Thursday, February 28, 2013

The new normal

I'm spending the week hanging out with my family while D.J. is criss-crossing the state for work. So today I enjoyed the rare treat of having lunch with my sister. I should have known before we left that today was not going to be a smooth sailing picture perfect world. We were already running late and when nursing Caleb I leaked through several layers of my t-shirt and had to change everything. Then there wasn't time to do my hair, so I put it up in a bun - still wet from my shower earlier in the day. On top of that, my phone wouldn't send text messages and I was having a heck of a time telling my sister what our delay was and when we'd be there. Caleb and I dashed out the door with a diaper bag I prayed held everything we'd need for a lunch downtown.

We met my sister at a cute little local place full of downtown charm and lots of business people dressed in suits and heels. I instantly knew that while they had a high chair for us, it wasn't the kind of place people usually bring children to. (I've been eating at Chick-Fil-A and McDonalds a lot lately! The people there don't mind a squealing baby banging toys on the table.) We followed our waitress to a table in the back - right in front of cute, stylish mirrors that revealed (to my shock and horror) roll upon roll of hard earned mommy back fat. My shirt that previously made me look so cute, suddenly made me look like an overstuffed sausage. I turned my back to that ugly mirror and chose to enjoy the special time with my sister. We chatted through lunch and I thanked the Lord for a quiet baby. The diner began to fill and get noisier about the same time Caleb did. I breathed a sigh of relief that we weren't disturbing any business meetings. Then, I made a choice I will remember for the rest of my life. I chose to feed my child. While this choice has made for many memorable moments in the past 7 months, this is the first time this choice was memorable with no body parts being revealed. This is not a breastfeeding horror story. This is a solid food feeding explosion story.

I fed Caleb his carefully prepared bowls of puree and prayed for a minimal mess. In no time, we had peas on the floor and smeared across the edge of the table. My sister laughed and enjoyed his antics, but made a hasty exit once the checks were paid. (She said she had to go back to work. I think she was smart enough to know she needed to get out of dodge.) While I sat in the midst of a crowded bistro, full of skinny college students and smart business men and women enjoying a dignified lunch, I attempted to gracefully feed my child throw food in Caleb's direction. The waitress felt sorry for me trying to clean up the mess with a blanket and brought me extra napkins. Three of them to be exact. Each the size of a quarter. She's clearly not a mother. With peas, oatmeal, banana, and sweet potato being flung far and wide, I did my best to contain the splatter explosion. Unfortunately, my child chose today to test out his "raspberry" sounds. With a mouth full of food. Luckily, my child chose today to sneeze his oatmeal into the diaper bag and not into my face. By the time it was all said and done, I had bananas on both shoes and one sock. There was at least a mouth full of oatmeal in my diaper bag and a smattering of food dropped spit onto the floor. The high chair was coated with food and the straps, I'm convinced, will never be the same again. I saved the syrup bottle from being thrown to the floor, but not before Caleb figured out how to pour some on the table. As I gathered my food covered belongings and scooped up my child, I heard the man behind me breathe an audible sigh of relief. Maybe he was just sighing. But I think he was thrilled to see us go.

When I got home, I found sweet potato still in Caleb's ear and some sweet peas between his toes. (Seriously not sure how that even happened!) Welcome to our new normal!

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