Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Parenting Again: Food

The responsibility of nourishing an infant and toddler used to petrify me. I stocked up on baby food books, determined to let my little man be the "best he could be." Or a superhuman.

Maybe that's why it ticked me off when Peter refused solids until he was almost 9 months. After all, the books said I was to start with cereal at exactly six months, moving on to fruits and veggies with at least 3 days spaced between each new food to pinpoint any allergies. We were seriously behind the clock.

I talked to a couple of pediatricians about our horrific dilemma, but they didn't share my alarm. "He's getting the good stuff," they'd say. "There's not a solid to beat it... Breastmilk satisfies every nutritional need for the first year of life, as long as you are feeding on demand... He'll eat when he's ready... I'd say the same thing to you even if he was in the 15th percentile instead of off the chart." (Yeah, I guess I should mention that throughout this time when I was certain that my child was starving, his height and weight were still above the 100th percentile.)

As it turned out, Peter did eat when he was ready. Imagine that! I guess he was holding out for the real stuff, since the first food he willingly put into his mouth was rosemary garlic potato. He never did eat anything but table food. Even then, he was over a year old before he wanted solids every day.

I look back at those months and wonder what I was smoking. I mean, I could have saved myself a lot of trouble. Less food to prepare, no one to spoon-feed during dinner, and no ghastly "solid poos" to change. (Really, someone needed to warn me what solids do to that sweet, inoffensive breastfed poo).

So this next baby will eat when he or she can put food to his or her mouth indepentdently. That's how it is in many parts of the world, and I don't see going to the trouble of purees or expensive jarred food when I can just whip out a boob.

Lazy mom. I am such a lazy mom.

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