Your eating continues to be the most-discussed topic in our household. Did you eat enough? Did you eat too much? Are you allergic to something in the meal? Are you too tired to eat…and all of it can get a little stressful for me.
Feeding you is like a game to me. Originally, the goal was to feed you your meal, but that proved too tough and I was losing every damn time. So I revised the terms of the game into a series of mini-games whereby a successful bite is considered a win. Never in my life would I have imagined deriving such joy from my successfully feeding someone one spoonful of food.
Given all my fretting, I always end up trying to coerce you to eat, which is probably unnecessary since you pack enough meat on your bones as you are and have ample reserves to draw from. So I’ll often get a gentle earful from your mother about easing off.
In any case, this has also spurred us into a buying frenzy of feeding devices. First there was the good ol’ colorful baby spoon, which you liked for a short period.
Then you got all Mr. Independent on us and wanted to do it yourself but lacked the coordination, so we got you a ClevaMama, which is effectively a giant plastic Ring Pop with holes in – parents put food in it and you’ll nomnom on it. You liked that too and still occasionally do, but there’s only a limited amount of food types we can put in it.
And when you started getting he occasional Ella’s squeeze pack foods, you seemed to devour those. Maybe it’s the taste that you like or the colorful packaging, but there’s no denying how your eyes light up when we pass by a giant shelf of Ella’s in the supermarket. We still prefer to make your food because of all the allergy issues, so we did the next best thing and bought reusable Ella-like packaging called “Nature’s Little Squeeze”. Your mother then pimped it out by buying this special nozzle that plugs onto the top so you can suck out the food more easily.
That’s where we are now and that’s just the food-side of it. I don’t even want to go into the drink-side of it all. I’ll just leave it at we did not hold back on supporting the baby goods sector these past eight months.
In recent weeks, meals have become a family activity as we’ve started weaning you. This means you not only sit at the table with us, but you also join everyone else in the struggle to eat as we ourselves try to find the time to eat while teaching you how to eat in general. It has been a relatively fun learning process and I’ll highlight it with my hot tips on weaning which may or may not come in handy for you in the future.
Weaning has had other consequences, some better than others. I think your mother has rediscovered some fun in the kitchen as she figures out what foods for you to try next. I’ve had to start accepting that it’s just a damn messy process, which is not easy since I’m a bit OCD about staying clean and neat. There’s extra stuff for us to wash up now, and we contribute significantly to the baby product market by buying this that and whatever we think will ease you into this new phase of your life. Even Kili has also discovered a new source of food – your scraps that you knowingly and unknowingly toss aside. And of course, who can forget the poop? It’s starting to turn solid, you’re producing a lot of it (your personal best = 8 times in a day), and it stinks to the high heavens.
The most rewarding part for us when it comes to weaning you is watching you develop your own confidence and independence through the process. You’ll wave us off, pound the table when you want food, signal and reach for us when we are feeding you too slow, and want to hold your own spoon and aim it at your nose. You’ve even gone on a nursing strike in favor of drinking milk from your sippy cup, which means you’ll waste half of it spraying it back out. Sometimes it’s annoying, but it’s always very cute.