So, maybe I’m not the best Father…

The other day, I came home from school and the boys were just going at each other and wouldn’t stop.  Mark kept climbing on Luke, or taking his stuff, Luke kept wanting Mark’s stuff, and John kept wanting to be held, the house was a mess, Holly was trying to make supper and Elisabet was helping her with something.  After about the fifth time of telling Mark to leave Luke alone, or sending him to his room for a few minutes of time-out, I had a long talk with him.

He didn’t seem to be getting it.  So I explained how lame it is to be squished and have his toy taken out of his hand by showing him what it felt like, not in a mean way, but just using enough weight and strength as needed.

He agreed he didn’t like it at all and that he didn’t need to keep doing that to Luke all the time if he really did like his younger brother.

By then, the pasta was done and John Caleb was still crying out loud all the time, as I hadn’t been holding him, so I asked Holly to switch seats with me so I could feed him:

IMG_0022She often feeds him at a slower rate than I do when she’s feeding him with a spoon,  waiting until he signals with a long, loud series of wails, that he needs some more food, and I was in no mood to listen to all that through the meal.  Since  he needs a different meal than pasta, I grabbed some of his home-made split pea soup from the fridge.  Holly offered to heat it up on the stove, but by then I was ready to sit down and have some peace and quiet.

So I took the cold split pea soup for John Caleb and a nice hot plate of pasta for myself and a small spoon with an empty plate for John Caleb and sat down at my place to eat in the chair that is right next to the high chair.

  I served him up a spoonful but he didn’t seem to like it really well, and just barely choked it down.  The rest of the meal was going pretty well, so by the time he was ready for another bite, I was there with another spoonful of cold split pea soup.  He just looked at me questioningly and kind of half heartedly opened his mouth part-way, so I inserted what I could before he turned away then I ate some more spaghetti.  He swallowed what he could then looked back at me with an imploring look.  Holly said, “I think he’s trying to tell you something.  See that look on his face?”

Being a confident male in no need of further direction on how to feed a baby, I ignored her.

This time, when I went to feed him, he frowned and turned away.  So, being the larger one, I put my hand on the top of his head, turned it toward me, and pushed his lower jaw down with the spoon and inserted the food.  Holly piped up right away, “I think he was trying to say he’s not really hungry for cold soup.”

IMG_0002 Then he banged his hands around until he his plate was on the way to the floor, then he banged around with his hands until the spoons were on the floor too.  So, seeing that he was more interested in throwing things on the floor than eating, I picked up the things for him throw on the floor again and ate some more pasta.  The next time, the stuff went off the high chair on Luke’s side so he squirted down onto the floor to pick them up. John Caleb did not look happy.

This went on for a good 15 minutes or so, during which time, I tried to pretend all was well, and Holly tried to pretend that it was all pretty normal too.  Finally, after about 20 minutes of the loud racket and clamor of plates and spoons hitting the floor: CLANG, BANG,CRASH, CLATTTER!

He was getting pretty good at getting them of his tray on the first attempt, and I was just about at my wits end.  I asked Elisabet, “Do the babies do this in Spain too?”  she laughed softly and said, “Yes.  Sort of.”

Holly said, “I think he didn’t like the cold soup.”

I had to agree, so I picked him up out of his chair and put him on my lap.  To my utter surprise, he did not immediately grab at the plate or the spaghetti, or the fork or the drink or anything.  He just sat there on my lap waiting to get some nice warm pasta.  So, I took my fork and minced up some pasta, sauce, and Parmesan Cheese and fed him a bite. 

He liked it a lot. He sat there quietly and calmly and did nothing to make a noise or cause a problem.  Then turned his head around, looked up at me and smiled, asking for another bite.

Holly said, “I guess he wanted some of the good stuff too.”

I guess I can learn too.