Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Meanwhile, back at the baby food aisle ...

As I mentioned in the last post (cue flashback visual), Sidney is now eating baby food in addition to his formula.  Relevant to this (and to set up this week's humor), I have decided that I will try anything I am going to give Sindey first, partly because I am an over-protective father, but mostly because I want to know the likelihood he is going to spit something out so I can prepare (read: dive for cover).  Let’s face it, if an adult is so repulsed by the flavor of something that it almost goes flying, there is a high probability the wee one is going to be nonplussed and pull a Vesuvius circa 79 CE (we save Krakatoa analogies for explosions out the other end).  For those unfamiliar with baby food, it is usually described as being simply “pureed” food.  Although this coveys the consistency decently, flavor is another matter.  You see, most people season their food, and there are no seasonings in baby food.  It is naked food, if you will (and in front of the children no less!)  We’ve been at this for a few weeks now, so I have sampled a decent variety of the infant offerings made by the various purveyors of fine baby dining (the names of the innocent, and guilty, have been omitted ... mostly because I don't keep track of who makes what).  But, given my hobbies as a Scotch aficionado, amateur oenologist, and general food snob, I could not help but keep notes (go with it people, work with me here) on the gustatory profiles of the different meals we have given Sidney.  So, without further set-up blathering, my blathering about baby food:
1) Bananas:  This tastes like the essence of banana.  Smooth, distinct fruit notes, clean finish.  Varietals include bananas and berries (the berries are present breifly at the introduction, give way to the banana, but return for a hint at finish), bananas and pineapple (the slight tang of the pineapple finishes on the palate) and bananas, apples and oatmeal (don’t ask, but it works).  Dad’s reaction: Mmm, bananas.  Sindey’s reaction: eager consumption.
2) Apples: It’s apple sauce, but smoother.  Varietals include apples and berries (the berries are forefront, give a broader sweetness), apples and pears (the pears and apples complement, but there is a distinct pear finish) and apples and insert random fruit of choice.  In fact, lets just leave fruits, because pretty much the answer is “it tastes like that fruit.”  Dad’s reaction: OK, fruit, I get it.  Sindey’s reaction: eager consumption.
3) Sweet potatoes: Consistency is softer than sweet potato mash, but firmer than the fruits.  Muted sweetness gives way to a bland finish.  Dad’s reaction: needs brown sugar.  Sindey’s reaction: I’ll eat it so long as I am really hungry.
4) Squash: Firmer than the last entry, but no sweetness to be had.  Not quite bland, but close enough.  Squash flavor is identifiable, but not dominant.  Dad’s reaction: needs butter and salt.  Sidney’s reaction:  We’re done after 5 spoonfuls; where’s that formula bottle?
5) Peas: peas.  That’s all I got; peas.  Dad’s reaction: peas.  Sidney’s reaction: pass.
6) Green beans:  Nightmares from youth revisited.  Canned, vaguely metallic introduction followed by hints of rubber, shrubbery and despair.  Dad’s reaction: But I don’t wannnnnt green beans.  Sidney’s reaction: Vesuvius.
7) Ham in ham gravy: The first of our meats, unfortunately, instead of pureeing ham they appear to have described ham to a first generation food replicator and packaged the result.  All of the flavors you would use to describe ham are present, but are somehow horribly wrong.  The best I can say is it looks like pink sludge and tastes only slightly better.  Dad’s reaction: Vesuvius.  Sindey’s reaction: not happening people. Not. Happening.
8) Rice and lentils: Upon opening one is assaulted by the smell of weeds, and it just goes down hill from there.  Dad’s reaction: this tasted like mowing the lawn smells.  Sidney’s reaction: I’m not stupid, I saw his face.  Good day.  I said good day!
9) Chicken and corn:  pleasant on the nose, hints of chicken and corn, gently sweet background.  Finishes savory.  Dad’s reaction: not bad.  Sidney’s reaction: OK, I’ll eat this, but there better be fruit for breakfast tomorrow.
10) Sweet Corn Chowder.  Immediate corn nose, initial sweet notes give way to a complex but hearty corn body, slightly rough finish.  Dad’s reaction: eager consumption.  Sidney’s reaction: why is Dad eating my food?
Depending on the reaction to this entry, I may share further tasting notes.  Management takes no responsibility for any independent tasting undertaken by you after reading the above.  Your mileage may vary.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

When last we saw our intrepid crew ...

The Wife (and others) have recently asked why there has not been a blog post for a few months.  The answer is two fold: (a) I am fully aware there are only so many pee, poop and puke posts that folks are going to be interested in reading (certain corners of the internet notwithstanding), so until Sidney started in with new tricks I had hit a content lull; and (b) if there is any spare time on any given day, I pass out.  No, seriously, given the choice between almost any other activity and sleep, I’d take sleep 9 times out of 10.  The Wife, on the other hand, would take murdering me in my sleep half the time, and sleeping the other half.  Why?  Because she gets less sleep than I do, and the sight of me unconscious would rightly drive her to murderous rage.  In short, Baby = Sleep{0}.  It might no be as elegant as Euler’s Equation, but it is no less immutable (let’s call it Sidney’s Equation).  This being said, over the past weeks Sidney has hit some milestones that brought with them fresh comedy (but, not to worry, also poop) and thus we have a new post.  So, in no particular order:
1. Teething.  Let’s start with the symptoms: drooling, fussiness, crying and general irritability.  Now, the baby will also display some of these, in addition to: gassiness, diarrhea (told you) and the urge to chew on anything he can get into his mouth.  Teething is the largest contributor to Sidney’s Equation, or at least we think it is.  The problem being that the symptoms of teething are also the symptoms of indigestion, lack of sleep and general baby mischief.  Luckily, the same “treatments” are recommended for all of these: indigestion drops/tablets, soothing rocking, teething toys and Scotch.  The baby will also benefit from the drops/tablets, soothing rocking and teething toys.  So, what I am trying to say is that after a few weeks of random infant outbursts at all hours of day and night, everyone in the house is drooling, crying, fussing and being generally irritable.
2. Sidney’s First Plane Ride.  We recently flew down to Atlanta to introduce Sidney to the Admiral’s side of the family.  Now, we’ve all seen babies on planes before, but as with most things, actually being the people with the baby changes things drastically.  First, you are going to be bringing a lot of stuff.  A lot.  Our trip was for 2 days and we had the following: Car seat, car seat bag, travel stroller, travel stroller bag, large suitcase full of baby clothing, diapers, toys, spare crib bedding and breathable bumper (let it go), a smaller carry-on suitcase full of emergency baby clothing (in case he pukes or poops all over his current outfit), baby formula, more diapers, an emergency set of clothing for us (in case he pukes or poops all over us), and the Diaper Bag filled to capacity.  And this was just Sidney’s stuff, we also had another large suitcase filled with our clothing.  We weren’t so much parents as Sherpa.  Now, this isn’t even the stressful part.  The stress comes from having previously been the people that saw babies on planes.  We all do it, we see the baby and cringe, thoughts of an infant screaming for the entire flight running through our heads.  So the Wife and I, cognizant of this, were at DEFCON 3, looking for any sign of even a pursed lip so that we could spring into action and attempt to dam the melt-down flood.  As luck would have it, Sidney was absolutely fine and slept for much of the flight.  (Having typed this, our next flight will be a disaster because the Universe has a sick sense of humor.)   Of course, then we had to collect the 3 suitcases, car seat, stroller, diaper bag and metaphorical partridge in the proverbial pear tree.  I am amazed Nana and the Admiral haven’t shot us.
3.  Crawling.  To be fair, Sidney is not officially crawling yet, but he’s fully aware that he can move his body to get to something that is just out of reach.  That being said, his current method is to get on his belly, look up to see the thing he wants, plant his head back down and then thrust himself an inch or so in the direction of the object … dragging his face as he goes.  He plainly is not happy about the face dragging, but he’s determined to get to That Thing™ right now.  I am simultaneously amazed that at 5 months he’s figured out that locomotion is possible, and intrigued that “face dragging” has remained an option.  But, not to worry, any day now I’ll be posting that he figured out that keeping his head up made locomotion easier, but we had to raise everything in the apartment by a foot.
4.  Eating solid food.  This one is also going to get it’s own blog post shortly if for no other reason than I want to describe the flavor of different baby foods in great detail.  Spoiler alert: some of it borders on gustatory assault.  But, for now, let’s leave it at Sidney is eating small portions of “real” food twice a day.  The comedy comes from his almost immediate discovery that he could grab the spoon carrying the food and “help” us feed him.  Translation: baby now has a handful of food, a death grip on the spoon, and you have no idea how to: (a) get the spoon into his mouth; (b) get the spoon out of his hand; and (c) return the spoon into the food container to start all over without the tiny tot flinging, catapulting and/or otherwise launching baby food in some random direction (most likely at you).  The answer is, apparently: very carefully and with little success.  Oh, and solid food turns baby poop into “real poop” after just one feeding.  It’s the gift that keeps on giving.  Has anybody seen my Scotch?