Oh yeah – look who is finally feeding himself!
He looks like such a big boy.
You’re probably thinking, “big honkin’ deal, so your baby can use a spoon.”
But if you knew this baby….
His eating habits have long been a source of anxiety. Sure, for the first six months of his life, they were a source of pride. He was the poster boy for healthy breastfeeding. He ardently drained some boobs every 2-3 hours around the clock and was a total fatty.
And then the time came to introduce solids into the mix. I wasn’t overly enthusiastic about solids because he was such a good breastfeeder that I didn’t want to rock the boat but I also didn’t want to miss some sort of window. I remembered from Little Boy K’s babyhood that it may take a month or so for him to get into the swing of things.
Ha! Nice thought. A month? Baby S was having NONE of it. If I dared to approach him with a baby spoon, he would clamp up tight. I had flashbacks of Gandolf from Lord of the Rings “You shall NOT PASS!”
I tried it all: fruits, vegetables, cereal, mix it with breastmilk, make airplane noises, the try-it-10-times theory…everything.
I took a deep breath and told myself to be patient. All children eventually eat solid foods and mine would too. Of course all the comments from everyone around me certainly didn’t help the matter.
“He’s not eating yet?!” Well, he eats plenty, it just doesn’t come from a jar.
“He must be starving!” On the contrary, he’s quite plump.
“You should make your own food. He’d like it better.” I do make my own food, it burns lots of calories.
“Maybe he’d like a french fry!” Maybe not. Keep your crap food to yourself, Woman.
We finally compromised on yogurt. It was the one thing he found agreeable. And as the months passed, he eventually agreed to eat a bunny or two and started to enjoy those little puffs that dissolve in your mouth. And cinnamon rolls…from a can. I try nearly everything that crosses my own plate and several proclaimed Toddler Favorites but he continued to hold out. All those organic fruits and veggies I spend tons of dough on at Whole Foods? If I manage to sneak one in, he spits it out “pew! pew!”, shakes his head from side to side and scrubs his tongue with his fingers as though I’ve tried to poison him.
With his first day at his new preschool looming ever closer, I’ve been a little freaked that they will reject him. On the first day of school, I can see them turning him around at the door, his little monogrammed moose backpack slung over his meaty shoulder, patting him on his chubby little 90% breastfed butt and sending him back out the door with the label of “not ready”. They asked me to fill out a Getting to Know Your Child form that asked me to describe his eating habits. I was at a loss for words.
How do you say your 18 month old still eats from Mommy? I think I scribbled something about him being primarily breastfed but willing to snack on a few “select items” when Mommy isn’t around. That is definitely sugar-coating the situation.
So you can see why I was thrilled this evening when he picked up the spoon and started feeding himself from his favorite container of yogurt. Maybe it’s not a big deal to everyone; maybe your baby has been stuffing his face with solids from 6 months on – maybe even earlier. And truly, his lack of interest in “big boy food” hasn’t really bothered me; it’s just the outside comments that get on my nerves. That and the fear that preschool will send him packing.
It’s the small victories. The small victories that might just allow him to attend preschool.
Also linking up with Memories Captured.
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