Wipe the Smirk Off Your Face

I had a fully zen moment after an afternoon spent at the spa. (A bit of personal relaxation enjoyed despite Scout’s best efforts.)

Destroy refused to focus on the actual spoonfuls of food in front of him. He’s currently exhibiting an odd fascination with the taste and texture of his bib. Unfortunately, this creates a very avant garde style: vegetable sleeves with pureed face mask. Jon’s patience is wearing thin with the secret handshake motions of pulling the bib away, wiping his face, turning to give his brother a spoonful, realizing Destroy has grabbed the bib again, attempting to scoop the dribbles of mashed baby food off the kid and then repeating the entire process.

Fine. Perhaps this game will be easier without the desired bib in conflict. I plucked my muppet out of his high chair, laid him on the floor and removed his outfit. Naked dinner.

That strategy worked so much better in my mind. Destroy immediately grabbed the high chair straps and began chewing. This continued to be a bit problematic as he had not swallowed his food yet. Once the strap was completely coated in masticated mashed sweet potatoes, he resumed his smear campaign. Jon had to hold the little man upright, as I rushed upstairs to gather bathtime necessities.

I don’t think we’ll try naked dinner anymore.

Both muppets are teething again. Search’s first tooth broke through on Saturday; it took me a bit longer to see it since I had to catch the newly mobile man first. However, the process leading up to this newly acquired accessory was not a tremendous amount of fun for any party involved.

Mealtime has been a bit of a nightmare in our house this past week. Destroy begins screaming the moment he is strapped into his highchair. And Search has decided he’s not a big fan of what’s on the menu.

The Menu
Breakfast: Fruit. Selection of Peach Oatmeal Banana, Pears, Apples and Apricots, or Bananas Peaches and Raspberries

Lunch: Vegetables. Selection of Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Winter Squash, or Peas and Brown Rice

Dinner: Combination Meal. Selection of Vegetable Turkey Dinner, Summer Vegetable Dinner, Rice and Lentil Dinner, or Sweet Potato and Chicken Diner

The breakfasts and lunches smell exactly how you’d assume. Apples and Apricots could double as applesauce. Mashed bananas take on the quality of the innards in banana cream pie. Winter Squash smells deliciously like pumpkins.

The dinners look and smell like putrid dog food. (Sorry Scout and Cooper.)

Search will steadfastly clench his lips together and turn his head away. He’s pretty clear about his intentions. Destroy naturally continues to eat – but he does so with a grudging expression that states, “I’m gonna eat. But I’m not happy about it.”

If we try to airplane the food into Search’s mouth, he’ll laugh. He’s mastered giggling with his lips glued shut. If we try to tell Destroy, “No” in a stern voice as he mashes his food into his face and gnaws on his bib, he’ll laugh.

I took a whiff of the Rice and Lentil Dinner. We’ve had rice in peas already and rice cereal was our first foray into solids (the term “solid” to be taken very loosely in terms of rice cereal). It smelled suspiciously like play-doh, but I figured we’d give it a whirl since the muppets seem to just love food in general. Search eagerly took the first bite and promptly made a face. “No thank you, mom.” I tried to coax a second and third bite. “No sir!”

Destroy continued eating, but by opening his mouth much narrower than usual, a large majority merely dribbled down his chin. Which he then took great pride in smearing all over all surfaces within reach. I was surprised. I thought we’d encountered the first dish the muppets didn’t love.

The following evening I thought dining on summer vegetables would be a safe option. But the Rice and Lentil scenario repeated. I reassured myself that the muppets were merely cranky because their teeth were bothering them. My perfect children couldn’t possibly be entering a picky phase…

I stared at the glass baby food jar, trying to figure out what my next move was. I wasn’t really terribly concerned about their reticence for mushy plant products. Despite the solid food refusals, both boys were guzzling their milk. (I remember the NICU doctors telling us they were going to begin introducing mommy’s milk to their tiny tummies – beginning with 2 ml. Before graduation, Jon and I would sit for close to an hour trying to cajole our six pound studs to finish 20 ml.) They are routinely polishing off 8 oz several times a day now (240 ml for full comparison impact).

Then I saw it. The horrifying information overcame me in slow motion.

“Earth’s Best Summer Vegetable Dinner Ingredients: Water, organic corn, organic zucchini, organic green beans, organic brown rice, organic carrots, organic garbanzo beans, organic canola oil.”

I fed my children zucchini. I am a terrible parent.

I have a very strong opinion that zucchini and asparagus are a plague upon mankind. No wonder the muppets were refusing to eat. I took a wet washcloth and wiped their faces clean. They just giggled and snuggled closer.

Of course, this new pickiness may also be attributed to the misery of teething. Now that Search’s pearly whites are making their appearance, both muppets are eating all their food again (even the dreaded foul zucchini). And they decided to keep the milk guzzling in their routine – which is good now that Search is burning mass amounts of calories as a muppet on the go.

It’s exhausting just watching him mobilize. I wonder if infant observation counts as a workout? No matter, I’m sure chasing the little mischief-maker, does.

2 Comments

Filed under Destroy, Food, Home, Search

2 Responses to Wipe the Smirk Off Your Face

  1. Dalia

    try naked dinner in the bumbo..much easier to clean

  2. Winifred Ahern

    Mealtime can be such fun! Add all that delicious food (Ugh!) and teething besides — maybe Dalia’s suggestion has merit – naked in the bumbo chair – Search looks so proud of himself crawling around at a speedy pace – When Destroy starts you’ll really be kept on the move. G.G.

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