Natalie, my neighbor, wishes that whenever I mention her I mention her numerous good qualities (and they are numerous), which include, being a better house decorator, gardener and garage sale-er than I can ever hope to be.
One day, I told Natalie how I had a bad day and took Ellis out for some fries.
“Did she dip them?” Natalie asked.
“No, we don’t do that yet.”
Natalie rolled her eyes. “You have to get on that!”
“But it’s so messy and she eats fine.”
“Lyz, if you don’t, I will.”
Which of course sent me spiraling into anxiety. Was I one of those helicopter crazy parents for not letting my kid dip? Was dipping a life skill? Would colleges later reject her for not dipping at 12 months? So, a few weeks later, while I was dipping my own food in ranch I gave some to Ellis.
BIG MISTAKE. HUGE.
In fact, teaching Ellis how to dip could be the biggest mistake I’ve ever made as a parent.
She now dips everything. Blueberries. Spaghetti pie. Peas. Cheerios. All foods she ate and loved before, she now loathes if they aren’t covered in ranch. She yells, “Deh! Deh!” and waves her food in the air. “Deh!”
She wants dip. I want to die.
I’ve tried switching it up. I gave her noodles and meat and veggies and a side of red sauce for dipping. Yesterday, I let her dip her bread in applesauce. But one week in and I’m running out of sauce and this whole thing kind of makes me want to puke.
Yesterday, I gave her blueberries and she wanted nothing to do with them. She sat there with them on her tray yelling “Deh!” and pointing to the fridge.
“Oh, look, Ellis,” I said, “they’re balls! You can eat balls!” (File that under: completely hilarious things you say to kids that are also grossly inappropriate.)
“Bawl?” She looked at the blueberries, then smiled. “Bawl!” She ate a handful and then, yelling, “Bawl!” Tried to throw them at me.
Everything is just going terribly wrong.