Another tedious post about baby eating. YAWN.
The whole providing the infant with sustenance adventure continues to unfold. For instance, I stopped buying this particular formula…
And switched to this one.
And perhaps as a result, or perhaps just because time has passed, the experience of giving my child fake milk* has gotten a lot less fraught. Bottle feeding has its own nice features, turns out (in addition to not being painful). She just lies there completely boneless, whereas she wriggles and tries to rip my face off while nursing. There’s something rather pleasant about a totally limp baby… I have also discovered that the formerly impossible feat of trimming her toe nails is easily accomplished by one of us while the other gives her a bottle. HUZZAH. The morning and evening nursing sessions are now a lot nicer, knowing it’s just a brief interval of pain.
Meanwhile, Bun Bun has moved pretty fully into I reject all solid foods you offer, particularly at dinnertime mode. It’s an interesting experience, and makes me think a lot about how rich I am, because I can afford to have my child throw a perfectly good deviled egg on the floor, and not pick it up and eat it myself. Although sometimes I do. And I can’t help but think this has got to be a phenomenon of western-y culture, because our species could not have survived if precious food got wasted so continually… I guess I should still be exclusively breastfeeding or some shit? ANYWAY, it motivated me to finally buy a copy of the Ellyn Satter book I’ve heard such good things about (nice précis of the general approach here) from various sources. I like the approach because it means not desperately leaping up to find something your child will eat, after she rejects what you’ve prepared. That is so not my style, and I, like every other parent on earth, am hoping to avoid the whole I will eat only rice so you must make me rice for every meal phase some kids go through.
But I wasn’t sure how to handle the consequences of this approach, namely the shrieking. And what to do later, when I have to send my child to bed hungry because she’s rejected my delicious pasta salad? Thus far, I have to say, I haven’t found the concrete suggestions I was hoping for. And I suspect it’s because all you can really do is stick to the plan and endure. But the book has given me confidence that my child won’t starve if I provide some nutritious options and she chooses to have nothing to do with them, and that I can just try to stay relaxed about the whole fucking thing. Try, notice.
(The book also made me feel instantly bad about myself, like almost all books on anything to do with parenting tend to, hence my refusal to read them. For example, it assumes you’ll stop breastfeeding at the earliest possible moment, and seems to have an almost dismissive or hostile view on nursing beyond a year. Not that I’ll be doing THAT. But anyway, don’t read books, man. Just rely on my comprehensive and unbiased reviews.)
Anyway, I’ve come to a couple of conclusions, at least for the time being. No more choosing meals (we do meal planning, and have a list of things we like to eat) because I think she will like them. She won’t. No more making things special for her. I mean, yes, preparing fruit and bread, and continuing to make the things she reliably eats, like oatmeal, yes, of course, but no more oh would you like a nice scrambled egg for breakfast this fine morning? No, she wouldn’t. She can throw some scrambled egg on the floor the next time **I** want a scrambled egg.
*You know, I use terms like this and make jokes about formula being poison because of my own feelings about not being able to provide enough milk for my baby, but I hope I don’t hurt the feelings of anyone who’s been using formula all along. I assure you, I’m not passing judgement on anybody but myself here.