Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Somebody hand me a spatula!

Ton Ton was very busy this weekend organizing and executing the local Latin American Festival, a magnificent cultural extravaganza that attracted over 25,000 people on Sunday…so, I had the equally burdensome task of taking Luki to the event BY MYSELF. While my husband juggled food vendors, musical performers, dozens of sponsors, and hundreds of volunteers, I had to figure out how to eat an empanada while holding Luki in his Baby Bjorn without spilling hot grease on his head. Clearly, we were both under similar levels of stress. Thank God I ran into some friends who offered to hold the baby while I scarfed down deliciousness.  Phew!

The rest of the day was spent walking around trying to keep complete strangers from touching my son. Yes, I realize I was having another “Big E-esque” moment (they seem to come with increasing frequency these days), but, before you judge, hear me out…

I don’t mind when our friends and relatives hold and play with the baby; heck, if they want to take him for a long weekend to Vegas that is o.k. with me (as long as he doesn’t come back married to a stripper). However, if I don’t know you and my baby doesn’t know you, then you have no business putting your hands on him. How would you feel if I randomly came up to you, STRANGER, and started pinching your cheeks?  I’m talking about the ones on your face, so go ahead and get your mind out of the gutter.  

And the cheek pinching wasn't even the worst part. It was the grabbing, and touching, and caressing of his hands, the same hands he now constantly sucks on as if they were laced with heroin. Yeap, that is his new drug of choice. He used to be addicted to boob crack, but now speeds through feedings just so that he can free up his mouth in order to suck on his hands.

Just as he was enjoying the taste of both his hands at the same time, one of his many festival admirers said to me, "oh wow, he is definitely teething!" Now, I already knew that the hand sucking and the drooling mean that the teeth are imminent, but in that moment, I understood what that implies. Perhaps it was the wonderful smell of Latin food permeating the air the thing which triggered my realization:

Teething, as in, Luki is going to start getting teeth with which he will  be able to eat regular people food. This is not good, and not just because I don't like to share my empanadas. You see, so far, I have been able to provide my son his favorite snack without any real effort on my part -- making breastmilk doesn't require any culinary talent. But once those teeth bust through his gums, I'll have to start cooking his food, and I can't even fry an egg without setting off the smoke detector.

The thing is, I desperately want to be the kind of mom whose kids would rather eat at home than anywhere else. A mom who is always making tasty, nutritious dishes, and coming up with creative ways to get her children to try new foods. That's the kind of mother I grew up with. When I found out I was pregnant, I put "learn to cook" on my "To Do" list, but it just sat there gathering dust along with "exercise daily" and "clean out the closets".

As I stood at the festival, nibbling on a shredded beef arepa, and facing the challenge of completely learning my way around a kitchen in the next few months, keeping strangers at bay suddenly seemed like the least of my problems.

1 comment:

  1. Nanita no te preocupes yo puedo cocinar diariamente para mi Lukita.