Bedtime, just the latest in a long string of unpopular management decisions.
Monday, December 1, 2014
I'm considering reworking this piece for a future submission for an anthology involving recipes. I could use some input.
I miss two person conversations. It seems that whenever I’m on the phone our baby girl tries to eat something she shouldn’t, bellow at the top of her lungs, or try to call guam on someone’s cell phone. I’m convinced all kids are like this. They can’t help themselves for some reason. Since our daughter can’t speak, there are monologues too. ‘Claire, don’t eat that!’ ‘How did you get over there?!!’ ‘What’s wrong now??!!’
We live about forty minutes north of my mother in New Jersey. Visiting mom-mom is therefore a car trip. With a small child, it’s the accessories that kill you. Every trip requires a mental worst case scenario list. ‘Do I have an outfit if she ralphs?’ ‘Did we pack the teething rings?’ ‘Do I have extra wipes for a hazmat diaper?’ etc. Claire was just starting some baby food and I was not used to carrying it with me when we traveled.
A word or three about baby food, as a rookie mom, I find myself reading a lot of labels. So far it’s been interesting to say the least. 100% natural and organic. No sugar added and no preservatives. Whole grain and vitamin fortified. Includes DHA to promote brain development, superhuman strength, and a shiny coat. Then there’s the combinations. Country turkey dinner, beef and corn casserole and chicken tomato pasta. Dinner in a jar. Contains ground turkey, spinach, sweet potatoes, peas, and carrots - in the same jar!
We’ve been sticking with mostly one thing at a time for the jarred food. If I wouldn’t eat it myself, I haven’t had the heart to give it to my daughter. What if it came back to haunt me when I approach my second childhood? I don’t mean the fun part, I mean when I can’t chew and may need diapers.
One particular week we were eating pureed bananas. Usually mom-mom comes to see us but this day we wanted to give her a break. So we loaded up the car and went through the mental checklist. Running late as usual, we set off for mom-mom’s house. What’s the one thing I forgot? The bananas! I am still suffering the effects of what friends call “mommy brain”. Translation: If you live with an infant, chances are you’re idiot tired and lucky to leave the house remembering your pants. I hear this condition improves in roughly eighteen years to twenty two years although your child will certainly disagree. I think mine will resolve itself right in time for early senility to set in but I always was an optimist.
Forgetting the food was not the worst thing in the world, just a pain in the rump. I did have formula. My mother said, ‘Hey, I’ve got some apples, why don’t I make applesauce?‘ Claire had eaten applesauce before with no allergic reaction so I thought, why not? I got Claire settled in for lunch while my mom happily got to work. Applesauce was produced and we tried it. The stuff was fabulous, smooth as silk and better than any jar. This was not the cook I grew up with. She was not a bad cook when we were kids, but let’s just say that for some grandchildren, the bar has been raised.
We put some in a small dish and gave her a spoonful. Claire would rather have had the Alpo! ‘Gag!, What are you people trying to feed me??!!’ Lips pursed and chubby cheeks got red. Spit out applesauce was followed by drool and a yuk face that would have been clear to Ray Charles - and me without my camera. Frequently, since she can’t speak yet, we have to guess what she’s trying to tell us - except for this time.
After she started crying, we abandoned the applesauce amid stifled giggles and went back to formula. I would have felt bad for my mother but she was laughing too much. ‘What did you put in there?’, I asked. ‘Nothing but apples.‘, she said. ‘OK, What kind?‘ ‘Granny Smith.‘ ‘I love those.’ I said. Claire not liking them was a bit of a bummer. Oh well, maybe her tastes will change. Still, for someone who can’t talk, she can communicate, loud and Claire!