09 February 2008

Going out to eat

Do you know what doesn't make a good piece of note paper, even when struck by an idea in the middle of the night? A diaper.

As best I could tell after trying to trace my intended chicken scratchings the next morning, I think I wanted to write an entry about something that happened to us the other day at the library.

As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, M- seems to be trying her best to double her weight each day. She took this to an extreme when we were at the library last week, waiting for D- to be finished with his storytime. M- was very cutely sitting at a little computer to play a Dora game some kid had abandoned. I only wish I had a picture of this... maybe I'll remember to bring my camera next time we go and I can stage a picture. Anyway, after a few minutes of happily clicking and smacking away, she noticed a lady near us was feeding her son some leftovers.

M- then did what she always does when food is within her gravitational range-- she began loudly smacking her lips and saying "Mmmmmm!" Little did she know (or did she?), this lady was a classic Mediterranean mother, and she immediately decided that based on M-'s antics, I must be a single father who, out of sheer ignorance, limited M- to one meal a day, and she would soon die without some substantial home cooking from someone who knows what she's doing.

After being prompted to fetch a spoon from M-'s diaper bag, over the next 10 minutes, we moved from a few dainty spoonfuls (of what I was told was "cooked rice, beans, and... sheep meat?") to a constant flow from this lady's dish to M-'s mouth. I had no way of knowing, at the time, the limit of this lady's generosity, seeing as she had been trying to feed this food to her son (who was maybe 6 years old and totally uninterested in cold leftovers), so I foolishly kept assuming each spoonful was the last. This made for a long, awkward 15 minutes or so.

Finally, I suggested we should get going since D- would be done shortly, so she suggested I needed to manifest a Tupperware container to take some food home with me, since "she so hungry" and "she need good food to make her strong like [unintelligible]." I ended up dumping the corn flakes out of M-'s Snack Trap cup and into a very narrow empty bottle (easier said than done), so she could pack it full of this food, which I will say was quite good.

The lady was so nice, though aggressive in that Greek/Italian way I know well enough to not be offended by, that it only occurred to me after my daughter had ingested roughly a lamb shank's worth of this stuff that it might not be a good idea to take ambiguous food from strangers. For all I know, this lady and her son had spent their lives building up an immunity to iocaine powder, all so they could lure wandering morons into ingesting it so they could rob them and pose their bodies in ridiculous positions for their own amusement. Or something like that.

Anyway, both D- and I later managed to wrest some away from M- at lunchtime that day so we could try it too, and none of us have died yet. Now, obviously that lady had no way of knowing that M- frequently subsists on various bits of cereal when Daddy's in charge, but I can't help feeling that M- somehow traitorously communicated this fact to her. Furthermore, having gotten such an exotic treat in the middle of the afternoon, I think I see M- dying inside just a little bit each time I drop a bit of bread (or whatever other boring food I happen to have on hand) into her mouth when she's desperately tugging at my pant leg in the kitchen.

Now that I think I'm moving past the rejection, it might actually work for me to let M- outsource her feeding to the diverse international community that is our neighborhood. She could be a food snob by kindergarten! And I could be even lazier until then!

I've got to go rip some holes in that baby's pants.


Candid Carrie said...

Use a sharpy on the diaper rather than the ball point pen. Works every time.

When my mom would babysit for my kids, I would write notes on the diapers to her ... like, he's been here three hours and you are first checking his pants now?

LiteralDan said...

I'd have to find a good, safe place to keep a marker where I could still easily access it in a rush.

I think I want to leave little messages to my wife on the diapers now-- that's a great, potentially hilarious idea! I am in your debt.