Random ramblings and TV-inspired activities

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Water, water everywhere but only squash to drink

Parenting hey? There's so many things to keep track of, so many areas you can fall down... Let's start with the basics: food and water. Keeping the kids fed so they can do that all-important growth and development, and keeping them hydrated, so that, well, they don't die...

We know what they recommend, kids should drink water, and not have squash or juice. And if they do have juice, make sure you dilute it, one part to 10! And only at mealtimes! And brush their teeth straight after!

Getting my daughter to drink water is an ongoing battle. Now, let's not call it a battle, as that implies it's something more combative than it is. And you don't want combative, as then it starts being all about the parent-child power-struggle, and not about whatever it is that it started off being about... what was that again? Oh yes, water.

So my 2-heading-for-3 year old has never liked drinking water. We introduced squash - very, very dilute - probably around her first birthday, or a bit before, as she was poorly, getting dehydrated and no, she wasn't drinking water when she was thirsty. She's stubborn like that. I don't know if she'd actually starve herself and all the sort of things they say kids won't/shouldn't, but boy is she stubborn. (Part of me thinks I should be imposing my parental will and breaking that stubborn streak/spirit, but the bigger part of me doesn't want to parent like that. The part that thinks I should is more to do with how I think people think I should be parenting - perceived or imagined social pressure. And I don't think drinking squash is the end of the world, much as I would prefer her to be drinking water at least some of the time. I have other battles to pick, I'm not short on them!) Anyway, we introduced the squash and getting her liquid intake around where it should be hasn't been a problem since.

Of course, when child 2 comes along, child 1 is drinking this lovely squash. And he's too small now to have much choice in what he drinks, but he's had squash at an earlier age still, thanks to his big sister's generous sharing.

We're still trying to crack the water problem, in terms of getting Big Sis to drink that rather than squash. She's obsessed with orange squash. Rock's Orange Squash, to be precise. Blardy Tesco stopped selling Rock's Lemon Squash, which in my humble opinion was far superior. Thankfully Big Sis has taken to the orange variant.

(Oh yeah, something else to beat oneself up about - have you noticed how many of these "No Added Sugar" squashes have aspartame in? Aimed squarely at kids in the main, and yet that sweetener seems to be highly questionable, or at least questionable enough that if I can avoid it without going to too much effort, I will. Hence ending up with Rocks, which is basically sugar, juice/zest, and water.)

Things we've tried to get our older child to drink water, with varying degrees of success, include:

* Introduce a straw - fun to drink with, fun to spray water everywhere with
* Introduce a 'grown-up glass' - and watch mummy stress out about safety
* Introduce ice-cubes - they may not drink the drink, but they'll probably suck/eat the ice (and watch mummy stress out about choking risks)
* Set an example by drinking water in front of them - not tea, not coffee, not beer! This is the one that has probably been most successful (and least messy!) for us. And who couldn't do with drinking more water? (Yes, I'm sure those extra pounds are water-retention and not cake retention, definitely no question...)

I know in the grand scheme of things, it's not as if they're drinking Special Brew... But if I didn't have something to be fretting about, I wouldn't be happy, as my other half says.

Such is the nature of motherhood. I can't be the only one who was hit by the 'overwhelming rush of anxiety' before the 'overwhelming rush of love' upon becoming a mother, surely?


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