This is Simon after lunch. He ran away before I could wash his face.

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This is what he did to the floor. It’s pretty tame compared with most days.

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We took him out of the high chair recently, thinking he’d behave better if he could feel like he was in on the action. I am now thinking this was a huge mistake.

This is how mealtime goes:

I start preparing a meal. Simon pushes a chair over, or just rams his head into the back of my legs repeatedly. He reaches for whatever I’m doing the entire time. He’s usually screaming, “EAT!” or “SNACK!” No matter what I try, I can’t seem to distract him.

By the time I get him to the table, he usually has worked himself into a complete tizzy. I strap him in, give him his plate of food, hold my breath and sit down. He goes at his own plate voraciously for about two minutes, both of which I spend frantically stuffing food in my mouth, because I know what’s coming.

After those few blessed moments, he starts looking around at what else is on the table. Usually, that’s other people’s food and some newspapers. He goes for the food first. Clare actually eats with her arms around her plate, crying most of the time, fearing the long arm of Simon.

He whips his appendages around, flipping whatever he can reach into his path. He grabs pickles, chips, pieces of fruit, whatever he can reach. Most of the time he doesn’t even eat it. He either chews it up and spits the pieces back on the table or throws the food (and entire plates if he can get them) onto the floor. When there is no more food, the newspapers go.

I’m at a complete loss. I have no idea how to fix this. He’s two. I can’t reason with him. I’ve tried putting him back in the high chair, and he screams the entire time and refuses to eat. Which means he spends the rest of the day milling around the kitchen, pushing chairs up to the counter and trying to get at food. And screaming, “EAT!”

I’m biding my time until he passes this stage, but it seems like it’s been like this since the day he came shooting out of my body. I’m always waiting for him to pass through one horrendous stage or the other — colic, teething, biting while breastfeeding, biting his sister (wait — he still does that), hitting, tantrums (Probably 10 a day. When will that end?). 

It’s like everything he does has the intesity of a grease fire. And anything I do to try and put it out is like throwing water on it.

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