Mason flew on a plane for the eighth time this past weekend. Fortunately for us, the kid loves to travel. He gets excited when we hop into the cab to go from our apartment to the airport. The characters we encounter once we’re there delight him. He flirts with the flight attendants, and he manages to charm even the most disgruntled seat mate. Best of all, he generally falls asleep for the better portion of the trip so we haven’t had to face our fears of whether we can soothe him if he starts screaming inconsolably 30,000-feet in the air (yet) — I mean, who wants to be those people on the plane?!
Our trip this past weekend meant that we had to go commercial with our baby food. I doubted I could carry enough food to last us the weekend, and I’m not so sure it would made it through airport security. So I decided to go with Earth’s Best. After all, it’s the organic brand we use for our carrots (a veggie that you can’t make for baby yourself due to its high level of nitrates), and Mason enjoys it very much. Our picks: chicken and sweet potatoes, squash and apples, banana, apple, and the same brand of baby oatmeal we use at home (Gerber).
Luckily, Mason loved it all.
True, a little piece of me felt crushed. I feel as passionate about giving Mason homemade food as some mothers feel about breast feeding. (I realize my feelings are totally illogical, but still.) So it felt like defeat to have to go the store-bought route. Sort of like I was cheating, taking the easy way out. But while I can’t deny the little thrill that I felt when I tasted the store-bought sweet potato-chicken blend and concluded that it wasn’t quite as yummy as my homemade variation (although it was very close), the pleasure that I felt from watching Mason enjoy another meal was far greater.
I also experienced his newly discovered passion for yogurt. The Yobaby that I had planned on giving him as his first yogurt was at home in our fridge in New York, so I mixed Greek yogurt with a generous helping of Earth’s Best apples. Totally delish! It was definitely a close second to Mason’s beloved oatmeal for breakfast — he was giddy between bites. Isn’t it amazing how babies have the ability to relish even the smallest things and make them feel exciting to us again?
By the end of the weekend, I realized I had learned something. Instead of staying up until midnight to make all of Mason’s food, or scrambling to get it all done before work, I should cut myself some slack. (Those parenting books are right! Perfectionism really doesn’t have a place in parenting!) The world won’t end if there’s a meal now and again where he eats commercially prepared baby food instead of homemade. Instead, I’ll focus on enjoying Mason’s reaction to the food rather than whether I was the one who made it.