I’m a messy eater. I think we’ve established that over recent months. Mummy does her best to keep me clean, but let’s face it, she’s not going to win that battle. Short of stripping me to my nappy at every meal, there is no bib or other clothing protection on the market to keep my whites white.
It seems there are clean babies and there are dirty babies. I am a dirty baby. What can I say? It’s standard practice for me to need a couple of changes before I even leave the house. I understand that if there’s a leaky nappy, I have to have clean clothes straight away, but if it’s just a bit of milk, is it really worth it? I’ve seen Mummy just rub it in on her own trousers, so why subject me to the inconvenience of another change?
It is a great source of stress for Mummy. She does like me to look presentable, so I know she finds it frustrating when I have dribble marks on my tummy or tomato stains on my sleeve. I think she could pass off her anxiety as a concern for the environment (why would you want the washing machine on non-stop?) but I think it might also have something to do with her not wanting people to think she’s a slummy mummy. Scummy mummy = scummy baby? I don’t know that necessarily correlates, but perhaps that’s how she used to look at people before I turned up.
I think a lot of people don’t really comprehend how difficult it is to get food into a baby until they’ve tried it for themselves. Even training by trying to spoon food into a slowly-rotating melon with a hole the size of a 10p piece in one side doesn’t really cut it. So I think Mummy remembers that – she was one of those people. She’s doing a great job, but I do think she sometimes worries too much about what the strangers on the next table are thinking about us.
If they’re talking about us at all, I’m sure it’s to say how cute I am rather than how good or bad a mummy she is! It can be annoying though, when the people are staring or pulling faces – it’s pretty off-putting.
So how much food, or other foreign substances, is it acceptable to let your child have about their person when they cross the threshold of your home? A couple of spots of milk? A little lunch? Mud? Or nothing at all?