It probably won’t come as a shock to you that Joe is a messy eater. You’ve seen his picture. And babies aren’t exactly known for their table manners anyway, are they? But Joe takes messy eating to the next level. He dials messy eating up to 11. He laughs in the face of messy eating and then hurls it down the front of my top.
Harry was a messy eater too, of course. I’ve got the traditional pictures of his face smeared with yoghurt, his fingers covered in chocolate, but Joe get his food all over his face, his hands, his clothes, the highchair, the floor and any nearby (and not so nearby – the kid’s got some reach) toys. I have picked partially chewed rice cake out of his ears, his nose, his nappy and my bra. Almost everything in the lounge has a light crusting of Weetabix (which, as any parent knows, is one of the world’s most adhesive substances).
Sometimes he’s doing quite well, I’m managing to scrape the excess off his face and shove it back in his mouth, he’s managing to keep his hands (or his feet) out of the way and then, apparently just to mix things up a little, he’ll sneeze. And you know what happens when you sneeze with a mouthful of, say, pea and pear puree, don’t you? It ain’t pretty. But what was I thinking getting a beige carpet with kids anyway.
And now that Joe’s learned what fun it is to drop things off the side of his highchair, his favourite game is to fling something – usually something wet and disgusting – and then wait for me to bend to pick it up before dropping another, splat on the back of my neck.
At a family wedding this weekend, I was feeding Joe and a cousin said, “Don’t you use a bib?” Well, we did. We used to conscientiously tug a bib over Joe’s head at every feed. The bib would get covered in food and then, when we took it off, we’d find that he’d somehow managed to cover his clothes *under* the bib too. And of course, he’d always save that last bit of sicking up for just after we’d taken the bib off. No matter how long we left it. What we need is a baby Hazmat suit. And one for me. And plastic sheeting for the carpet. And furniture. But it hardly seems worth the effort.
So we keep baby wipes to hand at all times and ignore the rest of the mess. And let’s face it, there are worse things in life than a carrot crunchy in the cleavage.