Thursday, 11 October 2012

Eating everything

Joy of joys Henry has now joined us at the dinner table (in his brand spanking new highchair that met the exacting specifications of my wife and simply could not be purchased from eBay - much like our pram, which she now hates.  Not that I'm bitter, you understand) for his evening meal.

The magical six month mark has been reached, so the kitchen is now open and he is joining the world of proper food.  Which has been slightly pureed and cooked without salt or any spices that might be too hot.  (Or dried chickpeas that are two years out of date and have been included because his dad is too tight to throw anything away and thought they would be ok.  You might want to read my previous post for the likely fall out of this.)  But apart from these slight stipulations, he is now enjoying a range of foods.

This is absolutely amazing.

I cannot describe how awesome (and I mean that in the dictionary sense) I find feeding my son food that I have cooked for the family and he appears to be enjoying.  Food is important to me and, thus, it is important to me that he enjoys it.  And boy does he enjoy it!  I love it.  We often have breakfast together to try and give mummy a little bit of a lie in and it is the most special moment of my day.


I am finding the mess somewhat difficult to deal with.  Weaning has coincided with a streak of independence and developing hand-eye co-ordination that can whip food off a casually wielded spoon in a blink of an eye.  Does that food make it to his mouth?

Of course not.  It makes it just about everywhere but, smearing across whatever he is wearing, his chair, the table, his face, bits squeezed between his fingers, down his legs, on the floor.  Daddy struggles with this.  A lot.  Mummy does not appear to have a problem with it.

Daddy also struggles with occasional lumps.  Mummy, again, is considerably better at this.  I have, occasionally, needed to leave the room as he chews something a bit troublesome as my instinct is to whip him out of his chair and perform a paediatric heimlich manoeuvre on him.  Not wanting to communicate this sphincter-tightening anxiety to him and develop a fussy eater I instead extricate myself from the situation when it becomes too much to bear.  Henry, thankfully, remains oblivious to this and has happily gobbled up anything he can get his sticky little mitts on.  Daddy, meanwhile, has bought shares in antibacterial wipes.


Henry turned six months today.  He spent the last night of his first half year at A&E.  Vomiting.

There is nothing more worrying, nothing that induces more of a sense of utter helplessness, than watching your poorly baby knowing there is nothing you can do about it.  Between being sick he appeared largely fine, he had no temperature, he was not sore, no rash, not crying, and, generally, himself.  Apart, of course, from the oral excretions.

Which highlights for me how utterly illogical being a parent is.  It matters not what you know to be true, what you deem to be ok for you, what the rational part of your brain tells you.  When there is something wrong with your child you enter a Twilight Zone of paranoia and great, galloping leaps of thought that in the cold light of a day when considering ANYTHING else you would scoff loudly at people for coming to those conclusions.

As it happens, Henry is now, and was rather quickly last night too, considerably better.  It is always a highlight, I am finding, when a highly qualified and pleasant medical professional wakes up your son - who has just nodded off because, as far as you are concerned, he could be at death's door and is trying to eke out some last moments of comfort - and proceeds to examine him, eliciting great beaming smiles from your hapless infant as he does so. 

"Ah, he would appear to be considerably better, doctor.  Sorry to waste your time.  We'll just get our coats."

I am fairly sure these Health heroes see this frequently.  And whilst on the topic, I would like to praise how incredible it is look up information on the NHS Direct website, subsequently speak to somebody on the phone, and an hour later be seeing a nurse followed by a doctor, and all for the pittance I pay out of my monthly salary.  The NHS is a wonderful institution and the two times I have needed to visit with Henry (and the countless times for myself) they have always provided an excellent service and do so thousands of times a day.  Like social workers we only hear about it when it goes wrong - it goes right an awful lot more.

Thank you to all those that helped us last night.  As parents we felt listened to (vital) and reassured (immeasurably vital).  My wife still slept on his floor through the night, but as we hoped he is much better today and we have made it through to tonight without falling asleep, whilst Henry sleeps upstairs utterly oblivious to the grey hairs that I have sprouted.