May 23, 2005
Closing a door, opening a window...

kieran and carrots.jpgI'm in a funny mood tonight, kind of sad and kind of happy. Big changes often take you that way and this one is food related. We saw the pediatrician today for my son's five month check-up and were told we could start him on vegetables and fruits any time. (Fire at will!) So being an enthusiastic foodie who can't wait to show her son the delights of the culinary world, I hurried home and steamed some carrots. You can see the resulting mess in the photo here. Despite his dad's dire predictions ("He'll spit it out, I promise!") he actually seemed to like the taste and the texture. In fact it didn't seem to phase him at all, to our great delight. After about ten or twelve teaspoons had passed his lips, though, he decided he was tired of the new game and wanted the old reliable bottle of milk.

And that is the reason I'm a little sad. After a losing struggle for the last couple of weeks I've decided to give up on trying to convince him to nurse on his mother's milk. I've been able to get him to take it first thing in the morning when he's half asleep and hungry, but even that is starting to be a struggle. So this is one in a lifetime of separations that will undoubtedly continue throughout the coming years until I'm begging him on the phone to come home from college for the Christmas holidays instead of going backpacking with undesireable friends in unsafe countries. I know it's natural and he'll be fine and that we are very lucky to have shared this special experience for the first four and a half months of his life. But I'll miss those intimate early morning feeds where it feels like he and I are the only ones in the world.

(And through my sadness the honest part of me is bound to acknowledge it'll be nice to let his dad crawl out of bed before dawn when the baby cries for a change!)

And as for the open window...this week week, the world! I can't wait to show it to him!

Click here for a photo of our champ BEFORE the carrots hit the face!

Posted by Meg in Sussex at May 23, 2005 3:56 PM | TrackBack Print-friendly version

I love your post.

Posted by Pascale on May 24, 2005 at 1:51 PM

I have been reading and enjoying Too Many Chefs for some time now but I have never commented. Both my children are grown now but I know exactly how you are feeling about the loss of the special bond between you and your son, but you're right it will pass and there will be other great ways to have special times together. In just a couple of years he can start cooking with you and then the fun really begins. My 28 year old still calls me to ask how I prepared a particular dish, he loves to cook. I am an early child development professional and if I can give you one tip about feeding baby it's to remember that when introducing a new food often you need to offer it to your baby many times, 7 or 8 different feedings, with out forcing, before they acquire a taste for it. Many parents give up too soon on foods and they end up with children who have a limited variety of foods they will eat. Enjoy and give baby a hug for me.

Posted by Melinda wells on May 25, 2005 at 12:51 PM

Melinda, thanks for the input! I will certainly bear it in mind as I really don't want to have a fussy eater.

My stepdaughter, who is nearly 12, has always been difficult and I've been dying to put into practice some of my theories about avoiding that. In her case, I think it's a combination of a mother who is by all reports pretty fussy herself and the UK culture where the child menu always consists of chicken nuggets, pizza or pasta. I also have a theory that the less you let the child know you expect him or her to reject something the less likely they are to do so. It seems to me that French children are less fussy than American or British ones precisely because their parents expect them to eat like adults from a very young age. There is an English speaking mothers' support group here in Paris and one mother recently commented on the web site about the fact that her 3 year old daughter stood out at school because she didn't know how to eat the mussels that were served at lunch! I think that's great!

Posted by Meg in Paris on May 25, 2005 at 3:18 PM
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