On Saturday (one just gone) Claire was working as usual, and I was with our son. This was a fairly big day for us.
We were attending a 60th birthday being held in a restaurant. The addition of a restaurant into the equation means there would be food involved, and this meant the need for sitting, ideally in a high chair, and not only sitting, but sitting for an extended period of time. Not only that, but Ned would be meeting a lot of people at this party for the first time. There were so many variables that could go wrong here.
Luckilly, I would be going with my parents, who Ned finds hilarious, particularly my Dad, who last time they met spent 15 minutes led on the floor while my son explored his ear with his talon like fingers – that is the kind of relationship they have.
So the day arrived, and I was over my parents beforehand – we were due to go in 5 minutes, so I set up the car seat, while Ned laughed to himself – I imagine at some sort of baby related in joke about adults and car seats.
Then, the unexpected happened. While crawling, my son slipped on the laminate floor, bringing himself – or more specifically, his entire face – down hard of the polished wood.
This couldn’t have come at a worse time. See, my son HATES going in a car seat to begin with. Adding a face first related injury to the fact he now has to be strapped into what is essentially a comfortable prison was the last straw for him, and he managed to cry all the way to the restaurant. No amount of toys or funny faces would stop the flood of tears, and even a near perfect rendition of ‘One Man Went To Mow’ – usually a crowd pleaser, was met with screaming and the angry flailing of chubby limbs that only babies can get away with.
Arriving at the restaurant, Ned wasn’t in the best of moods, and full on stranger anxiety had set in, multiplied by the trauma of the car trip and still recent memory that he had landed on his face. All who approached my son were met with tears. Any who smiled at my son had cries thrown back at them, and all attempts to cheer my little captain sunshine up fell flat (interestingly, like my son had done himself 30 minutes ago)
The time had come to eat, and I slumped off to the carvery to select some starter items in the hope that slices of melon and spoons of prawns would ease my dismay.
When I returned, something had happened that I can only attest to Grandparenting magic.
There, chewing away, swinging his legs in a high chair, was my son.
Apparently, while I had been up for food, Ned had practically launched himself at a passer by who had food on a plate. Out of curiosity, my parents had sat him in his chair and given him some food, which he completely devoured. I had my smiling son back.
The rest of the day was an absolute dream, my son managed to consume:
– Two slices of melon
– A mini Babybell
– Half a small brown roll
– two roast potatoes
– Too much turkey to keep track of
– A healthy handfull of fruit
– Two parsnips
– 1 carrot
He dropped plenty of food, he mashed even more of it and smeared it on his trousers, but by god, did he put a lot away.
I sat there, with an overwhelming sense of love for him, he’d turned around what could have been an absolute nightmare day out into an amazing one, and all because of his unending greed. I was proud.
The day ended with him crawling around the rest of the digesting guests, followed closely by my mum. Stranger anxiety was no more, and he was blabbing away to any who would listen.
Finally, after nearly 5 hours of resisting, he fell asleep in my arms. A perfect end to a perfect day.