Sunday, February 20, 2011

All this controversy over...eating?

Earlier this week, I got fascinated in a not-so-good way with the comments on this blog post about kids in restaurants. I actually hadn't taken Emmett to a restaurant since Christmas break (when we had family in town who wanted to visit some favorite local eateries) and the indignant responses of people who thought kids should only be in restaurants with a kids' menu made me really want to eat in restaurants more, in a "So there!" kind of way. I certainly have been wary of being That Parent With The Screaming Child, and most nights, I'd still just prefer to eat takeout at home than go out to eat--it's just easier. But somehow the idea that I should stay out of restaurants because I have my kid with me? Lame. Most of the times we've had Emmett with us, it's seemed like the restaurants needed our business more than they needed a kid-free environment. I'll be kind of ticked off if I avoid going places I really like during my kid's unpredictable years and then find that these places become more casualties of the crap economy.

Then there's the objection by certain members of a political movement that making breast pumps a deductible expense is making the US into a nanny state. I so don't get it. What I like about this potential deduction is that I remember spending lots of time at Babies R Us and Target trying to figure out if it was worth it to spend extra money on one of the nicer pumps (you know, the kind that actually work?). Anyone who has pumped for more than five minutes will attest that the better pumps are pretty worth it. If I'd gone into that situation knowing that certain expenses were deductible, the decisions would be easier to decide to buy a better pump at the outset.

For some reason, I thought that once I introduced Emmett to solid food, I'd be able to take some pressure off myself about All of That Pumping, but now I realize that I still am doing as much pumping as ever. I also now have a vague sense of...guilt? inadequacy? about the fact that No, I am not making all of Emmett's solid food by hand. We barely manage to feed ourselves most weeknights, so adding in the time to cook and pulverize fresh organic fruits and vegetables for the boy is just not likely to happen any time soon. When his diet is varied enough that he really can eat what we eat, perhaps it'll be easier to just mush some of the current meal up for him, but for can do.

The first time that I fed him sweet potatoes was right around the same time that he learned to make "raspberries" with his mouth, and I was concerned that the entire kitchen would soon resemble a painting by Jackson Pollock. Luckily, he's gotten better about getting the actual food into his mouth.

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