Banana Handle

You can’t treat the infant’s cough with honey now, and baby has to sleep on his back. Car seats until 30 pounds and cut those grapes in half. Times change and rules evolve, but babies stay the same.

And the baby wants to eat! And especially when it is the third-born and sitting in the clever, adaptable and super-safe high chair, upright at the table, watching big brother and middle sister eat all their interesting foods. The baby reaches fingers stretching and leans and opens and closes his rosebud mouth like a fledgling bird… BABY WANTS TO EAT.

Sister Stargirl is a huge advocate for Baby. She wrote his letter to Santa Claus, illustrated by a white bearded, smiley-eyed Santa with seven stick-fingers, encircled by colored hearts. Daddy wrote her dictated words. Babies’ wishes channeled through Stargirl: smushed banana, rattle, spinny toy, mini egg toy. So, Baby’s first solid food will be banana. And for Christmas? Well, we can break the 6 month rule an eensy bit, so baby can try some smushed banana on Christmas Day. Yahoo! Stargirl is excited.

So picture the day: mama, daddy, big brother, sister Stargirl, and Aunt B all in their pj’s. Baby is prepared- that is, naked except for diaper, leaning back in the rocking infant seat on the floor. Ripe banana is smushingly prepared. Some is scooped on the tip of the little spoon. Stargirl does the honors and gently sends it to baby’s mouth. A bit goes in; all watch baby’s face. They laugh as the morsel reemerges. Mama tries smearing some on her finger and in goes another banana bit. Stargirl cheers, “C’mon, baby, eat it!” Little bare legs start kicking, the seat rocks.

Baby is weirded out. What is this? Ptuh, his tongue pushes the delectable smushed banana out.

Stargirl tries a banana finger, Mama tries to demo (“Look, mommy’s eating it!”) Baby grunts and kicks and the last bit of banana slides down his chin. Everybody laughs and Stargirl interprets for her pal, “He said, now way, I’m not eatin’ that!” And she kindly wipes his face with a napkin, giving up for now.

On the phone Grandma wonders with the mama if you can still buy zwieback baby crackers? Or those baby cookies that they mouth and gum and the hard rectangle dissolves and smears and a little gets eaten. Those used to be a sensory delight, a fine-motor exercise, entertainment for the morning, and communion at the family dining table all rolled into one. I don’t know, says baby’s mama.

The next photo sent to the grandma shows the baby at the table again, happy and upright in that clever high chair. Wearing the red snoopy onesie and a drool-catching bandanna (WHAT a good invention, wish we’d had those, Grandma thinks.) Baby is holding colorful teething rings clenched in one hand and in the other- an as yet unsmushed banana. Holding it by the hard stem, where the peel has been retained and then cut away to reveal a few inches of prime ripe banana flesh. Holding it like a trophy, ready to smush it “by myself me”, with glee.

Grandma asks about the clever banana hack. The left-on stem, the banana handle. I never taught you that, is it from the Daddy’s clever family? Ha ha, the mama’s text replies, its from the internet.

Always a new idea to solve an old problem, Grandma thinks. Baby happily smushes, the family smiles around the table.

Banana handle hack! Independence is the best treat 🙂

4 thoughts on “Banana Handle

  1. SO true! Babies need and want independence and to take on their own world in their own way!
    PS, they still sell Zweiback crackers as well a newer version of Zweibck crackers that smush and provide independence as well as those always popular Puffs!
    Links below!
    I must admit, however, I like the banana treat (natural and healthy) best!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a fun way to be invited into this loving family as it cleverly navigates the most current suggestions from medical professionals and baby experts. Your telling of this introduction to solid food is literally sweet! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It is great that we can now be someplace even if we can’t actually be there physically. I love all of the description. Yes, babies want independence at an early age. It is true, you can find anything on the internet.


  4. This is a great writing example of sticking to a topic and keeping the story interesting–I hope you share this with students! It brought back some fond memories of my own, when decisions about what and when to feed baby were my focus, too.


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