Now that all the Christmas-ness has somewhat settled and we are in that bit which I think is a little bit like no mans land, where nobody knows the day or the date and wanders aimlessly in a food coma, I thought I’d reflect a little on the last few days. While eating left overs.
Last Christmas, B was 6 months old and still pretty manageable – when I say this I mean he hadn’t quite reached tantrum stage and was crawling at a relatively slow pace.
He was also a weaner… so naturally we went to my parents armed with pots of pre-prepped lunch and dinner, bottles and all manner of baby paraphernalia necessary to survive a mere night away from the confines of our baby-equipped home. Obviously he was dressed in the obligatory Christmas themed outfit. I also had huge ideas of grandeur as a new parent about his perception of the day, and was definitely expecting him to rip open presents and quiz me about Rudolph and Santa’s whereabouts and their legitimacy. In actual fact, last year he didn’t really have any idea about presents/Christmas or said chubby man in a red onesie and a beard.
I was also breastfeeding and felt kind of guilty getting sloshed so that was off the cards too.
This year however, was an entirely different ball game.
I’ve definitely indulged in a gin or three this time round, and intend to continue this into the New Year’s festivities.
When it comes to Boden, he is a fully fledged, food chomping, cheese chowing, meat munching black hole into which I could throw pretty much anything edible and he would most definitely ram it in, or at the very least lick it to decipher it’s level of edible worthiness. He can sniff a biscuit out a mile away and nothing in food form is sacred in our house anymore. The rustle of a wrapper is all it takes these days, and he is no fool. I cannot mug that boy off with a piece of grape whilst smuggling a twix up my jumper.
This year, we pretty much rocked up to my parents with Boden, the bare essentials and of course, all the necessary food to completely stuff ourselves with. Anything else B needed, we figured we could fashion out of bits and bobs my parents had available. I like to think of it as a type of Bear Grylls style parenting approach these days.
As for food, there was not a tupperware pot in sight and ashamedly, that boy well and truly jumped on the lackadaisical attitude we adopted for the day and pretty much stuffed himself like a goose being prepped for foie grais… There was even a moment where I turned around and he had managed to wrangled 6 mini cheddars into his mouth – I know this because I’ve taught him how to spit things out when asked (gross but exceptionally handy), so I was graced with a handful of soggy, limp, cheesy biscuits. Just what one wants for Christmas.
Not only that, but whilst knuckling down to leftover pudding for our second breakfast on Boxing Day I could see him very carefully weighing up his surroundings; it was as though he was hatching a plan of military precision to get himself a piece of the action.
First, he thought he’d go for the easy target – Granny. However, she was in ear shot of my husband and me and we quickly nipped that in the bud. I do draw the line at salted caramel cheesecake for breakfast for an 18 month old, even if it is Christmas. He gave me a very brief look, as if to suss out whether it was even worth trying to hustle me out of my pud and decided against it and instead wandered off down the hall to find Pops… as you can imagine this was an absolute dead-cert and based on the ‘mmmmmm’s’ coming from the kitchen I’m guessing he struck lucky on his third attempt. If at first you don’t succeed, go find Pops. He’s softer than a Boxing day turd.
Last year’s actual dinner was a bit tricky as Bodes wasn’t overly up for being sat at the table… this year though he was seriously into it. Crackers were a definite winner (I’m debating whether I can take these to all meals out for the foreseeable future?), and he tucked into a fair old lump of salty Gammon (I know….!), goose fat roasted potatoes (again… whoops) and I’m pretty sure I saw old Pops sneak a cheeky spoon of brandy-laced Christmas pud in there too.
The best bit though, despite him eating all sorts of things he shouldn’t (but absolutely bloody loving it)… was seeing him open his presents. This was priceless. I still don’t think he really knows who the big guy is in the red suit, but he definitely got the spirit of the day and I’m not even going to feel guilty about the naughties, because it was all 100% worth it.
So to all owners of current weaners this Christmas, prepare yourselves for next year… have eyes in the back of your head, move the nuts up high (and recycle all your chocolate tubs/steps) and don’t beat yourself up over a little toddler indulgence. I haven’t.