Sophia has a great kids’ book called ‘The tiger who came to tea’, about an unexpected visitor joining a little girl named Sophie and her mother for teatime. Offered some afternoon treats including buns and tea, the eponymous tiger is so hungry and thirsty that he proceeds to eat them out of house and home. My friend Ceara, whose parents gave us the book, has a theory that the tiger’s existence is concocted by a mother anxious to conceal her afternoon drinking habit from her husband. Anyway, I was reminded of the story the other evening when Lulu had her first proper meal. Owing to Lulu’s extreme hunger and my inability to satisfy her, we had to ignore the UK National Health Service’s recommendation that solids not be introduced before six months. http://www.nhs.uk/Planners/birthtofive/Pages/Weaningfirststeps.aspx And man, did she eat: the girl needed no instruction on how to swallow, and managed to pack away two helpings of rice cereal followed by one of sweet potatoes. Each time we paused, she banged her arm on the highchair tray, demanding more. And she would have kept going if we had let her. I swear she’s changed since that food went in, gaining weight and becoming even more alert. Only problem is, her loving gaze, once reserved for me, has shifted to whatever I’m eating.
Claire – On maternity leave from career as editor of monthly finance trade magazines, and occasionally a freelance translator. Half-American/half-English, raised in the suburbs of New York, has lived in London for almost nine years.
Daniel – Furniture designer/maker based on London’s Columbia Road flower market, for ten years, also an aspiring painter and DIY supremo. On one-year career break to reconsider options. English by birth, but mother is half-American and spent part of her childhood in Bronxville, New York.
Sophia – 3.5-year old spitfire who loves school, singing, swimming and being a big sister
Lulu – Born May 8 of this year, a model baby who eats, sleeps and gurgles.
Special guests – American, British and international friends and family who drop in along our trip to see whatever part of the country they fancy. They’re welcome to travel in the car with us and sleep in an adjoining tent.