Happy 7 month birthday to my little boy!!!
As you know from my post the other night, feeding my children stresses me out. I had huge problems getting J-Man to eat solid food, and I’m more than a little bit anxious about going through it all again with K-Dub. But guess what? I have no choice. “They” say to start solid foods between 4 and 6 months. Most mommas jump for joy when their baby hits 4 months and immediately start spooning rice cereal into their babies open mouths.
Me? I watched the sixth month slip by, anxiously counting each day until it came to an end, knowing I could delay solid food for only so long.
When K was about 6.5 months old, his daycare provider told us she really wanted to feed him cereal. Why, I have no idea, but I felt compelled to comply. So I reluctantly purchased a box of rice cereal, mixed a tablespoon with some formula, cleaned off a baby spoon that had been sitting in the basement for the past four years, and got to work.
Shockingly, the experience was actually quite pleasant. Oh gosh, I may as well admit, it was downright joyful. K lapped up the cereal like a starving kitty. Woo hoo!!! I packaged up some rice cereal and sent it off with K to daycare. Every day they sent home a progress report telling me how happily he devoured his cereal. My baby was eating solid food (well… technically… even if it was just rice cereal) and I could not have been more thrilled. Maybe my second kid would not cause me as many sleepless nights as the first. Oh please, God, please please please.
Last week, the daycare provider started dropping hints that they wanted me to bring in more solid foods for K — sweet potatoes, carrots, peas, etc. Oh no. I wasn’t ready. I’m not ready. I can’t do this. I can’t go through it again. (btw: What ever happened to “breast milk or formula is all your baby needs for the first twelve months of life”????)
This week, the subtle hints turned to demands. Bring in food. Your baby is starving. He cries because he’s so hungry. Formula isn’t enough. He needs vegetables and fruits. So, being the obliging mother that I am, I figured I’d give it a go. A quick consultation with Teh Googs, and I learned that carrots were a good first veggie because they had a sweet taste. So, I grabbed the baby carrots out of the produce drawer in the fridge and pureed them up.
(Side note: J-Man flipped out when I steamed and pureed all the carrots. Suddenly, the only thing he wanted to eat was carrots, simply because we no longer had any.)
I cannot describe to you in words using the English language how vehemently these carrots were rejected, so I will tell you in K-Dub’s own words:
Not only that, but he gagged so wretchedly that he puked a little. Oh crap. Suddenly all my hopes and dreams of a baby that devours food like it’s the last time he’ll ever eat went flying out the window. I tried carrots a few more times and was met with the same enthusiastically unhappy reaction.
Maybe he just doesn’t like carrots. Let’s try peas. Oh, and it’s entirely possible that presentation matters to him, so I’ll serve it up in a pretty ramekin.
I was feeling pretty bummed out at this point. I mean, for real, look at those gorgeous peas. I’m pretty sure he didn’t swallow a single speck of them.
But hey, at least he didn’t gag this time.
So inyhoo, yesterday I picked him up from daycare and got a guilt trip about how he was STARVING and desperately needed to eat solid fruits and veggies in the afternoons. Since he was not interested in the bright and beautiful food I was preparing for him, I stopped into the Giant and bought him some commercial baby food.
I bought him bananas, sweet potato, carrots, and sweet peas and brought them all into daycare today.
When I picked him up, the teacher said he ate the sweet potatoes and the bananas, and that he really enjoyed both.
Seriously, I couldn’t be happier. Does Gerber baby food fit into my goal of feeding my family wholesome, real, fresh food? Err, not entirely. It’s certainly not fresh! But honestly… he ate it. And enjoyed it. And it’s a start.
I want to finish by sharing a little conversation I had with J-Man last night. I had pureed these peas for K-Dub, which meant there were peas leftover, and that was what the rest of us would be having for our vegetable. J-Man was not excited about having peas with dinner, and he started trying every trick in the book to get out of eating them. I said “You know what I love about eating peas? They are like little balls, little pellets, it’s so neat!” and he retorted “You know what I like about eating peas? I don’t like them.” Well, how can you argue with that?
A few minutes later, I was washing some dishes while he ate and he said from behind me, “Mommy? Is the store that sells the asparagus open late?”He was hoping I could go out and get asparagus so that he could have that instead.
If only I could take back all those sleepless nights…