Being Dad

Being a father is fraught with danger…

Man verses Baby April 16, 2012

Filed under: Dad Blog,Parenting — Tim @ 8:30 am

I like spaghetti. I enjoy it so much, that I eat a fair bit of it. I concoct quite an excellent spaghetti sauce, and I never get tired of it. Why then, I would like to know, do children happily eat something for weeks, and then suddenly reject it as if it’s rat poison?

Food time is either a fun and fast 15 minutes, where Missy eagerly eats most of what’s put in front of her, or a tiresome marathon of spitting out, knocking down, test of wills. Thankfully the latter is not the norm, and generally Missy eats pretty well, although I have yet to feed her a jalapeno.

It just amazes me, therefore, that at random times she unexpectedly decides: “hey buddy, you’re not getting that chicken and vegetable mush into me today.” This is despite that for days; the same mush was all she wanted to eat. When these testing times appear, a previously uncoordinated child, who barely realizes her hands are her own, can detect an incoming spoon, calculate the trajectory to the nearest wall, and in the blink of an eye, launch a spoonful of slop expertly into a maximum splatter orbit. Further confusing the food conundrum, Missy likes purée fruit; she also likes yoghurt – fruit and yoghurt together? Forget it.

Bath time at our house is generally a happy and fun time, and with a Mum who was swimming laps 2 days before Missy was born, it’s no surprise that she loves the water. My darling daughter will hop into the bath and happily play there as long as I want her to. Fascinated by running water, she could watch a tap run for an hour if I let her (I shouldn’t let her…right?)

Then there are days, while on final approach to the bath, it is as if I am landing her into a vat of boiling oil. Screaming, with her under-carriage fully retracted, she refuses to go anywhere near it, only to revert the next day to a water baby.

I tend to think my daughter is just keeping me on my toes, making sure I am not too comfortable and content. Just like her routine which, I am informed by higher powers, changes over time (in my mind rendering it not a routine at all), Missy is merely ensuring I am always confused and kept guessing.

The nappy change table can be a battleground in our house. Some days Missy happily lies back while mum or dad wipes, moisturizes and powders; but then other days it goes differently: Our cherub morphs into an incontinent attack dog, demanding to be kept in filthy, smelly nappies, and thunderously wailing at the injustice of a clean bottom and a puff of talcum.

I think my daughter’s messing with me. Surely Missy doesn’t think she can put one over on me, when she can barely talk, and walks like a drunken cowboy? This poses the question of when babies become aware of their super powers. Their ability to demand and be satisfied diminishes over time so is she simply making the most of her short window of total gratification?

I don’t know, but when Missy refuses all else, I simply roll out the trump card. She loves spaghetti and seemingly never gets sick of it – It’s genetic.

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