Idealistically I have not been in a rush to start her on solids because I do believe that I’m what’s best, and I’m not too worried about iron stores at this point. And I can’t believe that she’s 6 months old already, and we are about to end the very last stage of infancy I will ever nurture.
Realistically I have not been in a rush to start her on solids because, while I do love the food prep and introducing new, exciting things to my babies, it marks the beginning of the end of the ‘total portability’ period in my infant’s life. I’ll never see feeding my child as ‘just another job to do,’ but it does mean one more thing to think about besides remembering to put in new nursing pads each morning. (I’m a friggin’ geyser, yo.)
Nevertheless, Dove is ready for food. It has gotten so that we actually feel guilty putting her in the Bumbo with us at the table while we eat dinner. She wants some, she really does, and it’s kind of sad that she has to make do with a rattle or a shoe or something while we stuff our own gobs with organic chicken breast.
So I bought organic sweet potatoes. And have not yet been able to bless the end of her infancy by making any for her. So I bought some organic brown rice cereal, and decided that we should try a bit of that first, in order for her to get used to eating with a spoon.
Bee and I made some for her at lunch the other day, Bee cheerleading as I expressed milk straight into the powdery cereal in her little bowl. We stirred it into a thin, soupy delight, and I put a big bib around Dove’s neck. I let Bee give her the first taste.
Dove’s fists and tongue went wild, and she started literally buzzing. I gave her another little spoonful, and the buzzing got even more enthusiastic. If she hadn’t been wedged into the Bumbo with her fat little legs acting as anchors, I would have worried that she was about to launch herself across the table.
One more spoonful, and then something changed. Dove began to cry. Really cry. There were real tears, and she was stiffening up and I could tell that she was not only upset, but she was angry.
And then one more spoonful that she accepted like manna from heaven. And then I took the spoon back, and the angry, serious crying commenced as I reloaded. And then she realized that the spoon comes back full, and she relaxed. A few more happy spoonfuls later, Dove decided that she was done, and pretty much jumped into my arms, to thank me, I think.
She nuzzled her messy little face into me and practically purred as she had some milk to end her meal. Bee sat beside me, her arm linked in mine, and we talked about the event that had been Dove’s first meal. ‘She’s so crazy, Mama!’ Bee laughed, and I promised that she could help me again the next time we fed Dove.
So far, there hasn’t been a next time, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to feed her intended sweet potatoes to the rest of the family for dinner tonight. I’m glad we took the first step, and I know that this path leads to many other wonderful firsts, but I’m pretty happy to walk it slowly. After all, I’ve never been into fast food.