KISS. No, not the rock band and no, the thing you do with your lips behind the wood shed. KISS as in Keep it Simple Stupid. It is with that motto in mind that I present the Superbib by Bumkins. Sure the bib is waterproof, has a food catcher pocket and it comes in bright fun colors featuring childhood favorite Dr. Seuss, but what makes the Superbib, well super is that fact that the Velcro is on the side instead of in the back. This one little feature makes this bib so user friendly that The Mommy and I rarely use different ones. We have put the bib in the wash numerous times without damage or loss of effectiveness. Why am I so passionate all of a sudden about bibs? LTD is nine and half months now and new food is getting introduced at a rapid pace. A pace almost equal to the amount of food flying around. The dog is a happy but I am not. My only regret is that the Superbib doesn’t come in full body.
We have been feeding LTD in his high chair for awhile now, in fact he has grown quite comfortable in it, perhaps too comfortable. Often when we are feeding the little guy we have to stop and wait while he does his wicked business. Clearly there is something about the act of eating that makes him go number two. His forehead turns reddish purple and he makes the tell tale grunt indicating to all people that he is doing his part to keep the diaper companies in business.
LTDs feeding/pooing ritual has become so common that we now provide him with a newspaper and hold all his calls when he is at the ‘office’. What I really think is funny that we get into a grove feeding him and he is sucking down some apples and blueberries and all of a sudden we need to pause. Pause not for him to quietly reflect on his delicious meal, but a pause so he can look like he is turning into the hulk. Will the joys of parenthood ever stop?
The mess has arrived. Teeth are gnashed. Puffs fly freely. Pears fall. Water is spilled. Action must be taken, but how. I’ll tell you how, by using the Tiny Diner mat by Kiddopotamus. Sure LTD is in the high chair at home, but we have to be on damage control when eating at a restaurant or visiting friends and family. The TinyDiner is one of those products you appreciate because clearly someone put a lot of thought and experience into it. Unlike some products that don’t seem like they were designed by a human being for real world use, the TinyDiner is a game day player. The first thing you notice is that the mat has suction cups on the bottom to hold it in place when the little guy tries to yank it off the table. The mat is also washable and is made without BPA and other harmful leaching toxins. Perhaps the best feature is what I call the trap trench that hangs under the table and catches all the food bits. Lastly, the mat folds up (sort of neatly) for easy transport. My only sadness is that I would love to use the TinyDiner when I pig out, but I fear the stares I would attract would outweigh the joy I would feel by making a mess of myself.
LTD is in the infant car carrier for just a little while longer, that thing is getting heavy, and I still leave him in it when we put him in a shopping cart or go to a restaurant. Most restaurants have those new style wooden high chairs that the carrier sort of fits in, but not real well. In fact, sometimes we just put the carrier on top of the table and try not to get food on him. We have tried using the high chair upside down, but still the carrier never fits quite right on top. So it was with great excitement, perhaps too much excitement, that when we went to a restaurant recently they brought out the Koala Kare Infant Seat Kradle. Of course, I had never seen one before, but it turns out they are fairly common in national chain restaurants.
The carrier sits in the Kradle like a glove and makes me sad that I didn’t know about it for 7 months. We are in that in between zone between car carrier and car seat and LTD really doesn’t fit into the restaurant highchairs yet. All of this is a moot point because or days of taking him to restaurants are numbered since he grows increasingly active and vocal. I vowed I would not be one of the parents that lets their kid scream while people are trying to eat. Of course, I’m pretty certain I will break that vow the second I don’t want to cook and eat at home.
A few weeks ago two events collided and The Mommy and I needed to take action. First, the baby started eating solids and second, the baby started to pull himself out of the Bumbo seat. It was now time for a high chair. The Mommy did her research and it didn’t take long for me to start seeing dollar signs. In the end, we were in the weeds, all the cool high chairs were several hundred bucks and the cheap ones seemed obviously cheap, so we went to Buy Buy Baby to look first hand at our options. We went in thinking we would settle on a high chair, but instead we left with an unexpected treat, a low chair.
After speaking at length with the knowledgeable clerk he finally said, ‘why don’t you get the space saver model?’ We had used a version of the space saver high chair at grandma’s house and it worked well, but could we be so bold as to use one as our everyday high chair? Turns out we could. It was around fifty bucks and adjusts to fit him up through the toddler years. The space saver sits on a regular household chair and is fastened in place with two belts and LTD sits inside fastened in place with a five-point harness. On the occasions when we need to use the dinning room chair (for all the dinner parties we throw now that we have a 7 month old) the space saver unfastens quickly to be hidden in the closet. Do we regret not buying a stand-alone high chair? No, we do not.
For the past month, in addition to the sustenance The Mommy provides, LTD has been eating three solid meals a day. We are talking about mashed up versions of everyday favorites like pears, avocado, peas and cereal. Their are many benefits to eating fruits and vegetables, but one we never thought about would be what happens when LTD is done eating them. That’s right, I’m talking about waste or as the immature among you call poo. Before when he was exclusively on milk it was common for him to go number two once every 7-10 days, that cycle is way gone. Thanks to the new fuel supply and the binding agent known as a banana, LTD has been using his butt as a Play-dough fun factory.
Once every one to two days, the little guy produces a perfectly formed golf ball sized poo that is so easy to clean up it’s almost a joy. Unlike the milk-only mess, a diaper change now takes mere seconds, which works well considering squirmy mcsquirmison doesn’t sit still on the changing table anymore. The new poo situation also has the added value of occasionally being wicked funny as it is in the case of the little butt cheek imprints he sometimes leaves on the diaper flattened poo. Also, let’s not forget the face he makes when he is creating one of his masterpieces and the accompanying grunts that make us feel like we should be giving him privacy.
LTD has been eating solids (and by solids I mean mashed up fruits and vegetables that don’t resemble anything solid) for a few weeks now and he really seems to enjoy the different tastes. There is only really one problem we have encountered so far on our journey to eventually eating at Mario Batali’s Enoteca San Marco as a family, and that is gas. In the beginning the new foods were very uncomfortable for him as his GI system really started working overtime for the first time. He would wake up during the night or be generally cranky and we could just tell it was the dreaded pain of gas. We rubbed his belly clockwise, always clockwise, and that seemed to help a little but in the end the real cure was time as his body got used to having his power plant fully operational and up to code. Now the situation has changed slightly since he is comfortable eating solids with the new situation being, that he is now comfortable making them.
A few weeks ago we started LTD on solids and he already has the hang of it and by hang of it, I mean he has mastered sticking his fingers in the bowl, his mouth and my face. He does these things as part of his mission to eliminate the word clean from the dictionary. So it was time to call in some help. Neat Solutions’ Table and Floor Toppers provide a first line of defense against the Bananacado spray and toss. The Toppers are “disposable but durable enough to be used again.” The company is working on expanding its line of biodegradable products and I hope they convert all their mats and meal products soon.
Topper designs include Sesame Street and Winnie the Pooh. They also have Dora and Diego, but as you know I am trying to recreate only the brands from my childhood; so we will stick with Grover and Tigger thank you. The choice of disposable mats works best for restaurant and guesthouse eating. However, after seeing the total volume of food stuff that ends up everywhere, of course I mean everywhere except the baby’s mouth, I don’t really want to keep washing a disgusting mat over and over again.
LTD was eating rice cereal for only a week when The Mommy decided it was time to turn him into The Hulk by dropping the gamma bomb. The green monster in this case was our friend the avocado. The Mommy read that the guacamole maker was a good safe vegetable to start him on and one of the only foods you don’t need to cook in order to serve to a baby. She was right, he likes it. And that is the problem. Do you have any idea what avocado poop looks and smells like? Well, I do. It is grim. It is voluminous. It is green and it is wicked stinky.
I should also note what an avocado looks like when you mash it up and when it goes in and around a baby’s mouth. If you will allow me to paint a picture, it looks like the baby just ate Kermit the frog. I’ve seen a lot of things since I became a parent; things I can’t un-see, but the baby’s face covered in green slime combined with the smell from his home made guacamole has secured the top spot on the “I’m grossed out” list. But he likes them and who can say no to a baby?
No bells or sirens went off, but it just felt like it was time. The Mommy decided to pull the trigger. This morning, we gave the baby rice cereal for the first time. It was his first non-breast milk meal ever. However, we mixed the rice cereal with breast milk, so technically it was his first non entirely breast milk meal ever. We over came our first hurdle when The Mommy told me to shut up, since we were video taping for posterity, and she felt I was adding unnecessary DVD commentary. In my own defense not much was happening in terms of exciting movie making, but The Mommy gently reminded me that it “wasn’t about me.”
We had LTD on top of the table sitting in his bumbo chair with a big bib on his chest like Superman’s S. Then we basically just jumped right in, The Mommy spooned some cereal into LTD’s mouth and we waited to see what would happen. No surprises, what seems like the normal chain of events followed. He swallowed some but more oozed out on to his chin thanks to his tongue thrust reflex. The Mommy read that feeding the baby solids at this age wasn’t about extra nutrition but to get them used to eating. And based on what I have seen, he needs all the practice he can get and we need more paper towels.