It looked mostly clean, but there were always dried bits of food clinging to the pad and crumbs jammed in the nooks and crannies. It looked like a slightly less than appetizing, let alone healthy, place to eat.
"I don't understand!" I would cry internally. "These are clean people! How is that chair not clean??"
Now that I have my own little solid-food eater, I get it.
It is just not possible - or reasonable - to wash that pad after each feeding. What it is, is inevitable that the pad is going to get dirty. Really dirty.
We wash her tray clean after each meal and that's what really counts. That's what food meant for her mouth is going to touch before going in, so I take care to wash it well.
The crumbs on the seat will get brushed off, but likely not until the end of the day. This means I only have to do that activity once versus three times a day.
My old before-motherhood self would ask, how hard is it to brush crumbs off after each meal? You wouldn't think too difficult, right? But consider: Rosie eats, then gets cleaned up in the chair, then gets picked up out of the chair (which means my hands are full) and taken to play or many times to go down for a nap. At that point I get back to my full-time job, or if it's the weekend, to the 1.1 million things I have on my to do list.
Brushing off crumbs is low on the totem pole until the end of the day when I'm finishing tidying up.
So, I get it now. And I apologize to all my friend and family moms who I silently judged for not having a sparkling place for their kids to eat.