Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Goo Monster

I suppose every parent must have days like this – days in which their child just seems like a manufacturer of goo. When I think about River today I see constant drool, tomato seeds and peels dripping down the chin, food caught in the neck, a shirt wet and stained, chunks of soggy bread on the carpet under his highchair, running snot, booger bubbles emerging from his nostrils, milk dripping down the side of his mouth. As a result, I also walked around with a shirt stained by tomatoes and breastmilk and felt like I was a walking advertisement for messes to come, especially when I walked into a winery.

Of course we love our child, no matter what he looks like or does. However, River distinctly lost some of his cuteness today and I wasn’t the only one who thought so.

“River, you’ve lost the chance to become the Gerber baby,” Mark told him while River cried, had barley soup and sweet potatoes dripping down his chin and snot running from his nose. “We can no longer sell you to Gerber.”

Of course we take some of the blame. Our traveling about prevented him from getting his 3-4 hour power nap that has been normal for him over the past few weeks. He slept a while during a hike, and I continued to walk farther than I’d planned in order to give him the chance to sleep longer.

While he was good for most of the day, the lack of a long nap made him struggle for some parts of the day, and look around dazed for others.

We had our most difficult lunch with him ever. I’m trying to use up the little jarred baby food we have during this trip since he’ll grow out of it soon. I offered him Earth’s Best organic sweet potatoes and chicken and was surprised when he refused it. He loves sweet potatoes and he likes chicken, so I didn’t know what the problem was, other than perhaps a lack of spices. He wanted the restaurant’s beef and barley soup (which probably had way too high levels of sodium), the cottage cheese, the wholegrain bread and the oranges. He cried and I realized that we are now going to have to leave higher tips in order to compensate for the mess and disruption. When we offered him the same sweet potatoes and chicken for dinner, he ate it.

We knew he wouldn’t make it through a dinner in a restaurant, so Mark dropped me off so I could put River down while he got us PA Dutch take-out. As soon as we returned to the quiet, familiar environment of the hotel room, River became his happy self again. He went potty, he played, he breastfed, he took a bottle and he went to sleep – a relief to us all. I was just tired of wetness, noise and goo.

Despite these problems, I have to give River credit. We were out and about all day and without a single poop in his pants. However, as soon as we got home and put him on the potty, out came a big poop. He never poops just before bedtime. Although I held him over adult toilets a couple of times during the day, we think he was hanging on until he was seated on his own, comfortable potty. We’re very proud of him for that. That would have been one more nasty substance to deal with that might have brought us over the edge.

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