Wednesday, August 4, 2010

the Child Diet

After the girls had gone down last night, Gina and I were sitting in the dimly lit kitchen discussing the day. I had another furlough day so we took the girls out to lunch at Gladstones by the marina in Long Beach. Lunch started out nice, sitting on the patio enjoying the sun and the slight breeze, but the breeze turned to wind and the sun turned to shade - suddenly Arianna was not having such a good time. We picked up and moved to inside the restaurant but she continued complaining. We finally realized, running through the checklist of things to complain about, that it was those monster feet of hers no longer fitting into the shoes (I told Gina I couldn't get them on and they were too small, but she jammed them on anyways and said they were fine). Once she was barefoot she was back to normal, but by then lunch was over and it was time to move toward our afternoon nap. The discussion last night, though, wasn't so much about Arianna at lunch, just the act of eating in general. Gina has come to the determination that having children may just be the best diet ever - allow an explanation before you make your argument that she's full of it. The trick to this particular diet is eating somewhere other than at home. At home you feed the kids, clean them up, set them down to play and then eat yourself, getting what ever amount of calories you require for the day. But, take two nine month olds out to a meal and it's a different story. You've got approximately an hour and half before a meltdown will begin. You sit down, order drinks and appetizers and then begin feeding them. Feeding a kid at home isn't a huge deal. It takes maybe 20-30 minutes, but feeding a kid in a restaurant where waiters zoom by and neighboring tables are laughing or talking loudly and suddenly you've got distractions. Distractions add another 20 or 30 minutes to a meal. Appetizers start coming in about 10 minutes after you order them so now you're juggling plates, sippie cups and toys to make room for hot calamari that must be placed outside the grab zone (in our case two grab zones which slightly overlap in the center of the table) which severely limits table space. Now you're focusing on feeding kids as quickly as you can so that you can start eating yourself. But the kids aren't on the same page as you so your attempt to hasten the experience actually causes them to fight you more making it worse. Then your meal shows up, so now you're stacking plates of thus far untouched appetizers and commandeering the tables next to you so you can try and make some room. Try arguing with a guy who places his bread basket on your table when he's got two infants strapped to the other side of his table staring you down daring you to open your mouth. You'll find yourself speachless and unable to object. Then, what ends up happening is you take something off your plate, bite it, give one half to a baby and the other half you eat. Take another bite, half to the other baby, half to you. Take a third bite, half to one baby, then the other child starts whining so you give the other half to her. You've now taken three bites and only truly consumed one. ... extrapolate this and tada, you've got a diet. A one in three ratio of consumption to bite, or a third of the calories you originally would have eaten. After about 10 bites you're an hour and a half in to your meal and it's time to move on for naps anyway. Plus you're really too exhausted to try any more. This is how Gina has gotten her pre-pregnancy figure back in 9 months. Ok, I think the 9 yoga classes she teaches a week play a bigger part, but she swears the "diet" has big impact too! Sure you've just spent $20 on 10 bites of a meal, but think how much some of those other diet programs actually cost. We may be on to something. I can see us now on a late night infomercial, after the 12:30am rerun of Everybody Loves Raymond, we pitch adoptions from Malawi with George Foreman and the Shamwow guy as the latest trend to trim the waistline. "Call now and we'll even throw in Cambodian baby absolutely free, but wait that's not all: tell the operator the secret pass word, "baby belly bump burn", and you'll get this collectors edition Russian child too! That's three babies, a $150 value, for the price of one! Call now, operators are standing by." I like it. Now I just have to put a call in to Billy May's and get this thing off the ground. Oh wait, that's right. ... he's dead. He may not be the best pitchman for this idea then.

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