Saturday, June 20, 2009

Food Fight

Okay, so maybe "fight" is a strong word -- but we are definitely having feeding issues. Maybe hunger strike would be a better term. From day one - we have had the perfect little eater. No issues with bottles, formula, cereals, baby foods, finger foods. All in all, smooth sailing. That should have been my indication there would be a turn in the tide.

Now early on we did realize that texture was going to be a challenge (in terms of food) and that she has a fairly sensitive gag reflex, but it seems that she has figured out that she can use that to her advantage. Lil Turkey. My homemade baby food (which used to be quite the hit) gets rolled eyes and swatted at fairly regularly. She refuses to open her mouth sometimes unless I open a jar of baby food and pour some it on top (or pretend to.) Lil Turkey. She'll gag as soon as the food hits her tongue sometimes, even before the texture or taste registers. The other day, she actually gagged as soon as she saw me pull the bowl out of the fridge. Lil Turkey.

Many times if I take the food an puree it even finer, she'll eat it. (I have visions of driving up to school in a few years with my mini-food processor to puree her peanut butter and jelly sandwhich so she'll eat.) I'm determined not to open 50 jars of food to appease her. (I keep saying to myself, "I'll bet there aren't many finicky babies in third world countries.") Most of the time, I'll try several times and then just say, "All done." and cover up the food for later. I try not to exhibit fussing, pleading orfrustration, except for when she's swats the spoon so hard that it rockets sweet peas and squash all over my occasional clean clothes. Actually, so far, she's eaten almost everything -- just one or two meals later. What she is quickly learning is that this mama is frugal and stubborn - a combination that I'm sure will frustrate the bejeebezes out of her for years to come.

I do have to say I'm pretty proud of myself for not getting bent of shape or trying to control the issue. I want to try hard to not use food as a punishment/reward. (We'll see how that goes!) She's obviously healthy and getting what she needs. She's not waking up hungry in the middle of the night (which was one of my concerns.) I'm guessing she's just coming into her own, seeing what we're made of and trying to assert a little independence (we saw that one coming from the start.)

The funniest part of the whole challenge has been her amazing ability to use her sign language, which we only started a couple of weeks ago. The other day I had put her food away after she refused it and decided I would no try and force her into her usual eating pattern, but let her get hungry enough to try again.

She played and played for hours and then she became increasingly irritable. She crawled up to me ( I just love it when they speed crawl across the room and try to climb your leg!) and whimpered/grunted a little and I asked, "What's the matter, Gianna?" She immediately responded by using the sign for "eat." Woo Hoo. I said, "Are you hungry? Do you want to eat?" and that little munchkin started panting like a puppy crawling into the kitchen. So cute.
And she's been using the sign for "more" ('cause she's so stinkin' hungry following her hunger strikes) on a regular basis. The other day during one of her hunger strikes, I got a cup of jello for myself while she was looking at a book in her high chair. She watched me intently as I ate it. I'd never given her jello before so I was curious what she's think of it's texture. I gave her a bite. Aren't their faces so precious when they're trying to figure it all out? Well, I thought that child was going to bruise her little pudgy fingers as she repeated the sign for "more" over and over and over again. I got the giggles.
Oh yeah - and for a quick appliance update. I'm lovin' my oven I got a couple of months ago! She has been joined by a new exhaust hood (not near as exciting) AS WELL AS.......a brand new Mac Daddy refrigerator. We moved the old one into the garage and this one is HUMUNGO. It's been a dream to have all the space we need to meal plan and to actually see what we have. Joy Joy Joy.

I have to say, I was almost as excited about this fridge as I was about my new van last year. It certainly makes the Hunger Strike/Food Issues much more tolerable. The control panel is like the Starship Enterprise. So fun. So grateful.
Perdy, huh?
Um - these are website images - We actually don't have 12 hams pouring out of our freezer drawer.

* BONUS: a couple of shots of "Mrs. Kravitz" (remember Bewitched?) on the front porch checking out all the neighbors comings and goings.

Be blessed.

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