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mealtimes... how do you cope when one child insists on screamig at you when your trying to cook day after day after day because it's driving me insane!

(28 Posts)
saralou Thu 28-Jun-07 17:14:20

ever since he was born ds2 (6.5months) has screamed at me whilst trying to cook dinner for ds1... as soon as i pick him up he's fine, but as soon as i go to put him back down he kicks off again.

i have all these f***g toy things for him to sit in, door bouncers etc.. quite happy to sit in them during the day, but not when i'm cooking tea

it's just taken me an hour to cook a meal that should take 30 mins max

and it's burnt

help... tell me what i'm doing wrong and how to fix it!!!

saralou Thu 28-Jun-07 17:28:50


Denmark Thu 28-Jun-07 17:29:58

My DD is 3.6 and my DS is 2 and when I was cooking for my DD I used to sit him in his highchair, I could put the back of the chair a little back so he could relax. But the point was that he could see what I was doing instead of just my legs. I would make small talk and explain what I what doing etc. he was happy with that. Or sometime CBeebies . I also put his bouncing chair on the kitchen table (safely offcourse) as long he could follow everything I was doing he was very happy (and still is, he LOVES foodtime and now is he allways asking to look in the pan, what I am cooking, helping with things etc.)

TrinityRhino Thu 28-Jun-07 17:30:27

does he have food now?
maybe you need to feed him while you cook or before if you aren't BLW

ChristyC Thu 28-Jun-07 17:35:00

Hi saralou,
I would advise to put him in his highchair and give him a bowl with some of the stuff you are making for ds1 and muck about with it. Failing that, somewhere safe out of the kitchen and let him scream blue murder. He knows that he gets your attention now at this time and so has developed a habit - do you feed him first and then ds1 or do you all eat together? This time of day is soooo hard as they are tired and grouchy, but you really can't let him dictate the way things are. It will be hard to take the screaming if you do put him out of the room, but he will soon learn and a bit of hardship now will definately pay dividends in the long run.

carocaro Thu 28-Jun-07 17:35:26

me too, DS is 5.5 months and has just tailed off his crying at mealtimes, I have a 5 year too, so it's a doozy sometimes trying to get tea, I have just started weaning him and this seems to help placate him, also he like to be high up in his Bumboo seat on the kitchen table or in his high chair, plus I dance about to the radio and sing and talk to him about what I am cooking, I look like a total twonk but it seems to keep him happy, also my Mum just bought him one of those Baby Einstein DVD's and he's totally transfixed for 25 mins, can't explain why it's different to other TV. At least once a week we eat out and by that I mean spag hoops on toast in the local supermarket, Pizza Express or like tonight a Happy Meal on the sofa, so nutritious hey? But he eats loads of fruit and vege so I don't feel so bad, I aslo plan meals on a 2 week rota, so I know what I am doing that morning for tea, so I can just bang it out pronto, but sometimes I think just cry because DS1 is starving and I tend to crank up the radio for 10 mns just to get on!!! It's hoo haa and a half sometimes, hope this helps, you are not alone in the baby screaming tea time madness, WAAA WAAA WAAA! xxxxxxx

Bibis Thu 28-Jun-07 17:35:37

I know you said you have the f**ing sitting things but does that include the swing chairs, battery operated ones? Worked wonders with mine when I had exactly the same prob.

Other things I would try would be putting in cot if really unbearable sorry if that upsets people! Can he hold onto anyfood yet? I can't remember when they do things but my smallest always wants food before the others so I give her something to chew on whilst I am cooking.

Another option is having food which you have already cooked and frozen so just needs defrosting and reheating - I find it much easier to do batch cooking at weekend when dh is around so we don't have the waits at tea time during the week.


handlemecarefully Thu 28-Jun-07 17:36:10

Used to put mine in wilkinet baby carrier and cook the meal

saralou Thu 28-Jun-07 17:50:56


i am blw and thats going well... he's so impatient though and not prepared to wait for it!!! so he screams and screams at me... i can't give him the food to calm him if he won't let me cook it

honestly, he gets so worked up, you'd think he was gonna go pop... but as soon as i pick him up the screaming instantly stops!

bibis, i had to get rid of swing as he kept trying to climb out

carocaro, thankyou for telling me i'm not alone !

i'm now thinking some kind of little starter type thing to keep him chilled for 5mins

compo Thu 28-Jun-07 17:52:50

brilliant advice from everyone on here.... and also just to add some encouragement... remember it is just a phase, it won't always be like this

FrannyandZooey Thu 28-Jun-07 17:53:10

I bulk cook at weekends and freeze it, OR prepare meal in morning while baby asleep

impossible to cook at this hour, with children and mother hungry, tired and grumpy, without tears IME

compo Thu 28-Jun-07 17:54:05

ooh yes F&Z - I work on Saturdays and get dh to bulk cook for me while I'm at work. Makes the week go so much better, bless him

FrannyandZooey Thu 28-Jun-07 17:54:55

You do need a big freezer, but it works so well

once you get a few weeks under your belt you can get cooking down to about once every 3 weeks

juuule Thu 28-Jun-07 18:13:47

I used to carry mine around with me while making tea.

saralou Thu 28-Jun-07 18:20:06

i don't really have the time to bulk cook... have just managed to shout down the phone at dp, he doesn't get this, i work a double shift on a sunday so he takes them to the pub for a nice sunday roast every week... what should i do take them to the pub every day?????

i did used to cook double so i could freeze some, but i have't really cooked properly like that as by the time i get the boys sorted and the house straightened it's 8.30 and i can't be arsed... that i do need t sort aswell!

i'm feeling a bit emotional right now

FrannyandZooey Thu 28-Jun-07 18:24:33

Sorry sarahlou, it is easy to come up with glib solutions when we are not in the middle of it all

it feels like you are drowning in it sometimes, I do understand the panicky and overwhelmed feeling

would some ideas for quicker meals that you can do in a hurry, help?

saralou Thu 28-Jun-07 18:28:57

thanks... i've gotten pretty good at quick meals... but more suggestions would always be gratefully recieved!

i think 6 months of it has just worn me out, i want to leave him in the woods for wolves to raise him (bad attempt at lightning the mood here!) and i've had flu this week so feeling pretty worn down

Tommy Thu 28-Jun-07 18:29:10

saralou - really feel for you - your house sounds like mine at tea time

My baby not quite eating yet but I think I would try and give him some nibbles while I was cooking tea for the big ones

I'm hoping it's just a phase or I will go out to the pub on my own and leave them to it

tuppy Thu 28-Jun-07 18:30:16

A counterintuitive way perhaps in which to be spending time apart from your children, but could you get a friend/relative/babysitter to take them out for about 3 hours one day, while you batch cook and get ahead of yourself again foodwise ?

It won't be long before he can eat family food, either mushed roughly or pureed if you like, eg., spag bol, a chicken casserole, a batch of soup. Freeze in 2 or 3 different sizes, to cater for adult size and child size portions.

Also this phase will end - I know it's hard ! - and you can interleave your frozen stuff with fresh cooked from scratch things for ds1.

saralou Thu 28-Jun-07 18:31:22

compo, would your dh bulk cook for me too??? mine doesn't really know what the kitchens for, except making coffee

lucky lady

saralou Thu 28-Jun-07 18:33:59

tuppy, we are alone family wise and friends are all busy with their own littlies!!

tomorrow though, my study day has been cancelled and the boys are booked in nursery.. a perfect opportunity methinks!!!

shame my freezers small!!! but i can do something!!!

tuppy Thu 28-Jun-07 18:35:47

Go Saralou ! You'll feel like a true domestic goddess when you've finished.

FrannyandZooey Thu 28-Jun-07 18:43:04

Saralou this probably seems obvious but if you want to cook a couple of different things, instead of cooking one from start to finish, get them all going at the same time.

Eg if I was making lentil shepherds pie, pizza sauce, plus bolognese for pasta, I would start by frying the onions and mushrooms for all 3. Divide into 2, add the lentils etc to the first, tomatoes to the second (which is going to become pizza sauce and bolognese). Divide second portion again and add the meat / lentils etc for the bolognese to one portion.

I have probably not explained that well but hopefully you get what I mean. It saves so much time.

saralou Thu 28-Jun-07 18:49:11

i do get what you mean franny, will try that tomorrow!

i just saw your earlier suggestion for cooking in the morning whilst their napping! why have i never thought of that??? brilliant!

sometimes you just need a different perspective from the outside world!!

thanks all... i feel so much better and calmer now (although that may also be down to the fact he's gone to sleep)

FrannyandZooey Thu 28-Jun-07 18:57:45

Someone else posted this in a much more witty way the other day, but I always find that as soon as a situation gets bad enough for me to post about it on MN / wail for help in RL, it instantly improves of its own accord anyway

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