Good writing, with a strong point and with life oozing out.

Eating Us Out of House and Home

April 12, 2007

The Girlie must be growing, as she seems to be engaged in a cycle of sleeping and eating and sleeping again. I mean, she’ll wake up, cuddle for a few minutes, then play for awhile before inexorably moving toward the shelves in our kitchen where we keep her food. There, she’ll start rooting around, chewing on teething biscuits still in their cellophane, and (I swear this is true) trying to open jars of baby food.

While she’s dropping these subtle hints, I’ll start getting geared up for Feeding Time, a fast-paced, loud, messy scarf-fest of epic proportions. I know that I need to not only collect some foods, but also make a mental menu carefully sequenced for optimal intake and parental efficiency. The menu needs to alternate between spoon-feeding and finger-foods so that I’ve got time to reload, and it needs to generally transition from bland to sweet, so that she doesn’t stop in the middle to throw down with some protest.

Once I strap her into the high chair, it’s on! Cheerios and fistfuls of turkey. Roasted sweet potatoes and microwaved carrots. Rice cakes and biscuits and more cheerios. Plus all of the jarred concoctions jammed into her mouth at the speed of shouting. Frequently, I find myself short of food, and diving for the shelf myself: “Oh, no, she hates lentils and brown rice… but I wonder if she’ll notice?” A few minutes later, the whole jar is gone and I’m scrambling again. Diced bananas intermixed with crunchy cereal for dessert means she’ll be slowed down a bit as she puts teeth and tongue to task to deal with the different textures, which gives me time to heat up her bottle and try to get her high chair (aka, disaster area) cleaned up a bit. She reaches both hands out when she sees the bottle, which promptly disappears as her eyelids get heavy and she starts to conk out.

Oh, wait, I think I hear her waking up again…

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