Having two children means that mealtime is messy. Lunchtime often involves wiping down multiple surfaces — table, floor, chairs, and of course, the kids.
The 6-year-old is the easier of the two. Although she frequently leaves traces of her meal on her upper lip and in the corners of her mouth, she can usually get rid of the evidence without calling for back-up. The 18-month-old is a different story.
With the younger of my children, I feel like I need to call for crime scene cleanup. How a simple lunch of peas and carrots can make it look like something heinous occurred in my dining room is beyond me. Add in macaroni and cheese, and I may as well flee the scene.
As much as I may want to make my OJ-like escape in my white Rendezvous, however, this is not a practical solution because sooner or later, it will be mealtime again. So, I have settled for a cover-up instead. Some of the evidence can, in fact, be hidden.
It all has to do with color coordination. What I serve for lunch depends on the color of baby’s shirt. A nice green shirt means that she can have any variety of green veggies. The darker the shirt, the darker the veggie. A yellow shirt does well with any light-colored fruit, but plums or cherries require purple or red. Today’s orange shirt gave us the choice between carrots and sweet potatoes. (We opted for carrots.) And the dark shade my fiance has chosen for the stain on the floor hid the evidence of the spill that resulted from flailing limbs.
In my scheme, brown and black shirts are great because they cover a multitude of sins. Yet, considering the various mealtime messes children make, it does not seem logical to market white clothing for them, especially before they reach the age of 10. This is just asking for trouble. (The only conclusion I can reach is that the clothing designers are in cahoots with the bleach company.)
I realize that I may seem slightly crazy, but I am a mother. Some measure of insanity comes with the territory. So, to keep at least part of my day under control, I let the baby smear her color-coordinated lunch into her clothing to her heart’s delight. Now, if I could just figure out a way to style her hair with whatever she’s got on her hands…