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Posts tagged ‘safety’

How to apply a crotch post

As soon as we got home, I started Finn on solids in earnest. Her Goatiness had procured a high-chair for when Finn visited the farm, after researching every last consumer feedback website on the Internet. Happily the cheapie plastic Warehouse variety (Babywise) scored highest on standards and safety.

Her Goatiness offered to buy us a high-chair too, so we borrowed it for a week to see whether it would suit us. Finn was an instant fan, delighted to sit at eye-level hurling toys at people around the table.

Finn in his high chair

It’s not what you’d describe as elegantly streamlined, but it’s functional and stable. Finn fits comfortably in it; there’s a crotch-post to stop him sliding out the bottom; a five-point harness; the chair level adjusts to three different heights; the tray is sturdy and easy to attach and detach; it has castors; and the harness straps are evidently a tasty palette-cleanser in between spoonfuls. I’m confident the baby is secure in it and he’ll sit quite happily for up to an hour if I give him a spatula to bash himself with and wheel him around the kitchen after me.

Husband never likes to commit himself to positive over-statement, but he definitively declared that he ‘hated’ the high-chair. His issues included ‘it’s ugly’, ‘I don’t like green’ (“It comes in orange too,” pointed out Her Goatiness; “Don’t like that either.”), ‘the straps are too fiddly and in fact makes the chair LESS safe because who’s going to spend the time strapping him in when it takes so long?’

To which I responded, “Er, I am – and, by the way, YOU ARE TOO.”

Although I have a clear understanding of Andrew’s heartfelt antipathy towards Her Goatiness’s consumer-rated high-chair, I’m still a bit fuzzy about what he DOES want. Possibly an ergonomic high-chair equipped with sensors that detect the presence of baby and automatically straps him in, which would rise up out of the floor in a swirl of dry ice with a majestic, discordant chime of organ notes.

Which would admittedly be TOTALLY COOL.

Andrew showed me a picture of the kind of optimal high-chair he had in mind, which was a limited edition WankyNaff™ high-chair crafted from a single piece of wood from the vulvos tree which grows only on the south slope of a tussock in the tiny Laowunha province during the mating season of the batwing bat which happens once every 104 years.

“Nice, isn’t it?” said Andrew. “I think I could make one.”

“Splendid,” I said, “you should jump right on that.”

I thanked Her Goatiness for her offer and authorized her to purchase a high-chair for our use. I didn’t want her to think we’re ungrateful (just her son, which is probably her fault anyway). After all, it was very generous of her – and, realistically, we would probably have ended up with a second-hand chair spackled with dried rice cereal and one leg splinted with a broom handle. I don’t know; perhaps she was conscious of the incongruity of that outcome.

I figured the chances were Andrew wouldn’t even notice.

We’ve been having great fun introducing Finn to food. I started him on mashed banana and cooked, pureed apple – a couple of tablespoons at a time.

Initially he was enthusiastic if uncomprehending; it took a while before he realized he couldn’t fit both spoon and his fingers in his gob. In fairness, we also underwent a learning process. I’d always thought a spoon was for conveying food to mouth; but in Finn’s case its application is primarily scraping overspill off his chin. Also his nose, cheeks, forehead, hair and surrounding furnishings.

Finn’s interest waned when he hurdled his boredom threshold after a couple of days. However, I’ve added more to the menu and kept it varied. Now, when we put him in his high-chair at the table, he sits with his mouth open and extends a squirming, questing tongue until the food arrives.

I usually add pureed vegetables or fruit to dried baby food. He’s had baby rice with apple, porridge with banana (a big hit), pumpkin soup, leek and potato soup, yams, pureed lentils, and carrot mash. Last night, he hoovered down half my dessert: blueberry frozen yoghurt.

The only thing he turned down was a Watties teething biscuit – and honestly I don’t blame him. I tried one myself and am sure the packaging is tastier and likely more nutritious. I tracked down some Farley’s rusks in the international food section of the supermarket. Although Finn loves them – he’ll spend half an hour solemnly gnawing a rusk to a sticky paste and applying it to his hair – I just don’t have the strength of character to handle the mess. I’m still finding spatches of rusk adhered to random surfaces: the baby monitor, my laptop, the dog’s collar, the kitchen wall.

Here’s a video of Finn about two weeks ago during dinner: LOOK NO BIB!

That’s our definition of daring these days.

Your fly’s down

Finn’s 8-10 week Plunket appointment was this morning.

The Plunket Nurse immediately established a tactical advantage by enquiring whether I needed a breast pad – which I assume is the Plunket equivalent of saying your fly’s down when it’s not. Because I wasn’t leaking.

At least, not much.

When I demurred, she swiftly pressed home the advantage by asking whether I was clinically depressed.

“Who- you mean- ME?”

I actually looked around to see if some lank-haired dead-eyed twitcher had crashed the appointment. I mean: my jeans fit; it was a beautiful day; Finn and I had just strolled through the Oamaru Gardens; I had only a suggestion of dribble in my hair, which was perfectly straight; and just for a change I had remembered to apply mascara to both eyes. Quite frankly, I was positively brimming with bounteous motherhood, the fucking epitome of relaxed, ruddy-faced mental health.

In the face of such a vicious onslaught, perhaps it’s no wonder I let slip that during mealtimes we sometimes placed Finn in his bouncy chair on the dining table.

“I would question the safety aspect of that arrangement,” said Nurse Plunket, menacingly swiveling her steel eye.

Now, being Finn’s mother has opened up whole new avenues of anxiety for me. Sorry; did I say avenues? Make that motorways. I worry about him falling down a well, or becoming allergic to polyester, or being unpopular in school, or doing drugs, or his ears growing disproportionately large. Recently I had a nightmare that he went blind. In summary: I have anxiety covered without the Plunket Nurse’s assistance.

But the LAST THING I worry about is a baby who’s not even aware he has ARMS undoing both clasps on a bouncy chair’s safety harness, then propelling himself up and out and over the side. Or bouncing so energetically that the chair springs past his parents and onto the floor. (That’s the second-last thing.)

And even my imagination does not extend to our solid wood dining table developing a sudden and alarming tilt that defies the bouncy chair’s non-slip grips.

She’ll have to do A LOT better than that to alarm me.


Cyclist vs bulldozer

When it comes to cyclists, drivers fall into two categories:

a) The ones who mount the kerb on the far side of the road to give you room
b) Those who see how close they can get to you without scratching their paintwork

There are fewer in category (b). They are the type who fancy their chances playing chicken with buses, trucks and bulldozers. If you think this makes them more of an endangered species than they make me, well. Buses, trucks and bulldozers tend to comprise most of this category, so I’m not sure where that leaves everyone

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