We have a joke in our house about who is in charge, Khary or I? The question is rhetorical, since of course I wear the pants (ha ha). But it has come to our attention that the girls are trying to get in on the joke. Much of this revolves around eating, or the distaste for this food, or that, or this, or that. It’s us versus them. On our side, there’s the tweaking of recipes and constant poking and prodding to finish what is on a plate or in a bottle. On their side, it’s a complete disregard for our comfort or happiness. We’re at a disadvantage to begin with since Jocelyn is allergic to dairy; so many meals have begun to revolve around eggs and grits, two things that she loves. Yet I managed to ruin her eggs the other day by adding in too much fake cheese, which changed the texture of the eggs into a squishy blob of yellow mush. I didn’t fight it—not after the events of last Saturday when she showed me a glimmer of what I will deal with in the future. After letting her feed herself, she had decided it was time to play in her food. So I moved in to help her finish. She looked at me with her mouth full of eggs and stuck her tongue out, letting it all fall out in her lap. I reminded myself that I’m trying to be a good mother, and I resisted the urge to shove the eggs back in her face. At dinner that night she repeated her performance. I gave up entirely and sulked on the couch. I don’t want to think of what she’ll be like as a fifteen-year-old. Meanwhile, Aja has decided that not only does she like her bottle right on the edge between warm and screaming-hot, she would prefer that the person feeding her stand while said bottle is inserted into her mouth. This is a girl that may have been born small, but she has grown significantly, and her now twelve-pound body does an excellent job of digging into the arm that is cradling her while she eats. Through all of this I hear my brother’s voice. When I was five or so I didn’t want to eat anything but spaghetti. If my brother is to be believed this went on for a month or more. In the reality that is not strung with his lies, it was more like a week. I am reminded of the spaghetti incident at almost every family get-together. We all have these stories though. For Khary and his brother it has something to do with Teddy Ruxpin.