Slopsville 12 – The Bear and the Owl.



Remember how I said this week I was going to write about making Helen’s Rice Pudding for Joe? Well, I bought all the ingredients and then David made it. He was sick of waiting for me to do it. It had been three, maybe four, days. He is so turning into his mother. Anyway, I’ve bought more ingredients and will endeavour to make it this week. (David’s version, btw, not so good. He didn’t follow Helen’s recipe and ended up with a kind of giant sticky rice ball. We all ate it though, obviously.)

So I’ve been a bit stuck with what to write about since Joe’s plodding along quite happily. He’s doing really well. Loves Weetabix, is always happy to cram an Organix rice cake into his mouth whole, eats pretty much whatever you put in front of him (although he did reject spinach, spaghetti and tuna at lunch today)… so not much to report.

And then I remembered something. The bear and the owl.

Joe loves his food. He loves it so much that sometimes it doesn’t come fast enough. Sometimes he seems to believe that, even when he’s got a mouthful, more food should be waiting just in front of his face. Otherwise how the heck is he supposed to know for sure that there’s more coming? How? So if he perceives us to be a bit tardy with the grub, he expresses his displeasure by growling. At first it’s often like a warning snarl, like “Grrrnnnnnnn.” But if we don’t immediately hop to it, it becomes more of a terrifying roar. It’s almost demonic. Strange because the rest of the time he’s so sweet and placid, but put him in his highchair and he almost seems possessed.

As I’m sure you can imagine from the above, he also hates it when the food is gone. Even if he’s clearly full, the scraping of a bowl drives him demented and if you dare get up to take the plate away… well, we don’t dare. But we’ve found that if he has something to immediately cram in his mouth, he can cope. Often this is where the rice cakes come in, but sometimes I’ll give him a slice of bread. Which he then chews and chews… and chews. And chews. And then he eventually spits out a little nugget of soggy but compact bread.

At first it put me in mind of Elton John, who apparently once did a diet that involved chewing but not swallowing food. But then I realised that owls do what Joe does. To, I think, make the food more palatable for their babies. The resulting nuggets are called “owl pellets”* and so obviously we call Joe’s “Joe pellets”. As in, “Aw crap. I just stood on another Joe pellet.” Or “Is that a Joe pellet in your hair?”

Add the above to the fact that, when he’s not eating, Joe likes to lie on the rug with a shoe in his mouth, he’s pretty much more beast than boy.

* It’s possible that owl pellets are something else entirely – I only ever half-watch Springwatch – but let’s not worry about that.

Keris Stainton

My first YA book – DELLA SAYS: OMG! WTF? – is out 6 May 2010 and this is what it’s about:

Della’s over the moon when she kisses her long-standing crush at a party – but then she discovers her diary has disappeared…
When scans of embarrassing pages are sent to her mobile and appear on Facebook, Della’s distraught – how can she enjoy her first proper romance when someone, somewhere, knows all her deepest, darkest secrets?



Author: Laura

A 70's child, I’ve been married for a Very Long Time, and appear to have made four children, and collected one large and useless dog along the way. I work, I have four children, I have a dog… ergo, I do not do dusting or ironing. I began LittleStuff back in (gulp) 2004. I like huge mugs of tea. And Coffee. And Cake. And a steaming cone of crispy fresh fluffy chips, smothered in salt and vinegar. #healthyeater When I grow up I am going to be quietly graceful, organised and wear lipstick every day. In the meantime I *may* have a slight butterfly-brain issue.

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