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Feb 21, 2009

Great Expectations

I am slowly and painfully learning that not all of motherhood can be planned out and executed exactly as I plan. Case in point: last night.

Thursday was Colin’s four month check up (at four and ¾ months. Whatever.) and he was officially cleared to start eating rice cereal! Woo! I had been waiting for this since he was born. All my friends and family with little ones have pictures and stories from when their children first began eating “food”; they get misty eyed and speak of laughter and happy messes and all-around adorableness. I couldn’t wait.

So Thursday after the appointment, Patrick, Colin, and I went to Target to buy some rice cereal and those baby spoons with rubber on the end. Patrick and I had a very typical-for-us argument: I wanted to buy the package with three spoons and Patrick wanted to buy the package with six spoons. Both of argued that our choice was better because it was cheaper. (Mine was cheaper overall, his was cheaper per item. That is not cheaper. In point of fact, it costs more money! You just get more stuff for it. But you still have to pay more money! *sigh*) He won, but only because the package of three spoons only came in pink.

By the time we got home on Thursday, it was too late to introduce Colin to the wonders of rice cereal, but I told him that he was in for quite a treat the next night! I put him to bed to dream of spoons and solid food. Friday morning, I woke him with tales of pureed carrots and peas, things soon to be his! In fact, this very night would bring his first taste! He seemed very excited by the prospect, as indicated by his many repetitions of “goo!” and “eek!”.

Friday evening, I picked him up from daycare and told the babysitter that we were on our way home to eat rice cereal! She warned me that he was due for a bottle and hadn’t taken a great afternoon nap, but it barely registered with me. I could hardly be any more excited! As soon as we got home, I plopped him in his highchair and went about fixing his cereal.


Camera at the ready! Parents in place! Spoon washed and cereal mixed with warm formula! And we’re ready!

First bite of real food!

cereal is gross

Disaster! Colin scrunched up his face and stuck out his tongue. He grabbed the spoon and looked me in the eye, daring me to try to feed him any more of that crap.

chew the spoon

Well, I took the bait. I reclaimed the spoon, reloaded, and airplaned in, hoping for the best.

Catastrophe! He screamed like I had slammed his fingers in a car door. I actually worried that perhaps I had put his tray on his hands or too close to his belly. I took him out of the chair and upstairs to check him out. Immediately, he was giggling and goo-ing again. Admitting defeat, Patrick watered the hell out of the cereal, put it in a bottle, and gave it to him that way. I rewashed the little rubber-tipped spoon, put it with the other five, and thought that it was sad that it was looking like we would never use any of them.

In retrospect, I think the error in my strategy was two-fold, both related to timing. First, I opted to introduce him to this strange new world of semi-solid food right before bed. Who has the patience for new experiences then? Bad choice. Second, the poor guy was hungry. Sticking weird food in his mouth when he was hungry was more teasing than exciting. Again, this is just bad planning.

I think we’ll try again tomorrow, perhaps mid-day, between naps and bottles. There is no way that Colin won’t love love love to eat, not with me and Patrick as his parents. Perhaps I should enjoy this now, this limited and predictable diet. I’m sure I will wish for these days of formula when he’s a finicky pre-teen who won’t eat his vegetables or pad thai or hummus or whatever we’re having that night. But, today, I am excited for him to try new things. I want to see him taste something and love it. (Although I tasted the rice cereal before I gave it to him and, well, I really shouldn’t be surprised by his reaction.) Maybe tomorrow will be the Day of the Rice Cereal, where his eyes will light up and he will look at me with wonder as he tongues around the delicious and mysterious new texture.

Maybe I am expecting too much. It is just rice cereal, after all.

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The Shrink said...

What can you do, but keep offering? If they see you sitting and eating stuff off spoons, they're sometimes keen to try too. Other times it's just they don't want to entertain that colour/taste/texture etc.

It's an age where they do get the hang of accepting different things, so it's worth trying all sorts. My youngest went for Thai green curry at 4 months old! I was sure she'd hate it but we let her try anything we eat that she wants to and bizzarely she liked it. At 5 months she ate little solid food but broccoli. Odd! But at least it got her eating all sorts of textures and flavours so she's not a fussy eater now she's 18 months old, this month.

And, although she eats my porridge now, she never, ever, ever ate baby rice/cereal gloop (and nor did my other two) so don't be too dismayed if on weening Colin's just after the good stuff :)

XE said...

Did the 2nd try go any better? Even though the first go at solid food may not have worked out quite as well as you would have liked, you ended up with some cute pictures nonetheless :)

Tiff said...

AH! I LOVE that picture of him holding the spoon and I got a good laugh at your reference to the "Day of Rice Cereal", HA!

~Ashley said...

it's funny that you wrote about this because i have friends who have a baby a couple of weeks younger than Colin... and they were telling me about their trials in rice cereal last week as well...she said that more cereal ended up on his clothes than even near his mouth! i guess it's a common thing that babies need a few tries at rice cereal!