The Casual Father: Not a solid start during first feed

Casual Father

Casual Father - Credit: Archant

After Elizabeth spent most of the Easter Bank Holiday weekend looking longingly at chocolate eggs and pretty much everything else eaten in our household, the wife has made the call.

No longer will formulated milk have the exclusive rights to our daughter’s diet, the time is right, apparently, for solid food.

“You really need to read up on this one Michael,” instructs the wife as she thrusts a book into my hands.

Entitled ‘Weaning’, with a picture of a happy baby eating some unattractive pureed grub on the front, I already have a good idea what the book is all about.

But I immediately snap it shut after reading the first paragraph in which the author explains that weaning is not set in stone, every baby is different, and some days are better than others.

I may be wrong, but paying £7.99 for someone to tell you to figure it out for yourself strikes me as money poorly spent.

The wife presses on anyway, and soon Elizabeth is sat bolt upright in the newly purchased high chair, looking quite confused about the whole affair.

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“It will be nice if you do the honours for the first time,” says the wife and shamefully, my first thought is that this is a set up.

The wife has read the weaning book from cover to cover. Does it tell mothers somewhere in there to leave the first feed to their husbands or partners because there is a 99 per cent chance of being vomited on?

I’m not sure, but what I do know is that the author could have easily put it on page 2 and still been safe in the knowledge that no man would have read it.

“Thanks, that would be nice,” I say through gritted teeth as the wife prepares Elizabeth in a plastic mac better suited to an autopsy.

“Messy business this is it?” I ask. The wife smiles and passes me the spoon for which to scoop up the pureed carrot, the camera on her phone poised at the ready.

I choose not to go with the “here comes the aeroplane” or “open for the choo choo train” approach as I’m more worried about where that orange mush may land after it hits my daughter’s mouth.

In it goes and her beautiful smile soon turns to the sort of grimace I normally reserve for the mother-in-law’s cooking.

But despite looking completely unimpressed with both the food and the experience, she does at least manage to keep the first few spoonfuls down.

As she begins to smear the carrot mash all over her face, the wife says she’d like a turn.

No sooner is the spoon is transferred than Elizabeth decides to decorate mummy with her evening meal.

Trying very hard to suppress my laughter, and satisfied that I haven’t been set up, I offer a piece of kitchen roll and cast a sympathetic look.

“Thanks,” says the wife, “I’m sure the book said she’s more likely to puke after the first spoonful….”

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