for our day was almost done. Pleased with myself, I handed the snacks over the top of the play yard to eagerly grasping fingers, and I turned to finish up a final few things. In my last peaceful moments of oblivion I headed to the office to write a check for a bill, ran downstairs to start the washing machine for the third time that morning, and checked the back door to make sure all doggies were inside and the door was locked. Whew. I was finally ready to load up the small ones and try to make it through our long list of things to do in the last crunch before the holidays.
Strawberry toaster pastries educated me on the existence of banned food lists. In the matter of no more than five minutes my precious little love-muffins had transformed themselves into canvases for a red gooey crumbly sticky explosion. I still don't know how the pastry part disappeared because I didn't see anything resembling easy to pick up cream-colored chunks of pastry. Instead I saw lumps of red smashed onto tops of heads, clutched in grubby fists, and glommed ONTO PREVIOUSLY CLEAN CUTE OUTFITS! Upon closer inspection, it appeared as though there had been sitting and crawling and walking and laying on toaster pastries because there was red sticky chunks and smears on backs and elbows and knees and noses. There were chunks clinging to eyelashes and nesting in pigtails. Lint and fuzzes and doggie hairs appeared to be captives of the red goo and decorated some of the chunks with a funky fuzziness. Twinkling eyes and toothy grins looked up at me as I sat down on the couch. As a wave of feeling overwhelmed washed over me I don't think I was processing efficiently because all I could think about was how long it was going to take to clean up three babies, re-dress them, restyle their hair, and clean up the play yard and carpet. I zombie-walked into the bathroom to get a washrag and drug my feet all the way back to my chore ahead. Hmmm. Baby number three's head seemed the most immediate concern as I considered the rather large lumps of gummy gunk matted into her hair. Thinking I would just use the washrag to wipe the gunk out of her hair I thought, "Okay, this isn't that bad. Just focus, and we will get done and head out for our errands." Hmmm. I paused when I immediately found that the strawberry goo from strawberry toaster pastries apparently hardens into a gum/glue-like substance when it comes into contact with air. . .or triplets. . .or my triplets. I have not yet had to deal with gum in hair, but I felt certain that this was infinitely worse. Okay. So the washrag was not going to wipe the gunk out.
Finally, as the shock was wearing off the reality set in. And I sat down. Hard. Kerplunk. On the floor. Strawberry toaster pastry - 1, the Mommy - 0. It actually took a few minutes for my brain to begin firing again, but when it did I resigned myself to reorganizing our schedule and shifting all the errands to the next day. After calling the daddy to explain the situation, stripping the babies, soaking off the red gooey crumbly stickiness, starting the washing machine for the fourth time that day, and settling three babies, two doggies, and one mommy down for a much deserved nap I began to drift off with a new list formulating in my head - 'Do Not Feed to Triplets' (at least unsupervised in carpeted rooms. . .while they are dressed. . .and have hair): 1.) Strawberry toaster pastries.
Strawberry toaster pastry - 1, the Mommy - 1.
Slipping into sweet sleep I thought, "Aw, I don't really need a list. This was a valuable learning experience, and I am not going to make that mistake again."
. . .One word. 'Nutella.'