Two weeks until I join the ranks of working parents; that means two weeks until I get to rediscover:
THE JOY OF HAVING A WHOLE HOUR FOR LUNCH!
You’re wondering how I can stretch this out to a whole blog post, aren’t you? Admit it! Well buckle up, cos here we go!
In the past year lunch has been through a metamorphosis – at first it got set back, usually to about 3pm when I might be able to grab a hasty five minutes, actually, make that three minutes, in the kitchen to assemble, or more likely grab, something approximating lunch. Or some biscuits. That’s the second change, you see – lunch rarely consisted of a sandwich anymore, or anything “lunchy” for that matter. Frequently in those first few months as a mum it was sweet – chocolate brownie, biscuit-shaped, that sort of thing and uniformly cold. For two reasons – one, heating things up takes time, time I didn’t have and two, whereas lunch used to be eaten on a plate, at a table, it was now eaten over the top of a baby, who would often get a nice dusting of crumbs as a result. Crumbs on baby = acceptable (in my world); hot food on baby = totally unacceptable (in everyone’s world).
So that was how lunch changed first of all.
Then, at 6 months, Tibbons and I began to eat lunch together; which marked the second major shift. I now ate lunch at a table, and where previously it was wolfed down in all of two minutes, I now had to take my time, to give Tibbons a chance to explore the textures and tastes he was presented with – so I now took around 45 minutes for lunch (the eating thereof, probably three times that with prep and clean-up!) Where before there was minimal tidying up – a mere brushing off of crumbs from baby to carpet, ready to be hoovered a few days later; there now lay before me a mammoth baby-led-weaning-style clean-up operation. Not just the floor, you understand, (or rather the shower curtain on the floor – I’d read books, I was preparedish), no no, first the baby – including a full change of clothes, then me (ditto, usually) and then the highchair and the floor and covering. That’s without even starting on the plates or the kitchen. You see, say what you like about eating biscuits for lunch, they have the virtue of not really requiring a plate and certainly not requiring any preparation – so that’s no work surfaces to scrub down, no chopping boards, plates or cutlery to wash up. Not so with the initial weaning stage of luncheon. Not so AT ALL!
The next phase was when Tibbons started to properly eat his food – he wanted more than just vegetable crudités, and who can blame him. So now lunch is quite varied, nearly always still messy, but just sometimes not so bad, and we’re down to about half an hour for eating, still at the table of course, and still with a fair amount of washing up of us and our eating irons required. So you see, when lunch has gone through such a series of changes, when you imagine (or know first hand) what that’s like, you can begin to understand just how excited I am at the prospect of sitting down to a lunch that a) hasn’t been prepared by me, b) will not have to be picked up off the floor; c) has little to no chance of ending up on my face or in my hair, d) I can eat at my own pace and e) that I don’t have to clear up after! It’s going to be er-MAY-zing! And I’m going to get to do it three times a week!