Have you read the article about the absurd(ly expensive) service in New York that you can hire to come teach your nanny how to cook? I’m not talking about boiling water 101, I’m taking about “fancy” food so you can, and I quote “We want to give [our daughter] the advantage of having a palate diversified enough to enjoy all of the delicious food from around the world”. Because you know, those of you with palates that are not diverse get stuck going to state school. Or something. Ok fine, the article didn’t say that exactly but it did insinuate that with an undiverse palate you are as bad as a nanny: “And their nanny, from Wisconsin, does not always know the difference between quinoa and couscous.”
Anyway, I’m not the only one raising an eyebrow or ten at this article and these people. A few of my Facebook friends chimed in (equally horrified) and one of them shared this response article, which made me feel a little bit better about humanity. The good news is, most people agree that a fool and their money are soon parted, and the people hiring this service are beyond foolish. (Also: if food is that important why not: (1) hire a chef; (2) cook themselves; or (3) hire a nanny that can cook for a diversified palate in the first place?)
The truth is, as someone with a nanny (that we love and we don’t ask her or pay her to cook, her job is to WATCH OUR CHILD) and someone who wants my kid to enjoy the same food we do, I’m working on introducing Gracie to all things tasty, from the speckled green end of the spectrum to the truffle end of the spectrum*. But I work on it myself because I don’t need a service for it. Also: hiring a chef for your nanny pretty much gets you an invitation to the First World Problems Awards followed by the Nobody Cares About Your So-Called-Problems cocktail party, and the next morning you can go to the Out of Touch With Reality brunch.
There are some foods I don’t like no matter how I’ve tried. As I lamented on twitter, I will never enjoy olives, scotch or mushrooms. It just isn’t happening. This is not because my parents did not hire a fancy chef, or introduce me to new flavors (well they introduced olives and mushrooms, scotch was not on their kid-friendly-meal list). They encouraged me to explore new flavors, I always had to try everything on my plate. This is how, over time, I grew from detesting tomatoes to enjoying a nice ripe tomato in the summer, when mixed or served with the appropriate items. This is how I learned that dessert beyond Chocolate Topped with Chocolate was satisfying and that salad could in fact be a fulfilling meal. But eating interesting/unique/weird things as a kid doesn’t guarantee a “diverse palate”. When I went to British preschool I ate and enjoyed a lot of pate sandwiches, just like my peers. Today I can’t stand pate, foie gras or anything of that nature.
Will feeding my kid a single truffle oil fry topped in pecorino cheese do anything other than enrage some that I gave my baby a french fry and give her truffle breath for the rest of the day? Only time will tell. For now I expose her to as much green, orange and eveything in between in hopes that one day I won’t have to judge a restaurant menu on whether or not they offer chicken fingers. But if that day comes, I’ll realize it isn’t because I didn’t spend $2500 on a private chef for my nanny but because I have a kid and they tend to like chicken fingers. Come to think of it…so do most adults. They just call it the fancy fried chicken meal at their local Southern-influenced bistro.
*Gracie’s favorite foods: green beans, roasted veggies and fruit (onions, broccoli, sweet potato strips, apple wedges), Cheerios/yogurt melts, Greek yogurt, oatmeal, pasta mixed with veggie puree, chicken and rice, pickles, cheesy eggs, garlic bread.
I have strong feelings that adults have ruined two fun holidays: Halloween and Valentine’s Day. These are, in my opinion, kid holidays. Kids mark these calendar days in the following ways:
Whats not to love? Here is what adults have added to these days:
Anyway. I’ve never been a big fan of Halloween or Valentine’s Day as an adult, but now that I have a kid? Well, so far Halloween was way more fun.
Gracie was a kitty cat, and in my opinion a very adorable kitty cat. In the wise words of my friend Amber, this was the first Halloween where there were more cute kids in costumes than friends in fishnets on my Facebook feed.
This past weekend I had family in town and my Aunt helped me adjust some of my camera settings so I had less of an issue with out of focus photos (which have been bothering me for awhile now). We hit up a new-to-us Farmer’s Market where Gracie enjoyed teething crackers while the rest of us sipped coffee and oogled gigantic pumpkins and apples. Before moving to Chicago I wasn’t aware of how well apples grow in the Midwest…now it is one of my favorite fall treats from the market.
All of our marketing and browsing led to a 3 hour nap (!) so I’m trying to figure out how make this a daily activity. Surely it can be done?
It is nice to have my camera taking pictures I feel like I can actually share with friends and family instead of having to delete them all. I’ll never be a professional photographer, but I hope to have memorable images of my life to look back on when B and I are old and lamenting the good old days when our house was filled with kids and visitors and family and friends. I have grand plans of creating year books for Graice (nothing fancy, just a Shutterfly book of images) for her to flip through when she is older. I know I still love to see my baby pictures, messy curly hair and all.
I know things have been quiet around here. You might not know (or care, or pay attention) but I feel the need to address it. Maybe in a few years I’ll scroll through my archives and wonder about the blank days, the words unsaid. Were things bad or terrible or not worth discussing? Hardly, so I want to at least capture why I haven’t been putting the pen to paper.
The number one reason things are quiet is that I’m busy being a Mom to the coolest little girl ever, and while I find her antics and smiles and stories of “firsts” interesting, I try to contain that to my monthly letters. I recognize not everyone wants to hear about everything, and frankly, if I wrote about her every day, after so many days of “awesome!” and “loves Cheerios” and “trying to crawl!” we’d be left with the not-so-pleasant things like diapers and the cost of formula and how many times can I hear the hippo song without wanting to smash the hippo in the face…and yeah, you don’t need that in your life. Especially the hippo song. So I try to keep my enthusiasm for Gracie in my emails and texts to people who care (or pretend to care) such as her grandparents and my like-minded Mama friends. I’m certain most of them hate the hippo too.
The other thing worth mentioning is that work is crazy busy. This is a good thing (hi, remember when the economy failed and our government shut down and the debt ceiling and….) so busy is good, but I’m slammed and I try hard not to have my computer out during my hours with Gracie so I’m often working again in the evening after she goes to bed and…I don’t blog about work or coworkers out of respect and privacy and ethical reasons and not wanting anyone I work with ever to find something I wrote that was negative and wonder if it was about them. I can’t handle that kind of drama, so I just avoid it in its entirety (professionalism!) and so when work is consuming it makes this place pretty dull.
That said, things are great. Last weekend B and I went (away!) to a wedding and his parents watched the wee one and the furry one and we went to Wisconsin where we drank wine and roasted hotdogs (fire pits outside the reception venue with DIY hot dog grilling stations!) and lit sparklers and generally enjoyed some down-time. It was just what we needed. No dog walking or baby monitor adjusting or cleaning up the kitchen before bed. We came back ready for family time and renewed ability to listen to the hippo song and give unlimited belly rubs and chin scratches and help the baby to stand, stand, more standing, help her stand!
The ultimate take away is there are not enough hours in the day, but so long as the proportion of good hours to bad stays where it is, I’m happy.
Even when I realize that much of my “life job” consists of making sure we don’t run out of diapers, dog poop bags, wipes and baby formula. *Most exciting ways to spend money, ever*