Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Mothers out there - help please!

I'm panicking and I need help (more than usual!). This weekend, I have friends coming to stay with their three children who are aged between 9 months and 5 (I think she is five anyway).

I am now in a complete panic about what to buy in the way of food and what to do about toys etc. Their mother has been very lacksadaisical about what I need to get in the way of food. I don't think she has really understood the lack of local shopping if I don't have the things she would have in her store cupboard. What should I stock up on? Do five year olds and three (ish) year olds eat the same as grown ups?

The only experience I have is of Chutney Mary's boys who eat strange food free of gluten / dairy / taste and definitely don't eat grown up food.

I'm also worrying about the toy status of this house. My toy supply does exist as I got fed up with children arriving and saying "do you have any toys" and then seeing their look of horror when I said "No." Consequently I have a little Noah's ark and a couple of other miscellaneous things. I also have packing boxes which I have found to be hugely successful as child entertainment. Various forts can be constructed and there is always the ever popular option of 'how many children can fit into one box'. I do also have a few children's books. What else should I bed / borrow / steal?

I am used to children who live up here and can spend hours playing outside but these are London children who are used to on tap entertainment and the equivalent of Hamleys in their own house.

I thought I could make some fairy cakes that they could ice. Perhaps I should borrow some DVD's? What else?

All ideas and suggestions are welcome, and much needed......


bevchen said...

My almost three year old brother eats pretty much what the grown ups eat.
For breakfast he has Ready Brek. He also likes toast. Give him a sandwich and he'll eat the bread and leave the filling, but usually comes back for the filling a bit later if you leave it out for him. He also likes chunks of cheddar cheese. And he absolutely LOVES those flavoured fromage frais thingies for kids (one brand is called Little Stars I think). He would eat them and nothing but them all day every day if we'd let him!

That's about as much help as I can give, not being a mother and living in a completely different country to the aforementioned little brother.

Good luck!

Milla said...

golly this is going back a bit. Lots of things they can eat for themselves, small picky-uppy things. Um, simpler versions of what you have - maybe plain pizza rather than larded with artichokes and mushrooms. Toast, yes. Cheese, yes. The truoble is that even the least faddy plays with fads occasionally. And the mother's not been much help, has she. I would stress that you can't just trot out to Waitrose and get in supplies. Pasta is always good. as is garlic bread. Let's face it, if it's an e-number fest it's not going to kill them. Be brave, don't get stressy, don't take any of it personally, take gin. It's fair enough to make rules - food at the table only sort of thing. other people/s kids can be a PITA! Good luck.

Mrs Trefusis... said...

I have a 5 yr old and a 2 year old.They are irritatingly faddy, but all variations on pasta remain popular including the ultra easy spaghetti al burro (
Dodgy spelling- spag with butter and cheese). Fishfingers and spaghetti hoops good. Breakfast? Croissants or homemade pancakes always massive hit with mine. Petit filous seem to get eaten. And they drink vast amounts of full fat milk and apple juice. As far as toys are concerned, don't worry if you have a garden. And if it's raining, crayons and paper still please. Being able to make a paper aeroplane will guarantee popularity. But if the oldest is 5, your friend will probably bring some essentials.
Chocolate buttons good for emergencies

blackbird said...

I was going to say pasta too but keep the cheese back in case they like it plain. Very plain. Starchy things- rolls, bread, pancakes, pizza. My youngest wouldn't eat any fruits or vegetables until he was a teen.

If the parents aren't worried- you shouldn't be either. About the toys too. Boxes are great, simple card games but they should just go outside. DVDs for when they can't go outside. Good luck!

Mrs Trefusis... said...

PS: making fairy cakes is a very popular activity in my house. Trefusis Minor likes to empty the ingredients into the bowl and give things a stir, as does Hunca Munca, though it's a bit messy when she helps. And they both like icing and decorating. If you can get hold of any dolly mixtures, they seem to be the decoration of choice in my house.
Good luck.

notSupermum said...

Seeing as you're in the country, why not get them to do activities like gardening (a piece of muddy ground, a couple of spades and a bucket, they'll love it!); mini-beast hunt (magnifying glass to hunt for wee beasties); treasure hunt outside; going for a walk through puddles in their wellies; making dens outdoors or indoors if it's wet ( couple of sheets, pegs to secure them, etc.) My daughters still always make dens when we go to stay at a friends house, even though they're now 9 and 12! He always had the den making stuff ready for them, so now they still expect it.

Good luck, hope it goes well.

katyboo1 said...

What everyone else says. My children would always eat toast, plain pasta or rice and yogurts if they were on a faddy thing even when everything else was horrible. Agree with Mrs Trefusis, pencils, crayons, paper, anything messy. Cakes good. meatloaf bad.
You will be fine. If the mother is vague she has nobody else to blame but herself.
Don't let them decorate the loyal hound.

Welsh Girl said...

OK, so everyone is agreed on pasta, yoghurts and toast with apple juice, fairy cakes and emergency chocolate buttons. OK, shopping list done.

I shall add on colouring in stuff, paper for drawing and dig out my sheets and clothes pegs for den making. Fingers crossed all will be well.

THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! You injected calm with suitably maternal efficiency (well, not you Bev - you added it with the insouciance of a seasoned aunt, which is just as good!).


Home Office Mum said...

don't forget you can make playdough if all else fails. flour, salt, oil, food colouring and some cream of tartar I think.

The Singlutionary said...

These children must have had a wonderful time in the country after living in London. What a change. I miss getting out of my city so much and so often. There is wilderness not far away but there is not time to get out there these days!

Welsh Girl said...

Home Office Mum - ok, so though I like the playdough idea that is a fairly sketchy recipe. Any thoughts on how much of each???
Singlutionary - you'd think they would but generally I find they are frightened of getting muddy, wet, chased by a bee, taunted by a butterfly etc etc.

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