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Sep 6, 2011

The Tamarind Episode


“Perhaps the easiest way to feed a baby is to spread the food on the floor…” 

Dear Riddhie,

It’s not been very long since you developed a sense of taste and your set of likes and dislikes and have started being picky about your food. Though you have still not started voicing it out explicitly, the realization tends to dawn upon us when we see you lick your spoon twice over in case you like something or just spit it out in a little shower back at us when you don’t.

I was asking your mother earlier this week as why she was opening another jar of your baby food when there were still unfinished jars lying in the fridge and she replied that you don’t really like the ones we had previously opened and so she was trying a new flavor or one with different ingredients in it. Of all things that I do not like, I guess the one which really stands out is the habit of wasting food. While I was ready to argue that she probably did not try hard enough, I thought of taking a pause (to my better judgment over the years now) and take a jab at the task myself. I was not willing to believe that you would actually have a preference as early as yet. But then was I to be proved wrong??

So, I picked up this little bottle of Gerber’s Plum and Apple flavored paste – the one I was told that you relished a few weeks ago and now did not feel like taking even a tiny morsel of. I held you close and switched on some music – you know just to set in the mood and started telling you this little story, hovering the spoon around to get your attention and slowly brought it closer to your lips. You looked up at me with suspicion then slowly got your tongue out and tasted the little bit that was on offer and well, to my delight smiled and lapped it all up.

I was delighted. I took a bigger spoonful and brought it up even faster and well, you had that too in one big gulp. I looked around and found your mom standing there looking at me with a slightly bewildered look. I raised my spoon like a little trophy and told her “See, you were wrong. You just need the right technique to feed the child.” But then before I dug in another spoon and could get you to eat any more, she leapt up and held my hand and grabbed the bottle straight off the table. 

“You see this is why they shouldn’t allow men to handle little children” she said. “The bottle you are feeding Riddhie from doesn’t even have baby food. I threw away what was in there and used the little bottle to fill in the tamarind paste I made this morning” she continued.New Miscellaneos 092

I didn’t know whether to laugh at the entire episode or be angry at myself for not checking or even smelling the contents of the bottle but then I guess I was not guilty of this alone since the bottle was unmarked and still lying next to your other baby food jars in the same row in the fridge. All the same I was surprised at the way you lapped up the sour paste quickly enough and then even wanted more. Luckily for us, that did not upset your stomach or gave you a sore throat or anything.

This entire episode just reasserted the fact that we can never be too careful when it comes to you. In recent times you have acquired the habit of picking up things from the floor and putting them in your mouth. You are still at a stage when you don’t understand what a ‘No’ means and we end up running after you and forcing you to spit things out but I guess I shall talk about one of those episodes some other time. For now, I can see you play in your crib and look up at me from there from time to time and your mom and I are smiling about the tamarind story all over again.


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