Early feeding. Note the despair and anger in Mason’s face.
For some odd reason, infants need to eat to live. You’d think it would be easier for children to be born with 3-4 years of energy stored within, but no, multiple daily feedings it must be. At least it starts with breast milk/formula. That’s about as simple as it gets…a one-item menu! This is one of the advantages of newborns…they get what you give to them and they don’t know any better. It’s not appropriate to introduce anything else until at least 4 months of age.
And that’s where my story begins…
Mason was about four months old when his pediatrician gave the go-ahead for “spoon feeding.” Roughly translated into daddy terminology, it means “screaming and torture of your child to the point of feeling so evil, it depresses you to the bone.” Well…that’s what my kid made it feel like. Mason didn’t take too well to the rice cereal…or the spoon…or any component of this new step in his short life. He expressed his disgust the only way he knew. Screaming. And holding his breath in-between wails until he turned purple…
It should go without saying that no parent wants to watch their child act that way…especially when it’s triggered by the parent (reasonable cause or not)! Holly and I were beside ourselves…we hated putting Mason through all of it, but we knew he had to get the nutrition he needed.
So we pressed forward.
Progress! Anger and despair has been replaced by reluctant acceptance.
After a couple of weeks, Mason seemed to accept his fate. He still hated the rice cereal. It was messy, too…rice cereal is typically mixed with breast milk or formula at the start of spoon feeding. This concoction breaks down very quickly…within a few minutes of meal time (and inevitably getting some drool mixed in between bites), the cereal liquifies and resembles the leftover liquid from a large helping of coleslaw. Yuck.
Relief came around the 6-7 month mark. Doc approved fruits and veggies for consumption. This complicated the menu forever. Now, Mason took charge of yet another aspect of his life. He was responsible for telling us what foods he liked and disliked, which he did via spitting out the latter. As I remember it…
Slowly but surely, Mason became accustomed to eating basic foods. The torture we had exposed him to was worth it…occasional smiles broke out from time to time when he really appreciated what he was given…so long as he liked it. If course, as with any parenting function…it never stays stationary for long. Mason had to step up yet again to *gulp* solid foods…
NEXT POST: Food Fight, Part II. Solid Foods…oh lord…