Adventures in Toddler Land, Part 1-Waste not-Waste A Lot

I am child of the eighties. Reduce, reuse, recycle were the themes I grew up with. I am hardly a militant conservationist, but I do most of the day-to-day things you are advised to do to save the earth, like turn off lights, drive a fuel efficient car, turn the heat down, etc.
Then, my baby became a toddler.
Or, as I like to think of it, The Era of Waste. When I see what, and how much, I waste in the day-to-day of living life with my toddler, I feel immense guilt. I cringe. I have adopted little strategies to reduce this waste. But yet, the following things remain true:
1. The best way to brush teeth is to allow her to hold a second toothbrush under a running faucet.
2. A nice, full bath relaxes her at the end of the day.
3. Food served on a plate always-ALWAYS-ends up on the floor when I encourage independent eating (aka mom steps back and eats her own dinner and ceases to physically hold the plate down).
4. Juice is dumped/poured/squeezed everywhere.

Wasting food bothers me the most. Wasted food is a pet peeve of mine, in general. I will eat leftovers whether I like them or not. I will eat the ends of bread, the crumbs at the end of the chip bag, and the last swig of milk. I make chicken stock from my roast chickens. I can be so extreme, in some ways, that my husband jokes I act like we are living during the depression.

Now, I can find my way home, like Hansel and Gretel, due to the trail of Goldfish crackers that we leave wherever we go. I give her very small portions, but there is always some leftover. Plus, she makes almost daily floor-dumping offerings to the cat, despite my explaining that kitty thinks blueberries are yucky.
I keep telling myself that this a phase. But until it ends, you’ll find me if you follow the trail of crumbs, leading to the endless sound of running water.


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