One Week, Two Milestones - FamilyEducation

One Week, Two Milestones

March 18,2009
Sweet Pea Chef
Jessica Efird

Jessica, aka the Sweet Pea Chef, is a former U.S. Senate staffer/weekend gourmet turned full-time mom/family gourmet. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband and two sons.

We’ve hit two milestones in one week, both of which have thrilled me to the core, yet quite different. The first may not mean that much to you (especially you southerners), but Monday we fired up the grill. Not a “try-and-use-it-quick-because-we’re-desperate-for-something-grilled” grill that we’ve been known to do in a slightly-mild winter weather; but a real grill, a grill when the boys play in our backyard and I cherish being out of the kitchen and cooking under the sky. I called my husband at work and told him I would be cooking our dinner on the grill since the weather was so nice. He replied, “great…just be careful, it’s been a long winter and it might be ornery.” The grill kindly lit on the first try, much to my delight. There’s just something about an outdoor-cooked meal, especially the first of what I hope to be a long grilling season. Spring is just around the corner, with summer closely behind. The second milestone is a bit more monumental…we are packing up the highchair and putting it away. Not away, away, mind you, lest we may need it (although there are no immediate plans) in the future. But away to the basement for a very long time, not to be used or cleaned any time soon. While I tend to be sentimental with my boys’ milestones, and will probably tear up when we pack up the crib some day, my thoughts regarding the highchair going away can be summed up in two words: good riddance. Like most parents out there, when were expecting our first child, we expectantly and excitedly relished choosing all the baby equipment that would aid us in our journey as parents. I remember talking to friends who were already parents, garnering advice and tips as we navigated the waters of baby gear. A neighborhood young mom bluntly told me, “it doesn’t matter what highchair you get, because after a few months, it will be nasty.” Taken aback, I proudly wondered why her cleaning techniques must be lacking. Five years later, I see the wisdom in her statement, and humbly admit that in the battle between neat-freak mom and highchair, the highchair clearly won. I tend to be pretty fastidious with my cleaning (although admittedly, I have slacked off considerably since having children), especially in the kitchen. But that darn highchair could hide drips, crumbs and sometimes whole pieces of food better than any pirate. Predictably, I would be getting R or G ready to sit in the highchair before dinner when my nose would clue me into something lurking under some surface in the chair. I would start to investigate when…ugh!...a piece of last week’s dinner!...would be found. But with one last deep clean, I am done, finished, over with the highchair cleaning and happily loving the booster seat that G now graces during meal time. Can you sense me smiling over the web? SPC
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