05 November 2009

In the morning

In the morning, I make myself three slices of toast and a cup of coffee. I make Hartley one slice of toast with a very thin spread of margarine, cut into small pieces.

I sit at the computer having my breakfast, and I pass Hartley a little piece of toast, repeating the mantra A slice of toast is a good breakfast for a boo. This is something Bruce said once, to make me feel better about the fact that Hartley will only eat toast or fromage frais in the morning. I say the mantra aloud as I hand him each bit of toast, and he looks up at me from his Bumbo and smiles, making clutchy clutchy motions with his hand.

Sometimes he takes the toast and turns back to watch television, which is on to distract him from the fact that his only task right now is to eat his toast. Toast isn’t much of a challenge for a ten-month-old. Having a conversation with him doesn’t work, because eventually it dawns on him that he’s eating toast and then he gets upset.

Sometimes he makes the clutchy clutchy hand motion but then slaps the toast out of my fingers. If I feel he’s going to do this, I lightly hold his wrist and sometimes he will let me place the toast in his palm. If he’s serious about wanting to slap the toast away, he won’t let me hold his wrist, and will flap his entire arm at my fingers until the toast piece falls to the floor. Then I know that breakfast is over.

When his favourite programme came on this morning, he did what he does every time the programme comes on: he swivels his head to locate me in the room and then gives me a cheeky grin as if to say, Look, it’s our favourite programme! Then he turns to watch the intro, which is the best part of any show in his opinion.

We only let him watch baby telly, and only when we’re trying to eat breakfast or accomplish a task he’s not allowed to take part in, like a shower or cooking. The kitchen is very small, and he always wants to play with the rubbish bin.

Mornings with the baby are some of the loveliest mornings I’ve known.

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