A friend of mine, Candy, was watching Gertie eat her lunch. Candy seemed horrified.
"What is she doing?"
"What do you mean? I've just given her some mushed up veggies and she's eating them."
"I can see that. Precisely. She's eating them. Why isn't muck smeared around her face? Up the walls? Matted in her hair? How can she do that?"
"Er...I don't really know. She's always done it; as soon as she could pick up a spoon she wasn't happy with me feeding her."
She looked at me peculiarly, and left muttering under her breath about how it 'wasn't fair'.
She had two boys of secondary school age by then, but the memories survived, and I now now think I know what she was talking about.
Gertie would have been about ten months when this exchange took place. The same age as Gilby is now. I can't say for sure that this is a gender thing, but where Gertie sat demurely and fed herself with only the occasional mishap, Gilby seems far more interested in a minute examination of the texture and composition of any foodstuff he is offered. He does not want a spoon (for anything other than as a bangy-thing) and he seems to have only the vaguest idea of exactly where on his face his mouth is located.
My kitchen looks like a war zone, with the colours of the rainbow spattered up the walls behind the high chair. The high chair itself requires jet-washing and steam-cleaning on a regular basis, and the state of the tiled floor is...indescribable. No matter how much I scrub.
So, Candy, I would like to invite you round to witness mealtimes now. I am sure you will be more than satisfied that I am getting my just deserts. (If only it were 'just dessert'.)