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Once the baby is old enough to eat solid baby food and can sit on his or her own in a high chair, parents get to play a little game called Who Gets To Eat First Tonight? The rules of the game, although open to interpretation, go something like this:
1) The person who eats first isn't necessarily the one who cooked the meal.
2) Fainting from hunger is no excuse.
3) Sneaking a few mouthfuls of the baby food into your mouth is outright cheating.
4) The first parent to sit at the table, chew, and successfully swallow a mouthful of food without the baby crying gets to finish his or her meal in peace while the other parent feeds the baby.
5) The parent who feeds the baby first is also responsible for cleaning up the mess including all of the food that ends up behind the baby's ears, under the high chair, against the north facing wall of the kitchen, and any food plugging the baby's nasal passages.
6) Just because the baby has only learned how to say “mama” does not mean the baby won't accept food from dada.
7) Residual diaper duty (later in the evening) goes to whoever caves in to the smell.
Finally, the first parent to figure out how to manipulate naptime so that it coincides with mealtime is the ultimate champion. Eventually, it'll be okay to give the baby a small plastic utensil to practice eating on his own. Until then, one of you has to feed the baby while the other parent enjoys a meal. The question is Who Gets To Eat First Tonight?
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|