Sharing meals with a toddler who loves food and is particular – in a very adult way about his intake – is a joy. This is our lunch today. Sautéed haricot verts with prosciutto and sliced almonds. Simple. Easy. Delicious.
We’re sharing this plate of food right now (Finn just ate ALL the prosciutto despite my pleas to save me one bite). Charlie is on my lap – he’s only 4.5 months – he’s grabbing for it too. All in good time Charlie! Grabbing for food, cutting teeth, rolling over – he is growing up too fast. I’ll be feeding him solids in a couple of months if he’s ready, the BLW way, and I’m approaching it with excitement but also with sad nostalgia. I’ll be saying goodbye to part of his babyhood so quickly.
I have these sweet daydreams of Charlie and Finn traveling the world, together, with dusty rucksacks, tasting their way through various places. Creating their own stories, their own inside jokes and shared memories. I imagine them with facial hair, beards like their dad, which makes me laugh when I think about how many times I savor the softness of baby cheeks each day. My boys thinking of themselves as men, drinking a glass of wine or a cup of black coffee, eating Thali, freshly picked lychee and mangos in India or Sambal in Indonesia, Ramen in Japan, discs of chevre, and fresh yaourt in France…These days seem so far away and yet simultaneously close. Time, you are too hasty.
But then again, the other night I lamented to my husband, “I don’t want them to grow up. This is all happening so fast, Charlie won’t be a baby for very much longer. They’ll be leaving home and traveling around the world, going to college, dating….before we know it!” He collapsed on the bed and said, “Good. I can’t wait.”
We smiled at each other. It’s been hard. Charlie’s infant months shape our retrospect, fashioning memories of Finn’s early weeks as easy. It was all too simple by comparison – having one mellow baby, and now with two little ones, one being a fusser, we are amateurs once again. We’re past the colicky (or whatever it was that left Charlie unhappy during ALL of his awake hours) stage and now we’re on to smiles and laughter and like I said grabbing for things and rolling, moving and squirming. He’s quite charming, and Finn is going through another bout of jealousy, because as Charlie becomes a bit softer around the edges, a bit easier to engage with I find myself needing and wanting to bond with him more and more. Consistently diverted on my way to put in a load of laundry, I plop down next to him emitting dramatic coos and giggles. I stare at his face and mirror his smiles. I’m a yoga panted, bun topped, spit up drenched mime and he’s a subtly coercive baby colluding to get me all to himself. The entire family is living on his terms, but especially me and even more so Finn. Thankfully his agenda is simple and fraught with cuddles. Babies are the smallest but sweetest dictators of the world.
But here’s the other reality: I’m excited for him to eat if for no other reason than being able to put him in a high chair to give my arms a break.
But also to cultivate a love for food. I would be lying to everyone to say that isn’t one of my dearest priorities in child rearing.