Saturday, 26 February 2011

Baby furballs

I furminated the cat the other day. Because that's the sort of decadent, crazy-fun thing we get up to around here. Jealous? YOU SHOULD BE.

The cat was quite hairy. And by 'quite' I mean, oh-my-god-that's-disgusting, type hairy. It was, not to mince words, a shedding filth machine.

So I gave her a good going over with the Furminator (which, if you don't know, is a bit of a cross between a brush and a razor, but not quite as cruel as that sounds. Okay, it is that cruel. But they love it. They do. The little feline freaks.) and the fur just kept on coming. Handfuls of it. Literally.

(by the way, the creature lurking to the left of the picture is not the cat. In case you were worried.)

I started piling this mass of fur on the floor, disgusted and fascinated in equal measure. The cat eventually escaped, just before it was rendered completely bald, and I sat back and stared in wondering awe at the mound. If I looked closely, I could see whole ecosystems I had unwittingly destroyed. I felt like God.

Then Lumpy got in on the action, grabbed a handful, and shoved it straight in his mouth.

Now that's Baby Led Weaning at it's best.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

A tale of two weanings

When we first starting weaning the Lumpy, there weren't many solids in evidence. In fact, it was slop all the way. And, at first, this was pleasing to the baby dictator. He wolfed the lot of it down with wild enthusiasm. Baby rice slop! Yum! Mushed vegetable slop! Mmm, delicious! Squashed fruity slop! Gimme gimme gimme! Fishy slop! Meaty slop! Slop slop slop! Bring me more slop, woman! Get a bigger shovel! Why are you hanging around? Rwwoooaaaarrrrrrr!

And then it all changed.

I should have expected it, really. If there's one thing I've learned over the past almost-eight-months (and there is really only one thing) it's that nothing to do with babies is ever even vaguely permanent or predictable. Just when you think you see a pattern, or make a connection, or dare to assume that your baby likes/dislikes/tolerates something, without warning or reason everything will change and you will suddenly be faced with a small, frowny stranger. Who is wondering why you are trying to force him to eat this disgusting slop. Oh my god, woman, why are you trying to poison me with this filth? Meaty slop?! I puke on your meaty slop! I spit the sloppy filth upon your carpet, where it belongs! Get out of my sight, wench! You disgust me. Scream scream scream scream scream.

Mealtimes became quite a battle. As I have nothing else to do with my life at this point (I once had a job, you know, and was a vaguely productive human being. Once.), I was prepared to devote hours at a time to the game of trying to get slop into a flailing, complaining baby. Because it was SO MUCH FUN, and I like nothing better than making my baby cry. I did discover, however, that the most effective way of stopping Lumpy crying is to dissolve into broken, exhausted sobs yourself. Because that iz funnies. Real funnies. I'm trying to reassure myself that this is not the sign if a fledgling psychopath.

Eventually, sanity (aka someone who is not me) stepped in, and suggested we give it a rest with the slop, already. Maybe try some finger food. And stop biting the furniture.

I had heard of Baby Led Weaning (or BLW, as those trying to save precious time call it), and was skeptical. I mean, let's be honest, babies are a bit crap. Especially at things involving coordination and fine motor control and not just throwing shit around. People who did BLW were clearly crazy hippies with dangerous ideas, with which they planned to bring down the government and normal, decent society as we know it. And they had food in their hair. And skinny, extremely cross babies.

Even so, I had offered Lumpy finger food before, usually at the same time as trying to cram slop into him. It had not been a success. Most of it ended up massaged into the table top, or, if I was really luck, rubbed into an eye (they can absorb calories through their eyes, right?). So I was fairly convinced that this would lead to starvation, death, and destruction for all involved (melodramatic? Me?? Meeeeeeee???!!!) But I was prepared to try it, just so I wouldn't have to sit holding a spoon of putrid slop for more hours on end.

And guess what? It went okay. Without the distraction of some screeching harpy trying to shove slop into his mouth, Lumpy actually focused on the food and managed to get some of it into his gob. I'm not completely certain, but he may even have swallowed a small percentage. And neither of us cried, so that's a resounding success in my book.

Since then, we've pretty much given up on slop. Apart from porridge. And yogurt. And avocado. Basically stuff that Lumpy would quite like to eat, but which really require a spoon, at least in my repressed, uptight book. So we do spoon-fed porridge for breakfast, anything I can lay my hands on and think Lumpy might like to gnaw on or slobber to death for lunch, followed by spoon-fed yogurt, then more scavenged finger foods for dinner, with a delicious dessert cocktail of avocado, fruit, and yogurt slop. We had to leave some slop in there, otherwise the earth would teeter and tip off its axis.

Strawberries are the current favourite. Generally shoved whole into the mouth, then plopped in and out, and occasionally rubbed against the two teeth until a suckable mush is obtained. Yummy.

And, wonder of wonders! Lumpy is still alive. And still quite fat. And so am I (alive and quite fat). So hurrah for that.

Will attempt to absorb food through nose and forehead. Logicals.

(We're still not getting any sleep. But, hey, sleep is so last century, man.)

Friday, 11 February 2011

Fascinating conversation from the Badger couch

Mr Badger: ...because, on a fractal level, the coast of Britain is infinite.

Mrs Badger: I can't believe you just said that.

Mr Badger: Why? It's true!! I can explain it to you if you want.

Mrs Badger: I want more wine.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Warning: Dangerous Socks

Grandma Badger was giving the Lumpy his daily dunking in the bucket the other day, while I was downstairs strapped to the milking machine (moo! I wonder where that cow obsession comes from...). Suddenly, I was startled from my milky, nipple-sucking reverie by a panicked cry from above.

"Mrs Badger!" cried Grandma Badger (for she is a very formal soul, and always insists on using titles. "Come here now!"

"What?" I said, for the milking machine is loud and I am somewhat deaf.

"I just wiped him, and there was blood," came the rather distressing reply.

I tore myself asunder from the sucking beast, and galloped upstairs. Wiped? Blood? My mind was instantly filled with the prognosis for an anally bleeding child, and how many days he would be likely to live.

I barrelled into the bathroom, where the quaking grandmother held forth the Sponge of Doom, thus:

Lumpy had had a bit of a cold, and there had been a small amount of blood in some of the snot I had sucked most recently. But this... if this monstrosity had come out of his nose, then surely his brain was soon to follow. But the thought of it coming out of his nose was preferably from the bleeding bum theory, so I decided to run with it.

"Where did it come from?" I questioned the Grandmother. "His nose? Where? Where?!" Screech, howl, etc.

"I don't know," she quaked. "I just wiped his body with the sponge, and when I pulled it out that was on there."

Okay, I thought. This will require further investigation. I reached forwards, figuring that if I felt the blood, I'd be able to guess what part of my child was haemorrhaging. If it was slimy and mucousy, it was probably a nose product. Otherwise... elsewhere.

I grabbed the blood, and...

it was fluffy.

It was a great big bit of red fluff, which the Lump had smuggled into his bath between his toes, shed by the snazzy, manly pirate socks Mr Badger had bought him for Christmas (because he was opposed to the 'girly' tights I have a penchant for dressing him in).

So that bout of hysteria was his fault, basically.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Mad cow

I think I may have mentioned my bovine obsession before. I've always liked cows, to be honest - they're just reassuringly big and spotty and placid (unless they're trampling you to death, of course). I even rode one once, when I was very little (I was young, we were on a farm... it's a long story). Hell, even my cat is cow-coloured (and also, basically, cow-sized).

But the real obsession didn't start until Lumpy was born and the hormones rotted my brain and I became a total mental.

It started with this, I think:

A newborn cow outfit that Grandma Badger bought, and that I continued to cram poor Lumpy into long after it was straining at the seams and the cow-spots were faded from too much puking and washing.

The outfit was actually part of a set, which included a blanket, booties, and, of course, a hat. We liked the hat. It was stretchy enough to fit over ginormous heads.

So far, so normal(ish). But then it started getting silly. Cow nappy covers, anyone? Oh yes.

A really quite embarrassing collection of cow-related toys and books? Check.

Then it just got cruel. Some months ago, I got re-obsessed with ebay, and spent a fairly stupid amount of money on a very, very stupid cow coat. It was for victims over six months, so when it arrived I hid my shame by putting it away in the 'big boy clothes box' (that's not Mr Badger's wardrobe by another name, surprisingly, but just a box full of clothes I have yet to subject Lumpy to. He's going to have a hell of a time when he's 18, I can tell you).

Lumpy is now, of course, well over six months. But the coat of shame had remained in the box up till last week, when I decided it was time to don the cow. We were off to the cinema, it was a bit chilly, and I wanted to punish the small person for keeping me awake all night.

I have to admit, even I was a bit embarrassed pushing a mass of velvety, red-lined cow print along in the pram. But it got even worse when I put the hood up. Now, as we all know, Lumpy has a record-breakingly gigantic head, but the person who made this coat clearly usually did designs for freak shows, where the main feature was mutant headed bizarro beasts.

Boob lady? Boob ladie? Where is youz?

Seriuz. Am getting bit scaredz now. Iz all dark.

I sleeps really well toe nights. Promiz.

Ah ha! Just kidding. Will be up every half hours to reminds you never to make Lumpies where this coat again. Dont mess with mez, fool.