Monday, June 30, 2008

Guzzle, guzzle, choke

Long, long ago - or a couple of months back, depending on your perspective on Time - there lived a married couple who enjoyed leisurely meals, with dessert or fruit to follow, and coffee after that.

This couple - dang, let's just go with 'we' - would engage in witty dinner conversation, swap stories of how the day went and exchange intelligent observations about the state of the world.

Sure, we're idealising things. So sue us. Because since Sonny entered our lives almost 10 weeks ago, our eating habits have regressed tragically. We don't actually eat any more. We eat when we can, with an eye on whether the little one is about to erupt. Food gets shovelled in with no regard for taste or texture. Our minds, even if they occasionally take us down the route of chit-chat, jump to and away from Sonny's activities with distressing regularity. And Sonny makes sure the pattern isn't broken: At breakfast yesterday, to give an example, he interrupted our porridge and dim sum three times - even though we had been wolfing our food down as quickly as possible.

We're not only eating faster, but increasingly on the go. We're learning the art of holding a baby with one arm while chomping on an apple using the other. And as for repartee, heck, Mum's not even reading the newspapers as regularly any more, so there'd be less to dissect anyway.

Of course, it's not just new parents who find themselves speed-eating with a vengeance. Folks who work in high-octane work environments habitually ruin their digestion by pouring food down their gullets, or foregoing mealtimes altogether, before charging back to their terminals or beats or workstations. If you're a policeman, especially in America, you apparently subsist exclusively on coffee and doughnuts (it's coffee and smelly cigarettes in Europe). We ought to be feeling positively virtuous about sacrificing our gastronomic well-being on the altar of child-rearing.

Except we know that's silly too. Sonny can jolly well cry on a bit longer while we chew our food more thoroughly - although it's a bit trickier if we're in public, as we were yesterday. Maybe things will get even crazier once we have to actually feed him solid food. But that too shall pass. We'll re-establish our routine, dine with dignity and - peering into our handy-dandy crystal ball here - ultimately be able to include Sonny in the conversation.



SuperWeightKoalabear said...

post some photos!

Cloudsters said...

Photos: Actually, we were just about to post one tomorrow... but it's rather a distressing one. You'll see!

Anonymous said...

Every time I remember those first few months of new parenting, I remember the sleep deprivation and inability to sit down to a meal in peace. I also remember, however, the day I brought home the automatic cradle swing that you wound up for half an hour, and the delight that my husband and I experienced as we got to eat our first uninterrupted dinner since taking the baby home from the hospital. My advice is to first remind yourselves that "this too shall pass" and second, find the one piece of equipment that calms the baby the most and save it for dinnertime.

Cloudsters said...

Sounds like swell advice, Nona Nita: We're still trying to identify that sure-thing pacifying item... when we do, we'll save it for mealtimes, just as you suggest!