Some weird things are happening with our child this week. It is as if the lamb cutlet unblocked a highway in his brain between the ‘I want that’ district and the ‘wait, I know how to get that’ quarter.
He has this week most definitely realised that he is not a passive object, unable to control his environment. He has options and influence, and he is beginning to wield them, effectively.
Example; last evening Kuepps was changing Milo. As is well documented by now this requires more than 100% of an average adult human’s attention to execute successfully. Kuepps had just completed the task when she glanced at the bottle of moisturiser clutched in Milo’s hands, she had been using it as a tool of distraction (the ‘tool du jour’ for me is clipping one of his pegs onto my bottom lip and waving my head side to side like a tiny albino elephant. The pain is well worth it). Kuepps realised that Milo had managed to flip open the lid of the moisturiser bottle and was guzzling its contents. Cetaphil ran out of his mouth, down his cheeks and onto his neck.
Being a responsible, professional parent and adult Kuepps took the bottle from him and continued with her re-trousering. Well, Milo was utterly horrified by this act of cruel oppression and let out an enraged bellow, spraying a fine mist of moisturiser all over my wife. This quickly escalated into a dramatically protruded bottom lip and genuine little tears flowing down his cheeks. It is worth just clarifying that point; tears running down my child’s face because his mother would not allow him to drink moisturiser. Sometimes there are no good options; you choose the irritating over the dangerous.
Milo spent this morning chasing and attempting to eat Huckleberry, or at least suck on him vigorously. Huckleberry continues to be the very picture of restraint.
We’ve now got cleaner Tuesday down. Milo awoke from his nap, coughing up Huckleberry hair, and we were out the door fully loaded; supplies enough to last us hours on the harsh, dusty road where anything can happen, and routinely does. To see us through this difficult time I had lovingly cooked us ‘pick ‘n’ mix vegetable crispies’ while Milo napped. I packed this treat into our backpack and couldn’t wait to delight Milo with this nutritious and tasty surprise.
With wide eyes and a gormless smile I offered Milo a morsel of crispy soon after our departure, while he sat in his pram. He opened his mouth a sliver and met the morsel with his tongue as it breached his lips, forcing it back through and out, tumbling over his chin and onto the ground. This tongue resistance was matched by the look of disdain on his face; he may as well have been shaking his head and saying “dad, what were you thinking? you’re an idiot” such was the palpable disappointment on his face.
Still enthused I tried again, another delicious scrap of health and taste offered up. This time the lips could not even muster enough interest to open. This did not dissuade me. I tried to twist and shimmy the snack through those pursed lips while Milo looked at me under hanging, disinterested lids; “really dad? this is pathetic”. Eventually he took pity on me and allowed his mouth to open less than a millimetre. My heart leapt; my home cooking efforts were worth it! I am such a great dad, by my own hands I have delivered to my child sustenance and deliciousness.
Milo did not even exert the effort to push the crispy out, he simply hung his mouth open and let it fall; firstly onto his shoulder, then his knee, then the ground. He watched its tumbling path then returned his eyes to mine briefly as his mouth slowly closed. He then turned his head languidly to the left and refused further eye contact.
Slightly hurt I forged on toward the supermarket, our ambitious goal for the morning. We stopped in for a takeaway coffee and bacon and egg roll en route. While we waited Milo spied the crispy inside its tupperware and reached for it. Like a poorly treated puppy I forgave him immediately; I was overjoyed. I quickly asked the barista whether we could dine-in instead and took a seat. I offered Milo another morsel which he took from me and placed in his mouth. On this third occasion he appeared at least to consider his position on my culinary efforts before gagging, removing the semi-chewed item from his mouth with his hand, rolling it around in his fingers and then smearing it onto the lining of his pram seat. But now we were trapped. I had commenced eating my bacon and egg panini (not roll) and had yolk all over my hands.
The panini was an extremely high quality example of the genre, but I inhaled it as quickly as possible, watching my child’s displeasure grow. Sometimes I think I should keep a list of the cafes and delicious menu items I have eaten at express pace so that I may one day return alone to enjoy them as an adult. Then I think “don’t be a yutz. your alternate list would be ‘menu items I have never tasted and do not know about because I am at work, working.'”
Eventually we made it to the supermarket, maxed out the best-in-class storage basket of the Uppababy Alta, then headed on to the Discount Chemist Warehouse for bulk purchasing of formula, nappies, and because we had travelled all that way, toilet paper. As our storage capacity had already been exhausted I had to awkwardly push the pram with an enormous, military grade box of nappies under one arm, and a matching army surplus pallet of toilet paper under the other. We thus acknowledged to the bearded and tatooed fashionistas of King Street that yes, the current focus of my life is at least 40% centred on faeces.
Things I like: spoon and maraca. Things I don’t like: dad’s ‘pick n mix vegie crispies’
Our reunion with Kuepps this evening was outside the train station, Milo rugged up like an urban snowman, hooting and giggling for his mum as she picked her way through the throng of commuters. Dinner was a carefully prepared infant friendly dish known as ‘power balls’, meatballs specially designed to be overfloweth with health; for the whole family to enjoy. Milo continued his eating funk; he did not overfloweth with enthusiasm. We’ll see how ‘power balls’ perform as leftovers tomorrow.
- Ratio of time; Crispy preparation to Milo consumption – 600:1
- mLs of moisturiser consumed (estimate) – 20
- Hours spent removing graffiti from the walls of our local high school – 0
- Hours spent experimenting with hybrid pollination of capsicum species on our balcony – 0