This morning we descended into that circle of Hell reserved for parents of small children on a cold day: Chuck E. Cheese. OK, it's actually not that bad. They have this giant habitrail climbing structure for the kids that runs across the ceiling and it's attached to a huge slide. Eric loves it. He goes up and we catch glimpses of him through round plastic windows, a grin permanently affixed to his face. He's just old enough to be up there by himself with one of us watching.
Kaylee and I hung out in an area designated for kids under 2. The age limit was blithely ignored by parents and children alike. There were 10 year olds flying through there. One family just left a two year old in there and went off and did something else. Said two year old nearly jumped, boots and all onto Kaylee's head. I realized he was on his own when I went to find his parents to get them to watch him more closely, and there was nobody there for him. Eventually his mom waddled in and shoved a piece of pizza in his face. This happened a couple of times with different kids. The parents would find the kid, who was very happily playing and shove pizza into them.
I know I'm really lucky in a lot of ways that Eric is such a picky eater. The main staple of his diet is pasta. He eats pasta, fruit, cereal, yogurt and cottage cheese and crackers. For treats, he likes lollypops and popsicles. He has no interest in most cookies, chicken fingers, pizza or cheeseburgers. So, when we go to a place like Chucke E. Cheese, there's no chance in hell that he'll even ask to eat the food. He's never eaten at Macdonalds, and if we wanted to go there, there is literally nothing on the menu that he would eat.
Childhood obesity is an issue close to my heart. I was always one of the fattest kids, but when I look at pictures of myself from the 1970's I wasn't all that chubby. In fact, if my nasty little classmates hadn't informed me that I was fat, I probably wouldn't have noticed for years. But compared to these kids today, I was downright skinny. It's so sad to see these parents shoveling lousy pizza into their kids when they're trying to exercise. It just seems so backwards.
Kaylee, unlike her brother has proven to be quite omnivorous in spite of her lack of teeth. She has one bottom tooth and we are calling her Kaykee Jack O'lantern. Rich was eating pizza a few days ago while holding her and she snatched it away and snarfed it up. With no teeth. I don't know how she does it. But she also likes fruit and veggies which I try to give her every day. She eats what we eat, and we make pasta for Eric. Ironically, the only thing she doesn't eat is Eric's favorite dish in the world: plain pasta. Come to think of it, she doesn't like cottage cheese either.
The good news is that they love each other.