Saturday, October 31, 2009

Peanut Butter, Strawberry Jam and Cow’s Milk

Today’s breakfast with Baby James went better than yesterday’s. We reverted to the reliable old staple of Weet Bix. So why was yesterday’s breakfast so bad? Well, it wasn’t too bad, in fact it wasn’t at all what you are probably imaging. Let me provide some background for you, My Sweet has a psychological aversion to any foods that are staring down the barrel of their best before date and her ‘cautiousness’ with food has carried over to Baby James, which is probably just as well as I literally have a ‘suck it and see approach’.

I should probably take a more responsible approach to the substances that Baby James ingests, i.e. there are any number of books and magazines and probably a DVD or two lying around the house that would tell me what foods he should ‘experience’ and when. But if I’m to be honest, I’m not that interested in those types of books and I find that kind of reading tedious. Lucky for us My Sweet is the opposite to me, or maybe she just understands that if the knowledge void is to be filled in our house, then it’s up to her.

So it has come to pass that over time I have suggested all types of new foods for Baby James to try and on occasion my suggestion has been met with pursed lips, a furrowed brow and a shake of the head, I guess that’s a ‘No’ then. I am then provided with the explanation which is usually something like, ‘He has to wait until he’s 12 months old’. Ah, the magical 12 month mark where Baby James will automatically and instantaneously, on the very day of his birth, acquire his super hero defence shield that will protect him from the nasties that lurk in strawberries and cow’s milk.

And that’s kind of the back story.

So, a couple of nights ago when My Sweet suggested that Baby James might be ready for peanut butter I sat bolt upright in my chair and looked her squarely, reminded her that Baby James was still 2 weeks shy of being dipped in the River Styx like Achilles, and I asked her was she sure. My Sweet then revealed that some recent research had led her to the belief that near enough was good enough. I liked her thinking.

I awoke early, giddy with excitement, it was like Christmas Day … then again I may be exaggerating. In all likelihood I probably rolled out of bed, rubbing my eyes, grumbling about not enough sleep but that’s not the point. Down in the kitchen I put the toast down and readied myself with the breakfast spreads from the pantry, jam for my sweet and instead of vegemite for Baby James and myself, today I had the peanut butter out.

In the background, Karl Stefanovic was bleating on about something (probably still drunk from the Logies) and Baby James was playing with his toys. Both were blissfully unaware of the momentous occasion that was being organised. My Sweet, having showered, appeared at the bottom of the stairs. ‘Uh oh’, her lips were pursed and her brow was furrowed. ‘Too late’ I said. I was ready to push Baby James through this new rite of passage, I’d been given the green light and was determined.

My Sweet gave her best Marge Simpson impersonation when she said, ‘I’m not too sure about this Ben.’ I responded Homer-like with ‘The boy’ll be all right, you’ll see.’ I was trying to exude confidence, but in fact, how could I possibly know. Anyway, Baby James was put in his high chair and given his first taste of peanut butter on toast. Well, all was going well, two bites in, no adverse reaction. Then a small cough … a splutter …his eyes started to water a little … another cough – bigger this time … My Sweet looked at me anxiously, ‘Is he alright’ she questioned. ‘Of course he is’ was my outwardly confident reply, while inside I’m thinking ‘Shit, shit, shit …don’t be allergic to the damn stuff … she’ll never trust me again.’ A few more coughs, I did start to worry, was I going to be needed to perform some sort of emergency procedure. While this was happening I found that I had moved from my chair and was now at Baby James’ side seeing what I could see, at which time he stopped coughing and he was now looking at me to see what this new game was that I was playing, unaware that his biting off of more than he could swallow had almost resulted in him being consigned to a bland puree until he was school age.

After the kerfuffle, after My Sweet recommenced her own breathing and after I again located my confident exterior, Baby James proceeded to eat his piece of peanut butter toast that had been cut into three soldiers. He proceeded to tell us he was finished breakfast by throwing the pieces that were unappealing to him on the floor. And he required the usual remedial attention in the shape of a wet washer to clean his face, hands and the top of his high chair. By this time it was 7.30am and Georgie Gardner was interrupting Karl to give us a news update. A fairly normal start to the day.

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