Wednesday, March 30, 2011

She must get it from her daddy

I have this thing about messy food.

I can't stand it.

My mom always laughs and says I was the kid she could send to school for an entire day and I'd come home just as neat as when she sent me off in the morning.  But when it comes to food, especially, I've really needed to be neat.  I remember sitting across from a little boy in first grade who always had breakfast leftovers in the corners of his mouth and sometimes his chin.  Even at six, it drove me crazy.  There he sat, filling out a worksheet with nary a thought about his unkempt nature.  I wanted to rub his face with a wet paper towel.

I've never liked messy finger foods.  Well, actually, I like their taste, I just don't like their mess.  I don't like barbeque sauce under my nails or chicken wing on my cheek.  When I do eat these foods, I hold them very gingerly in my fingertips and eat slowly and carefully, resembling an overfed, picky raccoon.  Anything that touches my face sends literal shivers down my spine and sends me diving for napkins.  And yes, I grew up in Maryland so yes, I do eat crabs, although my first one wasn't until I was 18, and yes, I was born in Maryland, and yes, I know that's crazy that I was 18 but my parents are from the midwest and they don't have crabs there and yes, I love crabs but yes they gross me out too and after I eat them I can't leave until I've spent about 20 minutes in the bathroom washing my hands approximately 97 times.  But no, I'm not crazy.  Why do you ask?

Feeding my baby is a little bit of a mental challenge for me.  She's just so messy!  Still though, I actually love that time together each day.  I always sit and eat my own meals with her, and I even try for us to eat similar foods.  For breakfast, she had bananas and I had bananas with oatmeal.  For lunch, she had spinach with brown rice cereal and I had ham, cheese and spinach on a brown rice tortilla.

We talk about our meal and we smile at each other.  I take a bite, she takes a bite.  The problem is, she does this thing where her fingers go in her mouth after every single bite.  Cute, at first, until I realized that it meant whatever was in her mouth was soon to be everywhere.  Then I started letting it drive me crazy, until I had to stop myself and ask, "Why is this bothering me so much?"  My six month old is not going to become little Billy first grade just because she's a messy eater.  Ultimately, who cares?  She's learning to eat and I want it to be fun.  I don't need to pull her fingers out of her mouth every second.  We'll get to table manners, and we'll start slow by making meals fun and relational.  But for now?  Let her be a baby.  Let her make a mess.  That's why they make high chairs so cleanable, and I have hot, running water for goodness' sake.  Besides, she's totally adorable when she's a mess.
I didn't even bother with a bib.

"Hah!  Mama's grossed out!"

"Look what I can do!"  

She clearly thinks this is hilarious.

When her fingers aren't in her mouth, she loves banging on the tray with her own spoon.  She also loves, loves, loves to feed herself.  I have to say, I am pretty proud of how much she loves spinach.  And avocado.  And I'm sure she's going to love the quinoa I'm giving her tomorrow.

For the record, I did not get any of my lunch on my face, thankyouverymuch.  It's ok that she did, but I will definitely never let her go to school with spinach in her teeth.  Or on her forehead.


  1. Anonymous3:42 PM

    I was the same way as a kid! I still am (eat my pizza w/ fork & knife). :o) Too funny.

    -melissa glass

  2. Anonymous11:41 PM

    Teehee. :)


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