My son looks like Donald Trump. After wiping lunch over his face and through his fine blonde hair he is now sporting a sticky bouffant, pulling a face that says "I really don't like this" and his face is orange (why IS all baby food orange?!). On the plus side he's restrained in a high-chair (Do they have those in the Oval Office?)
Like the election result, it's a bit depressing and pretty much the opposite of my idea of a good time, so when people say "food before one is just for fun" I'm struggling to work out who for?
Certainly not for mums like me who have spent hours shopping, chopping, cooking, blending and now face a kitchen wall that resembles a Jackson Pollock and a dog trying to work out how to get food off the back of her head. I spent 3 hours peeling, dicing and mashing a dozen different recipes to fill the freezer with enough food to feed a whole nursery for a week, yet I've run out of options for my kids within 10 minutes.
Not fun for for my little ones either, who look at me like I've given them a lemon to suck no matter what tasty treats I've whipped up for them.
So who, exactly, is having all this fun with food while I'm daydreaming about burning my baby cook books while drinking neat vodka? Ooh, yes, fire risk, not a great idea ... red wine, I'll dream about red wine for now.
Then there are bibs ...never mind the babies, what about bibs for mums please? And before you all start sending me links to websites, I know there's not a product for mums and kids that hasn't been invented yet. I'm certain there are bibs for mums but I've never seen a single woman wearing them - So is it just me who can't nail this seemingly simple task of feeding my babies?
A few months ago I was mid-food-fight with my little ones in a cafe when I saw her. As my son hurled a spoonful of something which was once chicken pesto bake at me (complete with spoon) and my daughter poured water all over my lap, she walked in and I began to stare. This woman who appeared like a mirage in the desert with her hair looking like a shampoo ad and make up on (in the right places too) proceeded to sit down with her immaculately dressed twins, and start feeding them. Poor woman, I thought, she looked so nice when she walked in. She then managed to feed both her children snacks, purée and pudding without spilling a drop of mushy carrot or anything else for that matter, on her crisp white jeans. WHITE JEANS?! Dear woman I salute you - you are rocking mummy hood in a way I can only dream of.
My wardrobe selection now comes from a capsule collection I call my 'mummy uniform' and all of it, without exception, is dark, machine washable and hides baby food remnants about as well as I can hope for while I'm waiting for someone to say it's ok to wear disposable aprons in public.
And just when you think you've got puréed food nailed you have to introduce texture. Then lumps, then proper food - and at each and every turn your little one will make it abundantly clear that they are not having any of it. Over and over again.
Once they're toddlers you also get the added joy of food refusal ... Sausage and beans? No, that was my favourite food YESTERDAY! Today I want ham sandwiches (and tomorrow I won't!). It's lovely to watch your babies grow into little people with personalities and opinions but if they would just save it for the serious stuff (you know, like what they won't wear today) and just eat some bloody food - then Mummy would feel much more like playing with you and the mini kitchen. Right now, the idea of being near an oven - real or baby-sized is bringing me out in a cold sweat.
Can toddlers survive on yoghurt? Mine might have to at this rate.
Still, the dog is pretty happy about the vast quantities of uneaten food now hanging about the kitchen floor (and on her back at the moment, and of course the walls!) so I guess it's not all bad news?
If my twins could text ...
TWIN 2: "I'm hungry - how long till tea?"
TWIN 1: "Not long, I can smell beef stew"
TWINS 2: "We had that yesterday :("
TWIN 1: "It's OK, I saw those fruit things we like in the drawer this morning. Just keep throwing stuff on the floor till she gives them to us."
TWIN 2: "But I'll still be hungry."
TWIN 1: "Yeah but then we can ask for sandwiches again."
TWIN 2: "How can we ask for sandwiches? We can't talk!"
TWIN 1: "It's easy, you just point behind mummy and keep whining until she picks up the bread. Some days it takes a while but she works it out eventually"
TWIN 2: "I want yoghurt."
TWIN 1: "We will ALWAYS get yoghurt sis!"
This post first appeared on WDNOTM.com