Friday, August 17, 2007

Mashed Spudato

The spud had his very first restaurant lunch today. He's eaten in restaurants before however only food that we've taken in with us. Today I ordered from the children's menu for the first time and he had an enormous lunch of veggie sausages and mash. This is great. This is like, freedom on a plate. Of course, the fact that I was at a baby-friendly cafe who do food specifically designed to tempt Mums like me into spending their hard-won maternity pay on baby food they could make for a tenth of the price at home doesn't exactly mean this reflects any sort of universal constant. In fact, let's face it, if it wasn't for my brilliant friend and her little einstein (this baby is younger than the spud, speaks 5 words, knows his colours and can nod 'yes' or 'no' on purpose), we would still be wandering around hopelessly looking for somewhere to sit down.

After this massive carb-fest we took the boys to the park where einstein sat sedately in the swing smiling beatifically at his Mum while the spud tore around (as much as a 25 pound crawler can tear) following older children, banging on all the playground furniture, falling into the sandpit and trying to climb UP the slide. This endeared him no end to the three-year olds who were legitimately at the top of the thing wanting to descend and I worked off my entire lunch bending down, picking him up, putting him down some-where out of the way and then running after him to repeat. 'Would you like to go on the swings?' I asked... 'Ah ah ah' said the spud, ignoring me to crawl back up the slide. 'Would you like to go on the swings?' asked my brilliant friend of her baby... 'isss' he said, nodding vigourously. But I digress.

Einstein apparently got so brainy because his Mum reads books to him several times a day and does all sorts of pointing and nodding things to encourage him. After I confessed that I don't always read to the spud, my friend strong-armed us all into a bookshop and kept throwing books into my arms (and here's something, why are fully 25% of all baby books about farms?) until I fell over and my credit card landed in the cash-register. Now his room looks like a library and while part of me dreams that in no time at all my little whirl-wind will be speaking and pointing and correctly able to identify a tractor (I'm certain this will be very useful in Brixton), most of me knows that what is really going to happen is that tomorrow morning there will be just that much more of a papery feel to the rubble of Stuff on the floor of his room.

Don't get me wrong. I do read to him fairly regularly, just not every night. This is partly because he's only just got over trying to eat all his books and partly because I mumble cough boob mumble cough him cough cough cough to sleep mumble hack. So, erm, by the time we get to that Horlicks moment when I'm supposed to snuggle him up beside me on the bed and read him a book in the golden, hazy glow of his bedside light, he is asleep with his mouth open, snoring very faintly like a pint-sized trucker.

I am, however, going to make a change. Now that we have eliminated the bed-time boob, I am starting a new routine which involves reading to him while he chugs down his last milk of the day and so far, meaning as evidenced by our test run this evening, it seems to be going down well. Whether or not his little spud brain will absorb this new influx of information remains to be seen however if he throws himself into it the way he has taken to throwing himself down the slide, I'm sure we'll have comprehension soon. Or skinned knees. One or the other.


Self employed mum said...

I'm not one for dishing out advise but my alarm bells are ringing, firstly, extremely clever babies require constant stimulation and can be much more demanding (I speak from having an extremely clever son and a dolly dimple daughter - who we have now realised at the age of 7 is cleverer than she has ever let on! which makes her quite clever, if you get my meaning, yet she is much easier and can occupy herself for hours)the spud will do his thing in his own time.

Secondly I disagree with the reading in bed theory, this is all very well when you have one child and everybody else seems to do it, learn from my mistake, I did it and then when dolly dimple came along the scene was 2 yr old in bed with 40 books, because it was always 'just another one' me balanced on the bed with dolly dimple on the boob, husband was not good enough at reading the bedtime books and he didn't have boobs....well he did...but they didn't produce the necessary.

We then decided at that point bedtime books were no longer, it's like the boob, the dummy, the story at bedtime, it all becomes a struggle when they are no longer available. So start as you mean to go on, bed. End of.

It may seem harsh but I am proud to say, since that moment, we have never had a struggle at bed time, we have bath, supper, teeth, bed and child free evening.

Lecture over - great reading as usual.

femmme said...

sounds like a successful day!

Suki said...

great reading indeed!

And be afraid. Be very afraid. From all I've heard, the ones that start talking really late NEVER SHUT UP till their adult teeth drop out.
I think I'm one of those. :P

Sparx said...

SEM - Wow, thanks for that, it hadn't occurred to me and since we've just ditched the Bedtime Boob I'm not keen to replace it with something equally wakening. I was thinking of reading to him after his dinner and before his bath - I'll give it a try. Thanks for the drop-in, time for me to catch up on your now I think!

Femme - yes indeed, very successful - although while I did get to eat in a restaurant, I didn't manage to get in a glass of wine. Must Try Harder! Thanks for dropping in, your blog is a good read!

Suki - really? Oh oh... it wouldn't surprise me though, he's got so much energy for everything else! Thanks for popping in, am amazed you have the time to read other blogs with so many of your own!

Elsie Button said...

i have started making a real effort to read several books to betty a day. sometimes she sits there smiling and looking at the pictures, and even turns the page for me sometimes, but mostly she tries to slobber all over them and eat them. i hold them at arms length but this makes her mad!

Sparx said...

Elsie - aha, this sounds JUST like the spud! Clearly einstein is a rarity! Good to see you!

DJ Kirkby said...

Spud might just be the next Ray Mears! Athletics take longer to finesses, the reading and speaking will come along as soon as he has figured out how to single handedly conquer the wilds of the playground.