Mummy and Daddy have come out for Sunday lunch and have managed to wrestle The Baby – who despises all forms of bodily restraint – into a high chair. This pleases Mummy greatly as more people can see The Baby and tell her how beautiful The Baby is. It is going to be a lovely lunch.
“It won’t be long before she is eating solids,” muses Daddy.
“Indeed,” says Mummy, “Mrs Health Visitor says to start them at six months.”
“Pffffffffft!” says Daddy with a nonchalant wave, for Daddy thinks little of other people’s opinions. “Six months is ages away, she looks ready now!” Mummy would very much like to know what qualification in child development Daddy has acquired without her noticing, but does not rise to the bait… for Mummy knows that Daddy only says such things to try to aggravate her.
“Oh, yes, yes,” says Mummy casually, “I suppose she nearly is ready because she nearly is six months.” The Baby is not yet five months. Inside her head, Mummy says I know what you are thinking and it’s not going to happen. “But she doesn’t look ready to me yet,” she says out loud.
Rebel Baby is staring longingly at the food and salivating, which does not help Mummy’s case
“I expect she will like a nice piece of chewy rare beef,” says Daddy, “it will help with her teething.”
“No, you will not give her beef,” says Mummy, without flinching, “because it is not yet time and also beef is not good for babies.”
“Oh it is so good for babies,” says Daddy, breaking off a piece of roast beef, “it is full of protein and is nice and tasty.”
“No, no,” says Mummy, maintaining her calm, “because we are supposed to start them on vegetables. And also that is your beef and you like beef – do not waste it on the baby.” This is logic that usually works on Daddy.
“Vegetables?” says Daddy with disgust, “Nobody likes vegetables. That is no way to introduce her to the world of food. And they are squishy and messy… vegetables are not a good food for a baby.”
“Yes people do like vegetables,” replies Mummy, “it is just you who does not like vegetables. And if not vegetables, what would you consider good food for a baby?” Mummy knows that Daddy is going to say Dairylea Dunkers, for Daddy loves Dairylea Dunkers but knows it is not OK to buy them unless you can pretend you are buying them for a child.
“Dairylea Dunkers,” says Daddy.
“We are starting her on vegetables,” says Mummy. Daddy huffs a little and pushes his roast beef around the plate.
“I think she would like a roast potato,” says Daddy, for he cannot be one to lose a debate. “And that is a vegetable.”
“No,” says Mummy, “because your roast potatoes are covered in salt and salt is very bad indeed for babies. And also, as I already mentioned, it is not time yet.”
“Salt makes food taste better,” says Daddy, “and we want her to like the taste of food.” Mummy is staying calm, but it is starting to make her twitch a little. She cannot let Daddy sense this, so she takes a big sip of wine and a deep breath and counts to ten. It was not so long ago Mummy had to explain to Daddy why Super Noodles are not a Superfood, so she knows that her plans to feed The Baby only organic potatoes grown in fields of flowers and puréed with sunshine will be wasted on Daddy.
“She is very happy with her milk at the moment,” says Mummy, “she doesn’t need anything else, do you poppet?” Rebel Baby is looking at Daddy and looking at the food, and ramming her little fists into her mouth. Mummy is feeling slightly betrayed.
“Ah,” says Daddy, “she does so want food, look at her little face.” Rebel Baby is stretching and straining to get to the food on Mummy’s plate. Mummy moves her plate away.
“She just wants something to play with,” says Mummy, and gives The Baby her chewy giraffe. The Baby loves her chewy giraffe and this will surely satisfy her.
Rebel Baby throws her chewy giraffe on the floor.
“Ha!” says Daddy, and Mummy scowls a little. “I will take The Baby,” he decides, “she is going to escape from the high chair.” Mummy cannot argue with this because Mummy is still eating and The Baby is getting grizzly. But Daddy has finished his food, so The Baby is probably safe. Also, she has started chewing the edge of the pub table, which is probably worse than roast potatoes.
RB is delighted to be freed from her prison and bounces happily on Daddy’s knee. Then she spies Daddy’s beer glass, which looks shiny and interesting. She reaches out her little baby hands…
“Look!” exclaims Daddy with delight, “She wants to try her first beer! I will dip in my finger and let her taste it…”
Mummy has been holding it in so successfully until this exact point.
“YOU WILL NOT GIVE MY BABY BEER!” she snaps, before she can stop herself. Rebel Baby jumps, startled by Mummy’s outburst.
Daddy is laughing at Mummy. Daddy has won.