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Fine Dining with baby: Leaving DNA behind

Posted Mar 28 2009 3:49pm

Because we are food snobs, we wanted our son to learn food snobbery early on. So at one week old, we took our son to Chez Fon Fon. We devoured (at least) one bottle of wine and a plateful of stinky cheese (both of which I had to forgo during pregnancy) while he slept in his carrier close by. Those quiet, constant sleeping days of Truman ended shortly after that meal.


Baby Truman and Rick in Rosemary Beach

Three weeks later we ventured out again – on New Years Eve – to The Hot and Hot Fish Club for our annual NYE dinner there. We made the earliest reservations possible (partly because my husband had to work the next day – no doubt for the millions of people who would be waking at 5 a.m. on NY Day to tune into the news!) Truman did anything but snooze quietly. The restaurant was abuzz with Truman’s whining. We were mortified. But we still were hopeful we could pull of fine dining with our son.

A week or two later, for Rick’s birthday, we went to Rosemary Beach, Florida and spent a cold long weekend in an adorable rented house. We made reservations at the same restaurants we frequented there before Truman was in the picture. We were not going to let a baby interfere with our passion for fine food. Our first stop was Basmati’s, a fabulous Asian-inspired restaurant. Again, we made reservations early. At this point, I had read up on Baby Wise and was scheduling my child’s feeding times according to the clock. There would be no bottles (that’s right, I didn’t breast feed) until the clock said it was time! That way, according to that piece-of-crap book, our son would sleep through the night in no time.

So, there we were at this nice restaurant with our infant son and goshbedamned if he didn’t start wailing at the top of his lungs. Rick and I looked at each other terrified and decide to screw the old Baby Wise method and give the kid a bottle. He lapped it down in record time and we mixed up another 4 ounces of formula and he sucked that down….and kept wailing. So we poured water in his bottle and that made him wail all over again. And the main course had yet to come.

But the drinks were served, thank God.

I smelled it first. The rank, unwelcome odor that comes with an overflowing diaper. At least I had packed another onesie – although it was nowhere as cute as the Ralph Lauren outfit he was wearing. Darling husband offered to handle the mess and took our little, wailing son to the potty to change his diaper and jammies. As he opened the bathroom door, he whacked Truman in the head and Truman, exhausted at this point, gave him the inflated lower lip – a memory he will never forget.

But the surprises didn’t end there. The bathroom was a single-use only room, which means Rick had to lock the door and then look around for a place to change our son’s messy diaper. There was none, so he made due by laying him on the floor… on top of the little mat that came with the Eddie Bauer backpack/diaper bag we had. He snapped off the Ralph Lauren onesie and was confronted with a generous offering from our son. Rick went through the wipes in heroic pace as more poop oozed out of our son. Rick leaned back and reached for more wipes, only to find he had used them all. He grabbed paper towels and toilet paper and anything else he could get his hands on and just as he was getting our baby boy in clean diapers, it happened.

Oh, I should have mentioned before about Truman’s projectile vomiting. This was, as we later learned, an acid reflux issue that was finally resolved by adding cereal to his bottle. It took months of me telling the doctor, “but he just spits up so much,” and him telling me that it is normal until I one day managed to say, “So, it is normal when his vomit spews clear across the room?” That’s when we finally got the cereal-in-the-bottle treatment and the vomiting with every meal pretty much ended.

But this night was months before that revelation. And so just as my husband was snapping our son’s clean onesie closed, our Truman’s stomach went concave and he threw up a bellyful of vomit that covered him – and my husband – from chin to toes.

The dinner finally ended and we learned Lesson Number One – unless you have a perfectly quiet baby or you’re some super nanny-type, you may want to stay home or get a sitter.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s installment of “Fine Dining with Baby: Tips for the Weary.”


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