Mother Meg

I often write about being a parent to Cash but it goes without saying writing that I’m a co-parent…and the lesser one at that.

I’m not minimizing my contribution, my paternal influence is equally important but Momma Meghan carries the heavier parenting load.

From childbirth (if you haven’t read about that https://wisconsindadger.com/2015/12/11/one-year/ through present she has been more responsive Cash’s highest and frequent demands. And while he has worn her patience to a nub on many occasions, as you can imagine a work-from-home mom would encounter, she has NEVER shown him that.  Throw in that she is taking a chemistry class this spring while working and taking care of Cash everyday and still Cash wouldn’t notice an ounce of demeanor change in her.

Heck, the woman sing-songs during diaper changes and kisses Cash so often, it’s surprising his skin doesn’t have permanent lip markings.

Even when he squeals and moans and bites her finger while she scrubs his teeth each night, Meghan’s sweet smile remains.

I knew Meghan was the nurturing type going into our marriage and parenthood but she goes above and beyond my expectations nearly every day.

Somehow, though she is Cash’s constant companion and I mean constant…fact: in the fifteen months of Cash’s life, the longest Meghan has been apart from him is six hours, she still can get him to giggle uncontrollably and remain always happy to see her.

In comparison, I’ve been apart from him for a little over two weeks (back in August while handled the water damage in our house so Meghan and Cash extended their Northern California trip.)  I know Cash missed me but our absence was definitely harder on me because, at least he was with his main caregiver Momma.  There’s no way that situation could have been reversed.

I would put the healthiness of Cash’s diet against ANY baby’s in the world.  If it were up to me, Cashy boy would have string cheese, cheerios and blueberries every morning. But, thankfully, it’s not. Meghan prepares his breakfast from scratch, running blenders, heating, cooling, peeling, cutting every day for almost every meal and snack. Mixing in vegetables and legumes I’d never heard of with “superfoods” and organic, additive-free, wholesome food for optimal opportunity for good health.

Beyond diet expertise, even more importantly, the love and exuberance Meghan shows Cash every day is the main reason he’s such a happy kid.

I can only imagine Cash can’t help but feel with every ounce of his being that his loved by both of us of course, but deep down he knows where his bread is buttered…organic on whole wheat.

 

 

Baby Foodie

We have been feeding Cash solid foods since he was four months old. And when I say “we” realize that means Meghan. And when I say “solid” realize that means mushy glops of blended solid foods. And when I say four months old, I mean, the exact day he turned four months old-the earliest recommended age to do so.

As you can see from the pic, he also got a food facial included.

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Meghan was chomping at the bit, so to speak, for Cash to start eating solids. One of the best aspects of motherhood to her is feeding Cash, from her breast and from her kitchen.

While pregnant, she spoke with great anticipation of making his food. It would not be uncommon to see her focused on her computer screen researching baby blenders, baby bullets, juicers and mixers.

It’s fair to say Meghan is obsessed with food, healthy food. Natural. Organic. Free Range, Wild, Bulk-Bought food. (Note the words “Fast” and “Artificial” are not on that list.)

If Cash ever tastes a McDonald’s hamburger, it’s been outside her vigilance perhaps by a relative or future classmate…both of whom better hope she doesn’t find out. Hell hath no fury like a healthy-eating woman scorned.  Many people fear clowns but in this case, Ronald McDonald should fear Meghan.

Meghan loves to eat vegetables, seeds, leafy, grainy, green food items, most of which I’d only heard about before I met her. I claim she doesn’t have tastebuds or that her tastebuds are so sensitive that she actually thinks cucumbers, cauliflower and lettuce taste good.

In contrast, my bachelor life cuisine could be summed up in three words. Meat. Cereal. Pasta. And maybe a fourth…chocolate chip cookies.

I had treated most vegetables like parsley…a quaint, decorative garnish on my plate, quickly dismissed so I could get to the “meat” of the meal. Meghan has changed that for me and one of the biggest life upgrades since being married, is the quality of food I now eat.

Technically, my wife is a pescetarian-not a religion-just someone who eats fish but religiously doesn’t eat animals.  For the record, she is okay with me eating them and cooks meat for me almost every evening. In fact, I knew she loved me the moment I saw her pulling at raw meat chunks to be cooked and added to my pasta.

We are copacetic to each other’s different eating habits and backgrounds. You say potato…I say, I’ll eat it…just split it open and drop some cheese, butter and bacon bits in it!  She just wants me to have a salad first…and skip dessert a few times a week.

The only potential point of tension is when we discuss Cash’s diet. We debate about when Cash will start eating meat. Cash is a good, willing eater. As mentioned, Meghan happily makes her own baby food in the baby bullet and blends things like quinoa, sweet potatoes, avocado, and oatmeal infused with apple and prune juices.  She says Cash loves all the above. Which is great. I also bet if you threw a bite of a good cheeseburger in there, he’d love that too. (She does not want to take me up on that bet.)

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While Cash’s meals taste surprisingly good-she proudly foists samples at me upon entering the kitchen-it looks surprisingly bad…as if Yoda from Star Wars threw up into a bowl.

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I’m all for my boy being a healthy eater and am mostly behind Meghan’s leadership on his diet. I just want to bring some reasonable allowances for the world he will live in.  Bratwurst at tailgate parties, trips to get ice cream and birthday pizza parties. (I will be happy to step in and teach him how to eat all of the above. After all, I’ve practiced for many years.)

His eating habits fall into that fine line in parenting, showing him good examples of how and what to eat versus being so restrictive that the child rebels. We don’t want Cash to end up throwing it all out the window and living off a steady diet of Skittles, cake, and Monster energy drinks.

She wants to wait a few years before he eats meat and I’m okay with that as long as when we hit our first Badgers football game or Brewers tailgate party, my son and I can enjoy meat off the grill in a bun and a cookie or slice of pie. Indulgences in food every so often is a nice way to live and I want him to know and experience that.  A pic from last year’s birthday meal…Meghan sat patiently across from me as I scarfed down a full rack rib meal from Fat Jacks!

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Ribs, steak fries, beer and apple pie are awesome…just not every day. Awesome for taste not for the waist.

Eating well will help his mental, physical and emotional health. We both want the best for Cash in all aspects of his life. At this early point in his life, we can spoon feed him all we want to. How well we did in teaching him will be seen in the years to come when he is able to make his own choices. We’ll have to trust we did all we could to educate him and nurture good eating habits.

As for diet, like in most everything in life, you get out what you put in.

If you don’t believe me, you’re welcome to change Cash’s next diaper.

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