“Good Job”

A friendly tip to all the restaurant workers out there: do not congratulate me on my ability to eat your restaurant’s food.

This is a rare occurrence, thankfully, but it’s still a pet peeve of mine.  I’m a fast and thorough eater, and once in a while a waiter while make some “clever” off-handed comment about how I cleaned the plate.  “Good job”, or “you must have enjoyed that” or something similar.

My reaction to these kinds of comments is not to flush with pride; I am not a four-year-old beaming at his parents’ attention.  No, I’m an adult who is now embarrassed by your comment.  Yes, literally embarrassed to have enjoyed your restaurant’s food.  Should I have eaten less?  Left a token half-potato for the kitchen staff to marvel at?

Do your customers usually leave their plates half full?

Best food review ever

Kate and I had a lovely dinner out at the Verve Wine Bar last Thursday.  We had a flight of dessert wines to cap the evening which included a 1971 Pedro Ximenez Madeira.  It’s pretty thick and sweet, and my response:

“It’s like drinking a carebear!”

The waiter was only slightly amused.  We’d had a lot to drink.  🙂

Table Food Day 4

The night of Ruby’s first applesauce was a nightmare.  She went to sleep around 8:30pm but awoke, crying, at 9:30pm.  She continued wailing for an hour until finally settling down and going back to sleep.  Kate’s back has been bothering her so I’ve been on bounce duty for the past few weeks.  Anyway, from the way Ruby’s legs were kicking around we thought maybe the applesauce had given her some kind of cramps.  However, we’ve now given her apples for four days in a row without a repeat of the first episode, so we’ll just chalk it up to coincidence.

Ruby hasn’t quite got the hang of unbottled food yet.  If she’s not really hungry, she’ll ignore the food.  When she’s interested, she’s very… lengual?  tongue-oriented?  licky?  …she prefers to lick food off the spoon.  If you catch her with her mouth open and get a large amount in, she’s just extrude it down her chin.  She’s not eating much; maybe two tablespoons today, of which half ended up elsewhere than inside her belly.  In any event, she’s not averse to this new experience and I’m looking forward to the next food.  Bananas, maybe?

Update: Kate fed Ruby her first bananas for dinner tonight.  Ruby seemed to enjoy them more than the apples.  Still messy, but with less extruding all around. 

Ruby’s First Table Food

food1.jpgWe gave Ruby her first table food tonight: tsugaru apples, picked fresh from our garden from a tree I planted three years ago.  The apple was diced, steamed, mashed, thinned with breastmilk, and then promptly smeared all over Ruby’s chin.  Overall she seemed to enjoy her applesauce, even if she did seem a bit confused by the whole endeavor.

I’ve been looking forward to this day for a long time — probably more than any other milestone in Ruby’s life.  Today is the start of a special relationship between the two of us as I take her on a wonderful culinary journey.  I just hope her appetite can match my enthusiasm.

Like any parent I want to provide the best for my child.  That means we’ll be providing her with whole foods, home cooked, maybe organic.  That’s a little hypocritical, though, since my own diet often leaves a lot to be desired (pizza for dinner tonight!).  I’m hoping Ruby will provide a little inspiration, or at least a little regulation, and that my own diet will improve to match what I expect hers to be.

More pictures and a movie over at Ruby’s Blog.

Hope for Spinach

Rudd Sound Bites is the blog for the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale.  At first glance, it looks pretty interesting.  I’ve got a Feedwhip subscription set up.

Here’s a post that inspires me to aim high for Ruby’s diet:

http://ruddsoundbites.typepad.com/rudd_sound_bites/2006/07/spinach_im_look.html#more

While six-year-old Faith and four-year-old Elijah cycle through finicky preferences, like any other children, Steinberger reports, “Neither of them cares for soft drinks (‘Too spicy,’ says my son).  Both like almost any kind of vegetable, and are particularly fond of kale (with sesame seeds and tamari sauce), broccoli, and peas… Both are willing to try new foods.” As a bedtime snack, they prefer sweet potatoes. 

 

My Kindgom for A…

There is one thing that is most difficult about being a stay-at-home dad.  It’s not giving up the $100k/year salary; not the isolation; not suppressing my career goals; not dealing with stereotypes; not spending endless hours crouched over a play blanket.

No, the single hardest thing is not having boobs.

When Ruby cries, chances are it is because she’s hungry.  But I can’t just lift my shirt and satisfy her; no, I need to prepare a bottle.  That takes two hands, at a minimum, because we don’t want to spill the precious fluid.  So, I need to put her down — which generally turns the crying into screams.

If the milk is cold, we’re looking at a 10-minute wait to warm it up.  And what if we’re out of the day’s allotment?  Defrosting freezer milk can take 30 minutes or more.

And even worse, what if Mom’s coming home in an hour?  Do we wait it out?  Pull some valuable freezer milk from the bank?  Every afternoon, I need to do some tricky baby’s mood/my mood/expected time of mom’s arrival calculus.

And because our freezer milk supply is somewhat limited, I’m loathe to use it.  This means I try to stretch out the feedings, and give smaller feedings at a time, in an attempt to make the milk last longer.  I’m sure you can guess, from the tone of this post, how well this is working.

Because I’m not personally equipped to satisfy the most basic of my baby’s needs, my time with Ruby is that much more difficult.  It’s really the only aspect of being a stay-at-home dad that makes me question the arrangement Kate and I have.