The day has come. When I can't go two hours without eating, it is time to acknowledge that baby cannot live by milk alone.
So today I cooked up a big pot of sweet potatoes. (And did NOT burn it, so my skills have improved somewhat in the past fifteen months. Or maybe I just got lucky.)
I fed D2. I gave myself and D1 a snack. I set D2 up in the high chair, dudded him up with a bib, and commenced.
Immediately D1, ignoring the crumbs of biscuit and jam on her table, requested some for herself, "Pay-toh, Pay-toh?" I had not foreseen this, although I should have. So I dished her up a bowl.
Meanwhile I was poking one tiny morsel at a time in the direction of D2's mouth. He choked and gagged, but with an air of intense interest. So I soldiered on, even though occasionally he threw up even his earlier meal.
In the middle of all this, D1 decided she needed to go potty. This means taking the bib off, helping her down with her pants, and if her pants are dry we customarily celebrate by reading a book. Then of course the process must be reversed, hands washed, etc., when she is done. In the interests of not allowing D2 to choke and vomit unsupervised, I told her we would be skipping the book for the time being and dashed back and forth between dining room and bathroom.
Notwithstanding, she decided, after she was all done and back at the table, that she needed to go again. And again. And again.
Meanwhile D2 stuck out his tongue and gagged and spit up sweet potato.
Two of these runs were successful, one so highly successful that it warranted a cookie. Somewhere in this she had abandoned the bowl of sweet potato and carried off the stool she sits on to eat. So I instructed her to bring it back so she could sit down and eat the cookie.
She set the stool down in her bowl of sweet potatoes.
Then she needed to go again. And again. And again.
I finally decided D2 had had enough of trying sweet potato, so I got him down.
By that time we were all hungrier than we were when we started. I thought this was hard last time.
Someday, we will all sit down to dinner and everyone will serve themselves portions that they actually eat. None of it will wind up on the floor. The children will wield their utensils expertly, converse on enlightening topics, and deal with extraneous bodily needs discretely. At the end, they will utter those words a mother so longs to hear, "Oh, don't worry about the dishes; we'll take care of them."
That will be in 2025. Until then, I've got some sweet potato to scrape off the stove.