When it comes to food, my wife and I are polar opposites.
Me, I eat pretty much anything and everything. Often dousing food in spices and chilli. The kitchen is always armed with a variety of exotic condiments, and I even keep a bottle of emergency hot sauce at work. My wife, on the other hand, thought that a spring roll was a strange mystical rarity when I first met her, and suffers from the classic first world syndrome of being surrounded by a plethora of food while remaining paralysingly unable to decide what to eat.
This is an all too common conversation I’m made to endure:
“What do you want to eat?”
“I don’t mind. You choose.”
“Ok… what about pizza?”
“I don’t really feel like pizza.”
“Don’t want Mexican.”
“Well what do you feel like then?”
“I don’t care, whatever.”
And this goes on and on ad nauseum, until I reach the point of wanting to put my head through a double paned window.
So, given the disparity between our culinary intuitions, I was anxious to see whose tastebuds Frankie had inherited.
While innate palates and appetites are up for deliberation, one attribute that was never going to come into question was dogged stubbornness. Something we both have in spades, and given the universe’s wicked sense of humour, was always going to be passed on to our spawn.
You see, Frankie is not overly interested in being ‘fed’. She wants to do it herself. ‘Stop waving that piece of pumpkin in my face and just put it in my hand, you cretin. And that spoon, pass it here and watch me lay siege to the kitchen by hurling flaming boulders of avocado like a medieval catapult.’
And don’t even bother with the old tried and true ‘here comes the aeroplane’ trick, as it most certainly is not welcome inside her airspace. Frankie will commandeer that shit within seconds.
Getting the aeroplane into the hangar, per se, is easy enough, as long as Frankie is in control. From there, things get a little bit tricky. She’s happy to furiously mung away with her one lonely tooth, like a Collingwood supporter at an all-you-can-eat buffet, but should a stray piece break off…then the panic sets in.
“WHAT THE HELL DO I DO NOW?”
Thus begins the titanic struggle that only ends in gagging, spitting or spewing. Sometimes a bit of all three. She hasn’t quite got the whole chewing and swallowing thing down yet, but we’ll get there eventually. At least she seems game enough to have a taste of anything we’ve given her, meaning she’s already Marco Pierre White compared to her mother.
We haven’t tried anything outrageous or torturous yet, like the cliched but amusing ‘give a baby some lemon’ maneuver, but food is definitely going to be a fun adventure as she continues to get her little head around it. So far, chicken seems to be the runaway favourite, so we most certainly do not have a vegetarian on our hands. The only downside has been her affinity for bananas. My one weakness. My dietary kryptonite.
To leave on a light note, one of her favourite things to do, given that swallowing is still a foreign concept, is blissfully sit in her high chair with strings of food dangling from her mouth. It’s hilarious.
There’s never a dull day.