It is a truth universally acknowledged for families everywhere that all babies eat better than their poor, malnourished parents.
Back in our P.B. (Pre Baby) days Tim and I ate pretty well. Nice steaks, salads, vegetables, foods with nutritional value, you know how it goes. Sometimes on weekends we would go all out and make stuff like “jus” and “rosti”. Truly amazing times. But that was pre preganacy.
My first trimester of pregnancy was a culinary disaster. The smell of everything made me heave and when I did feel like eating something I would devour it and then usually bring it back up again wthin the hour, thus ruining my taste for that food for the rest of my life. Ok, that’s dramatic but it was certainly for the rest of the first trimester but I digress.
Hugh’s first few months were a sleep deprived blur and we ate anything that could be cooked in 5 minutes and eaten with one hand but then over night we hit the 4 month mark and suddenly it was time to introduce solids to our little bundle of joy. After nearly a year of creative cooking hiatus I was thrown into a state of panic that I feel can only be compared to a master chef contestant about to undertake a pressure test with a small Matt Preston waiting in his highchair to judge me.
In the quest to be the perfect parent I have become consumed with the perfect most nutritional way to prepare for Matt Jnr. When I cook for Tim and it’s on the fly, veggies cooked and sloppily mashed, meat maybe over cooked or sometimes under. The other day we ate packet salad and some freezer salmon while Hugh ate perfectly poached chicken with a hint of thyme, steamed spinach, pumpkin and peas, blitzed into a fine purée. All up Hugh’s dinner took me 40 minutes of chopping, steaming, poaching, pureeing to the best of my ability and what did my small sweet little human do? Sobbed through every mouthful. Wailed hysterically while I tried to lovingly shovel spoonfuls of culinary delight into my son’s gob while he threw his head around like one of those clown games at a carnival. 10% got in the mouth, 40% on cheeks, eyebrows, lap and hair and the other 50% remained in the bowl.
Last night I was feeling lazy and opened one of those squeezy tubes of vegetables – pumpkin, potato and swedes. And what did the small human do? Ate every mouthful. Every bit was consumed without a whinge or a wimped. Rafferty’s Garden 1 – Mummy 0.
Some days I think I put so much pressure on myself to be the perfect Mum. At the end of the day he’s still alive, he’s got some food in him. But I can’t easily shake the burning desire to do something “homey” and “Mum like” for my son. Hence the bread. We got a bread maker from our best friends for our wedding and I made a few unsuccessful attempts early on but now I have a child so I have pulled it out again and went through the steps one by one and what do you know! I made bread!
I cut a piece and lovingly toasted it. Beautiful home made bread for my darling son. And what did he do? Gummed on it for a minute and then threw it over the side of the highchair onto the floor.
Every week I now make homemade bread and every morning I throw half a soggy slice in the bin after I’ve picked it up from the floor. I’ve made peace with it. One day my boy will devour everything I put in front of him. Until then I will continue to try and be not offended by my little food critic and his preference for pre packaged food over his Mamas meals.