When Cordelia was newly born Eric and I learned that our meals were to be taken on the fly. Cooked, if possible, and then stuffed down our gullets as quickly as possible before the next spit up or blow out. We tried to eat together in those early weeks, but more often than not our meals were just inconvenient at best. Of course I had made all of those pre-baby prep meals that sat in our freezer. Family brought meals by, but what we hadn't anticipated was just how insane life would be.
When we started feeding Cordelia with us at the table things improved, but our meals were still speedy. We ate bites in between feeding the girl and cleaning up the mess. Not that we were complaining, just noting the different season in our lives.
Now we are onto something entirely different. Cordelia likes to linger....and linger...and linger. Eric and I eat our meals, do the dishes, read, etc. Meanwhile, Cordelia likes to smell her food, play with her food, roll about in her booster seat. Dip her utensils in her drink. Look at the wall behind her. Talk to the dog. Invite us to smell her food. I think you get the gist. I vacillate between trying to control the process which often extends well past the one hour mark and watching it unfold like a science experiment.
I inform her that we aren't enjoying a siesta on the coast, that there isn't a holiday. I try to get her to use her fork and avoid rolling her face on her plate, coating her hair in syrup. However I am loathe to admit a certain, begrudging, admiration of her focused inability to focus. For now the real work is on my part, finding the balance between raising a kid that isn't a totally bizarre person at the table and one that can play with her food a little bit.
Take this morning for instance. When I finally decided to document the process she had managed to eat her pancake, taking time to inspect each piece and make comments like, "I love the germs in my mouth." She had also eaten her orange slices, leaving only tempeh bacon and a bit of soy milk and a whole lot of this....