While I've been feeding her, Miss0, the teeny tot Bruce Lee wannabe, has spent the morning batting the spoon out of my hands like I was moving in slow-mo. Yes, it seems Miss0 is a master of Kidjitsu.
There ensued a battle of wills between my experience and her determination. I gave up after five minutes, the bowl and her belly both empty. But it wasn't without an upside. I mean, This girl has some serious talents. After only several attempted teaspoons she wasn't even dropping her guard - she kept her hands up ready to slap the offending food away.
"You really think that's a habit you want to be encouraging?" Tracey asked me as another spoonful of apple, potato & pumpkin mix took off and splattered on the fridge door.
"Are you kidding?" I answered her. "She's a natural. I'm thinking black belt. I'm thinking Olympic gold, I'm thinking movies." I aimed another spoonful at her mouth and with a thwack! she sent the food flying again. "The Karate Kid started like this."
My name is Bruce, so martial arts comes kind of naturally to me too. I mean, I already have a yellow belt in Taekwondo.
At one point Miss0 got hold of my spoon and refused to relinquish it, so I grabbed another out of the drawer. More often than not, when a baby has a spoon in their hands, you can slip food past their hands and into their mouths. Not with Miss0.
Her spoon became a short staff.
"She's started on weapons training," I said to Tracey in an awed sort of voice. "She's so advanced."
Then Miss0 started whacking my spoon away with an accuracy you wouldn't have associated with the same kid who, only an hour earlier as I lay on the lounge, took ten seconds to work out how to get her hand to my face to rip off my glasses.
"A natural!" I repeated to Tracey, food forgotten now as I sparred with her, spoono-a-spoono. "She could be the next Jackie Chan or Chuck Norris."
The trouble with this sort of thing is it's fun. Well, it's fun if you're a dad. Hell fun. Mums, I've noticed, often don't seem to see it the same way. Can't imagine why.
"All your doing is teaching her a bad habit," Tracey admonished me as she grabbed a cloth and started to clean the floor around the highchair and then the fridge. "She'll think it's a game every time you go to feed her."
"There's no harm in it," I said, just as Miss0 launched her spoon at my left eye. The lack of sympathy from Tracey was palpable. "It's okay," I announced as I washed the gunk out in the kitchen sink. "I hardly ever use that eye anyhow."
"Just make her a bottle and put her down for a nap," Tracey sighed.
I unstrapped my little Kidjitsu master from her highchair and walked her in to the cot.
"You're going to be a force to be reckoned with, aren't you my darling?" I cooed to her as I lifted her in.
She got all excited and kicked off the mattress, sending her head up under my chin. The result was bone jarringly painful.
"A natural," I hissed through gritted teeth as I gave her the bottle and tried to regain my wits.
Yessiree, I'd say it's a given we're going to have a famous, gold winning, kick ass, action movie star for a daughter.
All I have to do is survive the next eighteen years of training.