When it comes to baby dishes, I have been very lazy. I just haven’t bothered to get any, even though my son has been eating solids for nine months now. When he was about five and half months old, I started thinking about the whole feeding thing, as he was starting to go bug-eyed every time I ate something. One friend had just bought a set of bamboo dishes for her baby. I liked the sound of that - environmentally friendly and chic - until I read an internet review which said they could get moldy if they didn’t get fully dry. Since I was planning to buy only one set, I figured that was a distinct possibility - what were the odds of it drying fully once I was feeding him several times a day? Another friend bought a plastic set with a cute whale on the bottom of the bowl. Her son loved the whale. So much, in fact, that he would dump his food out of the bowl to get a better look.
Unable to decide, I bought a sippy cup and a set of four baby spoons to help me get by in the short term. I used my conveniently microwavable teacups to heat his food and fed him from those. The sippy cup didn’t get much use - he didn’t seem to have the hang of it (he never drank well from a bottle either) and I quickly realized that, with only one, I’d have to wash it after every meal. So I just gave him a small amount to drink in the same half-glasses my husband and I use. Since there are twelve glasses, I can go quite a while before running out of them. At least now he is a pro at drinking from a glass, although he gets bored quickly and likes to waggle his fingers in the bottom of the glass or tilt it the opposite way, so that all the liquid spills out onto his high chair tray.
We eventually upgraded to a better sippy cup (the first one leaked) once I discovered that, in the company of his sippy-cup-using friends at playgroup, he suddenly seemed to know what to do. Next he began grabbing at the baby spoons and the lessons in self-feeding were in full force. If you think that compelled me to go out and buy baby dishes, think again. Still too lazy. I let him eat out of my regular dinnerware, figuring we’ve broken enough dishes already, so why worry about it? I have given up on my early-marriage ideal of a perfect matching set with twelve of everything. There are at least ten of most things in the set, which is plenty enough to keep me from having to wash dishes more than once a day. Unless I run out of baby spoons, in which case, it is time to move on to finger foods.
If your actions reveal what is really most important to you, I think the lesson here is that I really don’t like doing dishes. Really.
J LeBlanc is a former high school teacher who resides in Lebanon, N.H. She is currently taking a break from teaching to stay home with her 8-month-old son.
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