Wobbler* food on the go

wobbler on the go

My son is a feisty, determined one year old and feeding him is like trying to shove Chaos back into Pandora’s Box; it would make the world a much happier place if I could complete the task, but it is near an impossible challenge.

He ducks and weaves in the high chair like a Premier League footballer, while I aim the spoon at his mouth like a heat seeking missile. Sometimes the food lands on target, sometimes one of the arms flailing like an Italian arguing with the ref intercepts and food flicks into the waiting open mouth of the dog.

The only thing that helps this four-times a day battle is a distraction. My son is fascinated by people. So if ever we have an occasion to be out in public near feeding time, I bring a big bag of food and shovel it in as he stares at the people passing by.

One little recipe that I have found easy & quick to make while being nutritious and easy to transport is a chicken pasta mix.

Now I won’t insult anyone’s prowess in the kitchen by giving you the instructions on how to make this dish as though it was anything more than firing random ingredients that you find in your press/fridge into a bowl with pasta and a sauce. However, for those who’s cooking skills are more like mine than Vicky’s (the other writer here at AHMBC) this is how I make the dish:


  • 2/3 breasts of chicken
  • Veg: 1 red pepper, 1 yellow pepper, 1 packet mushrooms (or any veg can be substituted for these – in the winter I throw in about a half bag of frozen peas/carrots instead, to give it a more winter feeling dish)
  • 200g of pasta (about a third of the bag – that will save you looking for the scales)
  • store bought tub of carbonara sauce (you could definitely make your own here and win huge domestic goddess brownie points – but sometimes life is too short for that).


  1. Place the pasta in a pot of boiling water to cook as per instructions on packet
  2. Into a wok put the chicken to cook.
  3. When the chicken is cooked through – add the veg to cook.
  4. Pasta is normally ready at this point, throw it in on top
  5. Pour over sauce and cook as per the instructions on packet

This dish usually takes about 20/30min to make, depending on how many times between each step I have to stop and tend to my son. It is great hot, but actually just as good cold. So if you are going somewhere with a microwave get then to zap it for about a minute and a half. If not, then the little pasta shapes, chunks of pepper and chicken are an ideal size for little fingers to pick up and feed themselves while staring at the world go by.

*What the heck is a wobbler? This is the stage after being a baby but before becoming a toddler, this is when your little darling is starting to get up on their feet doing a mixture of coasting, standing or even maybe taking hesitant steps. They are probably parroting back sounds that could be words if you listen in the right way, and they are starting make their choices understood through gestures and movements. However, they do not yet have the assured stride or language of a toddler. They are getting there and at this stage they are a little wobbler.


Boys and their dogs

snoopy and charlie brown

‘GoodDog’ was one of my son’s (Ruben) first words. First thing he does when we get downstairs in the morning is to look for the ‘gooddog’. He has learned to pat our dog (Mayhem) gently and gets hours of amusement by bringing things to the dog to examine/eat. When he is in other people’s houses he searches their gardens for their ‘gooddog’, because clearly it must be around here somewhere – I mean, doesn’t every garden have a dog?

If Ruben hears Mayhem whimper in the other room he will drop what he is doing and go investigate that the ‘gooddog’ is ok. This included learning how to open the kitchen door which heretofore impeded the investigation.

On the flip side when the little boy goes away for a few days Mayhem mopes and howls because he misses his little friend. No amount of attention from others in the house can substitute affection from the little boy.

It’s probably that because my son is an only child that the dog by default has become his best friend, but there is no denying the bond.

However, as lovely as all this is now, it took some consideration to ensure that it was so, and that there were no jealousies between the two. Some of the things we did were:

  1. The dog never slept in our room, he always slept downstairs. If the dog does sleep in your room at the moment move him out now before the baby arrives, that way the move can not be associated with the arrival of the baby.
  2. Similarly Mayhem was always in the sitting room/kitchen with us. There will be times when the baby arrives when the dog will need to be in the other room or outside. Start doing that now, on random occasions put the dog out of the room. This is to show him that being put out is not a punishment, its just another place for him to be.
  3. Restructure the dog’s walk so that it is either something one partner can cover while another watches the baby, or is something that can be done with the baby. Some people give their dogs two short walks a day, others give one longer walk, either is fine. In the first few weeks consider outsourcing this chore to either a dog walker or any one who says the words ‘let me know what we can do to help!’.
  4. When the baby arrives try to maintain the dog’s routine. From the dog’s perspective everything will be in upheaval, it will be getting less attention, there will be new people visiting the house and there is a new thing that keeps crying at night waking it up. There will be change all around and animals dislike change. Try to limit the impact of the change by feeding the dog at the same times, walking it when you used to etc
  5. Remove all toys. The baby will not understand not to chew the dogs toys and vice-verse. The only thing you can do to limit this is to remove the dogs old toys from the house and leave them in the garden to play. The dog will soon learn that all toys outside are for playing and those things that are inside the house that look like they should be toys are actually not for chewing. (I have to admit my level of success with this is only medium. Despite everything the dog did chew some of Ruben’s toys. And Ruben got his hands on some of the dogs toys which is worse! Uck!)
  6. Lavish affection on both at the same time. Hold the baby in your arms and pat the dog on the head. Sit with the crib on one side of you and the dog on the other. When the baby is young and playing on the floor, let the dog in the room but sit between the two. Show the dog that the new baby is not resulting in a decrease in affection for the dog.
  7. Ensure the dog understands the pecking order of the pack. Just as you did when you first got the dog, it is important that the dog understands that you are the pack leader and the other people in the house (including the new baby) are ahead of the dog in the pack.
  8. Discourage your dog from licking humans, or certainly from licking the baby. Dog tongues are full of bacteria and are not good for newborns. As my son started crawling my enforcement of this rule has decreased, but it was strictly enforced for at least the first 4/5 months.
  9. Be cautious of the dog around a newborn/pre-crawler, no matter how affectionate it is, and remember that dogs lift their babies by the scruff of the neck or head area. It would be dangerous for the dog to take on a mothering role, and see the baby as a puppy, so be mindful of this. Also dogs expect their young to be up and walking very quickly and will try to help the baby along – which you don’t want at an early stage
  10. Dogs like their puppies to sleep almost underneath them to keep them warm, so be careful of this particularity around big fluffy dogs.