(Alternative title: I got the blues, Harmonica version!)
When E was born, feeding her was a no-brainer: Le Boobies all the way, all the time. Boobies for breakfast and boobies for dinner and boobies for midnight snacking (and 2am and 4am and 6am and sometimes, hell, in between). I knew I would breastfeed, if I could. It's good for her and hella cheap and blah blah blah, but that's not the point of this post.
When we rolled up into E's 4 month well baby appointment, the doc started off with "Have you started her on solids yet?" I was aghast. Solids? Really? At 4 months? What's the rush?
I knew some people start around 4 months and some even earlier. I knew all about the old wives tales of babies sleeping better and longer with a few tablespoons of rice cereal snuck into their bottles. I remember my baby sisters eating cereal from a weird bottle that was a big syringe contraption, before they were even six months old. I wasn't convinced. I just didn't see how a spoonful of EXTREMELY OVER-PROCESSED carbs might somehow give the delicious fattiness of my milk a higher "fill quality".
Disclaimer!!! When to start solids is one of the huge fences in child rearing, I know, but you have to pick a side. Either way you're wrong. Or right. Or whatever. It's worse that choosing between being, hmmm, Republican or Democratic? To vaccinate or not to vaccinate? Team Jon or Team Kate? (And on that last one: ewwwwww to both. Ew. Ew. Ew. And in conclusion.... EW.)
Both sides can get spiteful and venomous and shoot off remarks about how uneducated or inhumane the other side is but at the end of the day, you have to make an educated decision, stick to your guns and keep an eye open for new data that might
We originally thought we would pursue the normal route of solid food introduction but alas, E had other plans. (She often does this sort of thing). Here's what transpired, in chronological order....
Solid Food Incident 1:
Scene: Grandpa and Gammy's house for Thanksgiving
I may or may not have slid some cranberry sauce onto her tongue at dinner. This would be right at 4 months old. It wasn't a spoonful or even a smidgen. I dipped the tiniest of fingertips in the red goo and shook off the majority of the excess before letting her partake of it. Does this count? Meh, you be the judge. Evil or not, she loved it. I have pics.
nom nom nom
Solid Food Incident 2:
Scene: New Year's Day, Great Grandparents house
Whilst visiting said great grandparents, I gave E some chewed up slow-cooked ribs (Hush! You know you've done it!), sauerkraut, mashed taters and MAYBE some roll with butter.
-She totally looks like a baby bird here, regurgitated meat offerings and everything!
Solid Food Incident 3:
THE REAL DEAL
A few weeks ago, I started giving E bites of what I was eating. I am super ashamed to say that I practiced no restraint in what I offered her. Her cute little gaping open mouth was too adorable as she literally BEGGED for a bit of whatever came near my mouth (she almost ate my chapstick, people). Bites of over-easy egg. Asparagus tips drowning in butter. Banana bits with peanut butter. The works. If I ate it, she ate it. If it was iffy, I'd chew it up a bit first. Mostly, I just wanted her to let me eat in peace and this is the only way I could get her off my back and stop the screaming. Judge me if you must. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
See what I mean?
I know the "proper" thing to do is research and agonize and have nightmares about high fructose corn syrup and pesticides and shit. And I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that because a little caution never hurt anyone. And also, it's not like I was shoving mashed up Twinkies at her and washing them down with Hawaiian Fruit Punch. I'm not an idiot. In these matters, at least. So bear with me and please don't throw steak knives at your computer screen when I say this...
K, I'm ready....
We are skipping everything between boobie and table foods.
Rice Cereal => Mixed Cereal => Baby food purees => Baby Food Chunky Style => Smashed People Food => Waiting 3 days to check for allergies => Waffle House Hash Browns with Chili and Jalapenos ( I believe that's topped and scattered? Or topped and smothered? Whatever...)
I kid, I kid.... Why the dirty looks?
I know absolutely no jalapenos until a year old.
Seriously, people, calm down...
So why the rush through the process? Am I just so impatient and so ready to force my darling child through her baby time and into her big girl time? Do I not care about tradition and research and her health?
No. The honest injun truth is that she just won't eat any of that crap. Not. One. Drop. Hell, I wish she did. I wish she would follow the common baby time line and be normal and let me fit in at the Food Lion with a basket full of Stage 1 goop jars and organic baby grain boxes. All the other moms have their baby carriers perched high in a cart full of weekly groceries, Pampers, wipes and oodles of brightly colored glass jars, full of homogeneous baby feeding paste while I have to skip that cool ass aisle all together. We cloth diaper and my kid won't eat any of that shit so, ho hum, from canned goods to the frozen section I go. I never get to loiter in the baby gizmo section. It's not fair, dammit!
I can't help it. If you insert any puree-ish consistency food in E's scream hole she will reject it. She's quite clever that little vixen. She rolls the unknown mush to the front of her lips and blows very softly through a whisle shaped mouth. If the offender makes bubbles and flubbers around, it's a puree. It's deemed unfit and the blowing gets harder and more violent until said mash is spottily distributed within a 12 inch radius. If it holds itself together and stays put, it's a solid and therefore edible food. Nom Nom Nom please sir can I have some more...
I give her props for being smart and shit but it's not an exact science. Some things really fuck her up. Example? Pudding = puree, so she starts spitting it out only to realize mid-blow that it's ACTUALLY! GOOD! This pisses Her Highness off greatly.
HAHA! Blow Test FAIL.
Or at the sushi joint when we kept giving her jell-o. She would push that slippery little devil to the edge of her mouth and then even the slightest nudge would plop it out and onto the table. I think she was confused because it felt solid in her mouth but disappeared when she pursed her lips.
HAHA! Blow Test FAIL.
And as usual, anything that royally pisses her off is funny as shit to all of us. Everyone is laughing at her and I'm scrambling to retrieve and reinsert said deviant jell-o as I join in the chuckles. This makes her more pissed off and even more hilarious to us. It rolls to a tear-inducing other-customers-glowering crescendo until she finally gives up and publicly denounces the food as not worth her time. Evil even. Insert angry pouty face here.
Exactly like this.
Only this is her Daddy.
But, still, EXACTLY this expression.
God, she's also just like her mother..
And that brings us to where we are now folks. Whatever we eat, she eats. Obviously I cut it up real small or even nosh on it a bit to break it down for her (as with some meats) but other than that, no other special handling required. She eats oranges and bananas, asparagus and chicken breast, sauteed onions and smothered rice. She is not turned off by any of our typical seasonings: not soy sauce nor chili pepper nor ginger nor tomato paste. So far she has truly tried and accepted 100% of my cooking, which is a good deal more than Stephen so yay! She's a keeper :)
Just don't mash it or puree it or you will wear it. As decoration.
Call us crazy but whatever we are doing, it's working. She isn't fussy or gassy and she sleeps better at nap time and night time because she isn't up every 30 min wanting to pull on the boobie. It's also working better than it would have even a month ago with our new cooking stance. I have decided to toss all the processed boxed crap and everything I cook now is from scratch. Well, 95% I guess. I don't make my own tomato paste or pasta but I do make my own stock and avoid the cream of whatever soups. It's not like I feed her Hamburger Helper or Ramen Noodles. Gawd, I have some standards.
Everybody's a winner!
And I'm still nursing around the clock. She still gets up 1 - 2 times a night for milk marathons and still goes about 1.5 - 2 hours between milkings during the day. I try to make her wait longer between feedings but then she turns into Milk-Monsterilla and we end up tearing at each other's throats and saying things we don't mean (Shut it! She says hateful things too!)
Sometimes, when she is zombie tired and is whining pitifully with sleepy closed eyes, she will get a wild hair up her ass and think I'm tricking her food-wise, trying to feed her poison or something painfully melodramatic like that (I know, RIGHT, where does she get that shit from?!). She will fight and fight and when I can forcibly crane her neck towards me, I slap her mouth area a bit with my milk maker and try to convince her that what she really wants to do is shut the hell up and come get your damn milk.
When your baby is that cranky and thrashing around while you try to get her to please just put the boob in your mouth and go to sleep (before my head explodes and leaves a ghastly mess for Stephen to clean up when he gets home from work), the last thing you want to do is to appear happy and/or mistakenly down play the severity of the situation in her eyes. She is being accosted and it's not a laughing matter.
But it's hard not to laugh when she's so tired and she's rooting and flubbering around at the boob and she looks like a newborn kitten, searching frantically for a nipple with closed eyes and mewing. Eventually she finally hits her mark, finds a nubbin in the dark and quickly latches on.
However, comma, it is NOT funny when she motor boats your areola and scares the EVER LOVIN SHIT out of you as you rock her stubborn ass to sleep in the dark. It's quiet and dim and soft elevator lullaby muzak is playing and all of a sudden someone's sleepily blowing raspberries on your nipple. And it's not your husband....
HAHA! Blow Test Fail!
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