Thursday, July 23, 2009

Breakfast with a one-year-old

First, it's a sound, coming to my ears as I drink my coffee in the relatively quiet dining room.

"Nnng? Nnng?" (His tendency to make this particular sound through his nose--often--has led us to seriously curb his binky usage.)

"What do you need, Buddy?" I ask.

"Nnng nnng nnng nnng!!" he replies.

"Are you hungry?"

"Nnng!" (That's affirmative.)

I get up, and realize he's holding his bib out to me, the plastic bib that I never washed after dinner last night. Oh, well. I put the bib on him, and strap him in his booster chair, where he can wait while I prepare something. Hey...there's still some granola on the tray from yesterday's snack! Cool.

Here ya go, kid. He digs in to the leftover granola, while I scoop fruit, yogurt, more granola, and some cinnamon into a big bowl. After mixing it and scooping some out for the big sister, I sit down.

I offer him a bite of yogurt/fruit/granola mixture. He reaches out his hand. "No," I say with a smile, pulling the spoon away so he can't grab it. "Aaah." I'm lucky, and he copies my, "Aaah," and I pop a bite into his open mouth.

I start on my own granola, and am quickly greeted with a whine. "Mmmore?" I prompt him. "Mmmore?" He grins and proudly says, "Mma! Mma! Mma!" I reward his "talking" with another bite.

We continue this way for awhile, until he decides he really wants the spoon. As I move it toward his mouth, his chubby little hand, quick as lightning, reaches up and grabs it. His mouth, messy with white yogurt and blueberry juice, breaks into a wide smile.

Okay, okay, you can have the spoon. I let him hold it, and he manages to get some of the food into his mouth. He's obviously very proud. I praise him, then try to use my spoon to feed him another bite. He's having nothing of it. He's reaching toward the bowl.

I give up, and plop some of the chunky, messy mixture onto his tray. He tries to get a bite on his spoon and quickly gives up, digging in with his fingers, picking out the blueberries and raisins and leaving most of the calcium and whole grain behind.

I sigh and figure at least it's a good opportunity to finish my own breakfast. A couple of minutes later as I eat my last bite, I glance over and realize he's no longer eating, but using the yogurt as finger paints on his tray. His two-toothed grin is wide as he catches my eye, and his hands eagerly continue to make finger-paths in the white goo.

And here's the most difficult part of breakfast. He's getting more and more messy, with little bits of food being flung on the floor. I want the tray gone, but I don't want his messy hands to then grab the chair and his clothes and, oh, please...not his hair. I make a quick decision and grab the tray, putting it on the table as I rush into the kitchen for a washrag. By the time I get back a couple of seconds later, he's grabbed the booster seat with yogurt-covered hands, and his shorts have telltale white smears on them, but I breathe a sigh of relief when I realize there is no granola in his hair--not this time, anyway.

He's trying to climb out of his seat, so after I give him a once-over with the washrag, I unstrap him and let him loose in the living room. I put the tray, bowl, and spoons into the sink and wipe the messy seat, but I know if I'm to really clean up, I should get the food off the floor too.

So I open the back door, and our four-legged Schnauzer-brand vacuum cleaner enters to take care of the rest.


caryn said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one with that type of vacuum!

Shannon said...

I love those moments! Check out Jaden's first one:

Eternal Lizdom said...

Oh yes!!! We love messy baby meals. Put down a few trash bags under the chair, strip down to a diaper, and go to town- and then directly to the bath tub to shower off!! Teagan never got into messy eating- but Zach is a pro. Nacho cheese becomes a great hair gel. Spaghetti sauce is the classic fashion food trend. Hummus makes for an interesting facial cleanser.

The boy goes all out with his food experience!

And our pooch fully enjoys the clean up!

Unknown said...

Oh, I have a pug brand vacuum and he does a great job on most messes. I am not looking forward to Ian learning to self feed, and the mess that comes with it. Oy!

Buffie said...

We have a Sheltie brand and a Jack Russel brand. Between them they do an excellent job of keeping the floor and the chair clean. It's a shame we can't take them with us when we go out to eat.

Call Me Cate said...

Where's the pictures? This post just screamed for a gunked up Zoodle photo.

Anonymous said...

My dog has never had the pleasure of vacuuming after a baby, but she still does get to enjoy regular vacuuming after the kids nonetheless.

I have to admit I think she cleans up after me more than anyone else. I feel your pain Zoodle, I am a messy eater too!

Lynn said...

it was the saddest thing for me when my vacuum dog died - our present dogs are great but they don't clean up very well... I often think as I am cutting up plate after plate of food (especially at dinner) how nice it will be when they can all cut their own food, but then I have to cut my grandmother's, too :)

JennyMac said...

Too cute...and I wish our dog was here right now for the tidbits our 2 year old leaves about. :)

Anonymous said...

A cute story, Beth.

btw, regarding your four-legged vacuum. We never realized how much our sweet Australian shepherd, Akela, was doing that for us until she died two years ago. After she was gone, I was SHOCKED at how many crumbs I had to start sweeping up -- and we're just two adults -- no little kids!

Just that "service" makes it worthwhile to have a dog when you have little kids, doesn't it? btw, I'm sure doggie would have been GLAD to help with the yogurt on that tray too, if you'd just give him the chance! :)

Becky said...

That's a HUGE benefit of having a dog! The times when our puppy drives me crazy by chewing up the kids' toys or having accidents in the hallway are totally forgiven when he cleans my kitchen floor for me. I'm thinking about taking his cleaning services a step further by attaching swiffer pads to his feet and turning on the electronic toy mouse that he loves to chase.