Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Too Good To Eat

Now that Adler is eight months old, we have two months of "solid" food experiences under our banana-crusted belt and I'm confident in my decision to revert to an all-liquid diet. 

Not for him-- for me.

I made homemade baby food for all of my boys, and although I had to sacrifice several of the nerves in my left hand to a new chef's knife and a dense butternut squash, I have enjoyed making it myself and exposing them to a large variety of foods and interesting combinations of flavors. 

Now don't get me wrong-- this task has in no way reduced how picky my big boys are.  Eating gloppy spoonfuls of parsnip set them up to prefer processed food just as much as kids raised on the Gerber alternatives.  But I always felt that I was doing something right for their health in addition to saving money.  But Adler has proven me wrong.

Back in November when he tried pureed avocado for the first time, he attacked it excitedly after months of enviously staring down the food on our plates.  I was confident he was ready and busily starting stockpiling frozen ice cube trays of different foods that he would surely eat with a smile on his face and a smear of peach on his cheek.

In reality, we haven't matched the vigor of that first feeding.  Instead, mealtime reads more like a bad Shel Silverstein poem:

There's a baby there
in that plaid high chair.
He's 'sposed to eat his baby fare.
But instead his jaw
will do nothing but gnaw
on Mom's fingers, shirt, and the dog's furry paw!
He seems to want that fruit in the dish
and knows eating it would grant Mom's only wish.

But instead he's a faker- not a wish maker,
and Mommy is his only taker.
He'll open for the spoon, 
but just as soon
Out he blows peas from here to the moon!
They're in her ears, her hair, 
in his underwear!
Only to be found later when someone else stares.
She hopes that this too will pass,
but the truth is the baby's a pain in the--

--Wait, something went wrong there.

Honestly, it was funny the first time Adler realized he could blow a raspberry while simultaneously not slurping carrot.  But after the second, third and nineteenth times of having to change my clothes and re-wash my hair, it became very disheartening to see that only a teaspoon of food had left the dish yet 3/4 of a cup was inexplicably scraped from my formerly clean sweater.

Breast-feeding makes this problem even worse. All of the books tell you to nurse before giving solid foods, but when his belly is full of milk he is even less likely to take in any food.  The reverse is equally as problematic, however.  Waiting until he's very hungry (who's a glutton for punishment? I am, I am!) only ensures he won't nurse a sufficient amount to keep me from waddling around like a neglected dairy cow.

Since our doctor has advised against giving Adler a break from solids and reverting to milk, I may have to adopt the liquid diet myself.

Photo credit.
You know, for moral support.

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