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Posts tagged ‘warehouse’

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.

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The Fish Whisperer

I caught dinner yesterday!

Half an hour before low tide, Helen and I tramped down the path past the neighbours’ house. We were armed with two hand casters, weights and hooks, a baggie of rancid squid, two bottles of extra chilled beer, and (optimistically) a knife and pair of pliers.

The hand casters cost $6 from Warehouse, which is currently offering discounts on fishing gear. We decided on squid bait after trying the Berkley Gulp! Soft Bait Lime Tiger Glow 5 Inch the other day. These are rubber fish in an artificial solution that smells like cod vomit. When we attached the artificial bait to the hook and tossed the line off the back of a kayak, we didn’t get a SNIFF, never mind a nibble. Not even one, folks.

Fish are canny.

On the positive side, the rancid squid was cheaper and evidently more effective than fake bait. On the negative, there is more risk of infection when you accidentally spear your finger with the hook and affix the squid to the unfortunate digit.

I’m not sure about Helen – who looked entirely competent – but it was my first time hand-casting. As demonstrated by Helen, the line is supposed to unspool in a graceful arc. Mine kept wrapping around my wrist or catching on the reel and yanking the weight back towards my face at high speed, usually right between the eyes. Once I wrapped the line around my neck, collecting the weight with my ear (not recommended; do not try this at home etc).

Despite my best efforts to terrify the fish away, I must be something of a Fish Whisperer, because I had a bite on my third cast. Although he was only a tiddler and broke free before I could haul him to the surface.

After about an hour, I felt something munch the bait with more vigour than seaweed. I jigged the line and – most likely by pure chance – the hook pierced his upper lip cleanly.

Neither Helen nor I could identify our catch: he was only 33cm long but a bit of a fattie; dull grey with brownish vertical stripes; rounded, stubby little tail; two long, thin fangs; and bits of brain matter strewn about his head after Helen bludgeoned him to death with a beer bottle.

After we got him home, we attempted to trace the fish’s provenance via the vast resource of the Internet. It took almost as long as it did to catch him, mainly because Fishingmag’s species identification table is ordered alphabetically. Just my luck Walter turned out to be a wrasse. Bastards.

Apparently, many Real Anglers consider wrasse annoying and won’t eat them because they’re too easy to catch. Or something. Since I’m not a Real Angler, I was undaunted. In any case, there was nothing else for dinner.

Husband claimed he was too busy to gut Walter which completely contravenes the conditions of our relationship. Husband claimed he was ‘working’, although he should be able to give all that up now that I have shown I can Provide for us.

After I gutted Walter, I roasted him with garlic, lemon, white wine, and fresh basil. Tonight his remains will be honoured with a fish stew.

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