OK so just a short one tonight but I've kept you in suspense long enough (is anyone reading this? Does anyone really care??!!).....
A large part of my time at home seems to be spent on my hands and knees in the playroom (otherwise known as Sasha's room), clearing up after her, in particular foodstuffs. She is great at breakfast time (unlike number 1 who refuses everything) and generally eats a whole weetabix (some dropped off spoon onto mat, last little bit left in bowl), followed by some toast with butter (crusts left on floor, just off plate) and then for quite a while she was requesting a bowl of rice krispies, no milk. She then proceeds to have about 2 or 3 spoonfuls of these, but somehow after I've left the room it would seem the majority of the remainder ends up spread across the floor. And as we all know, once trodden in these make even more of a mess! To wash all this down (quite literally for a while back then!) she has water in a 'sippy cup'. She is more than capable of drinking out of an open cup - in fact she has better co-ordination than Tamsin did at her age - but the trouble is as much as she is thirsty and likes to drink gallons of water, she also likes to see it spread around a room on the floor or any other surface. It was getting a bit too close for comfort when it was over the TV stand next to the TV and above the DVD player. All done when we are out of the room of course, but we have the same issue with trying to explain to her what she has done wrong and her not really taking it in. At least it's only water; that's all she ever drinks despite having been offered juice etc - again so unlike Tamsin who did not ever drink water and has a minimal amount of juice.
I was thinking that there probably aren't many 3 year olds who still need a messy mat, but then I guess I perpetuated that by letting her sit with food in front of her much loved DVD collection. However I would have liked to see anyone else try to keep her sitting at a table for mealtimes only (a few have tried, rarely succeeded). She's a big snacker generally, and good with breakfast and lunch but rarely eats proper tea - her variety of food intake is quite limited. To be honest we allowed the same behaviour with Tamsin at her age, and I don't think any parents of children who eat well - everything that is put down in front of them (hello older brother) - would ever understand why I did this. For me it was just one way of coping with what was the most stressful part to me of bringing up children - mealtimes. Tamsin has grown out of most of the troubles even if she's not the world's greatest eater. She now understands why she sits down at the table at the requested times, and I'd not be embarrassed to take her to any restaurant or someone else's house, so I guess I always thought that Sasha would learn this too. She might yet - she is improving and will sit with us sometimes and even eat a semi-decent meal (if it's what she wants!) but then it's very mood dependent. At least her routines are not so rigid that they don't change every once in a while - I really admire mums of children with more challenging autistic behaviour than Sasha, they must have the patient of a saint!
Ah, you picks your battles is all I can finish with here.