Food has taken over my life. It’s not even me that’s eating it (mostly). For the past 6 months I’ve basically been delivering around 9 meals a day. At one point that was 9 milk feeds and nothing for me as I didn’t have any spare hands or minutes, but now we’re into weaning (just change two letters and it’s waring – go figure!).
So, it’s 5 milk feeds, 3 ‘solid’ feeds (how can they call that mushed up vomit solids?!) and a meal for me and my man at the end of the day. It’s endless and exhausting and occasionally highly entertaining!
Hours spent in the kitchen slaving over an Annabel Karmel cook book leave you with pulped fruit, pureed veg and mushy chicken all neatly spooned into ice trays, and a very smug feeling – until you realise that actually getting this stuff into your baby is a whole different ball game! …Basically, he chucks what he doesn’t like, so I just spent all those hours making delicate little canapés for the dogs.
If I’m honest, I was really dreading this whole stage. Squashed banana has always made me gag! And that stuff that mums wipe off the table into their hands – urgh! And the things that they do like licking stuff of their child’s fingers or picking out bogies – reeeeally?! So, I had to psych myself up.
Having said this, we started the whole food thing early. That was a whole other battle. How are you supposed to know when to do anything when advice is so contradictory?… 4 months was always the norm, now suddenly it’s 6 months. Can they sit up? Are they interested in food? Yeeees, but that was at 4 months. So we went for it. It was clearly a success as baby K has got entirely stuck in and started sleeping through the night (though they say the connection between these two events is mythical, well it wasn’t for us). But it’s certainly a journey. Yet another learning curve. I’ve learned so much new information in the past year – like an entire degree’s worth – most of it about stuff I never really wanted to know in the first place!
Anyway, there we were: Day one. Little bottom perched in big high chair, cute clean bib in position and mini spoon in hand. I offered up the fruits of my labour… only to have them returned in a splattery spitty mess seconds later along with a look of absolute disgust!
Our rented house is definitely going to require an entire blog post to itself (once we’ve moved out and got the/some of the deposit back!) but there’s no hiding the fact that there is rejected food splattered up walls! Thank goodness for the dogs (never thought you’d hear me say that!) or the floors would be thick with dried slop that I don’t have time to clean up – at least you can’t see dog spit!
There are at least a thousand things you can’t give a baby for fear of allergies, choking, or alien invasion, so planning meals is a bit of a minefield. And the homemade vs shop bought ‘organic’ options is a conundrum too. But we’ve found our middle ground and I’m pleased to say we have made progress. More food goes inside baby K than on him (more like 60/40 than 40/60!) and enthusiasm has improved – mainly in the form of ‘mmmmm mmmm mmm’ noises and flapping excited arms.
I’m not surprised he gets excited – the little prince is brought offerings of three or even four courses including finger food appetisers, nutritious blended mains and generally fruit-themed deserts. We don’t eat like this!
Mostly though, it’s good we don’t eat like him. If we did we’d be doubling our body weight every couple of years and also finding bits of lunch in our ears or eyebrows at around 3pm when we wake up from our naps. Oh, hang on – that does happen! Not the nap obviously, but randomly discovering he’s sneakily smushed some unrecogniseable food substance into my clothes, generally at a moment where I can’t do anything about it, happens quite a lot. It’s so glamorous being a mum!
it’s worth it: Worth scrabbling through the freezer amongst all the little pots of mysterious green stuff (damn, must start labeling them); the endless planning ahead; the messy disgusting state of everything; because he’s growing and smiling and enjoying it all. I never realised how much fun it would be to watch him try jelly for the first time, or taste pineapple or experience philadelphia’s creamy coolness on his tongue. Imagine what it must be like to have all those new tastes coming your way.
The endless preparation, laying out, delivery, clean up (then clean up again as he generally pukes at least some of it up once we’re all done) leaves you with little time to do anything else much, and makes it close to impossible to leave the house (the prospect of doing all this in a café where the high chair is probably too big so he slides around, other people distract him and he’s likely to strain for a poo very loudly half way through is just not that appealing!). It means doing anything for yourself is likely to be out of the question and has left me feeling slightly neglected: No time to exercise, grabbing a ready meal when you get a minute and growing steadily paler and paler. I jumped on the scales the other day to check how bad things have really got and nearly had a heart attack. So focused was I on the huge numbers which had appeared, that I failed to spot the little hands pressing down on the weighing plate just behind my feet! I forgot about my weight, because all of a sudden our little boy can crawl!!
Hmmm keeping him still to be fed is going to be even more interesting now!