Thursday, March 15, 2007's what you do with it that counts

We have an issue. Like so many issues between males and females, it's a body issue. Specifically, it's about boobs. In this case, it's not about whether they are too small, or too big, or round or pointy or droopy or... well it's not about that. And, while this issue is definitely subjective, the opinion in question is not that of my husband and this is not an issue between us, or an issue of attraction or anything related to the human sexual game. No, as you have no doubt guessed, this is a Mother-Baby boob issue.

I visited a friend yesterday whose baby is nearly the same age as Charlie and her baby also has a boob issue, however the two are polar opposites. While her baby has take boobs off the menu on what appears to be a permanent basis, Charlie has decided that while rice, pear, squash and carrot are lovely, actually he's made his decision thank you and he's not interested, in fact he's going to go back to the boob full time and that's that.

What this means is that our hungry baby who was eager to eat everything on the spoon is now clenching his jaw with it's two little teeth so that nothing plastic can get in and, eventually, screaming until he's removed from his high-chair at which point he shuts up and beams like the sun has come out. The worse thing is that this non-boob ban is extended to bottles and so every feeding time where I am not there or where he has already had both boobs and is still hungry (he is, after all, nearly 7 months old and can hold rather a lot) there is a situation involving screaming and more jaw clenching and, more distressingly, we are heading slowly back to non-solid nappies.

Now. Part of this is making me feel very special indeed - and that way, madness lies. It's tempting, I admit, in some ancient, primeval part of my Motherly-love brain, very tempting indeed to think that all my baby needs is me, that I can solve his problems, that I can make him feel good and that I can make him sleep and... well, all sorts of related thoughts that would mean that Charlie is forever tied to my apron strings and that I would never have a life of my own or be able to have a drink or wear normal bras or go out without him until eventually child-services stepped in to suggest that perhaps he should be bringing something else to school for lunch... So, this has got to be nipped in the bud. So to speak.

Clearly we just have to keep on as we are with the spoons and the jaw-clenching and hope that eventually Charlie forgets about this moment of madness, however, for an infant he has an elephantine memory and it may take a few weeks. In the meantime my baby and I are keeping our issues... er... close to the chest.


sufferingsummer said...

my daughter had a similar issue around the same time...the only thing that worked was letting her feed herself, we mashed up bananas and just let her go at it with her hands. I swear to this day it is the reason she is an unbelievably messy eater but she is an eater non the less, at 13 months she will eat anything she can get her hands on! Oh and my pediatrician suggested cherrios at 7 months which i was a little hesitant about because she didn't have any teeth but we gave them to her anyway and she did wonderfully it didn't seem to bother her at all that she had to chew with her gums. Of course as I'm typing this I'm thinking...what good is my advice, my daughter is still nursing at 13 months...only once a day but still, unsolicited advice from a Mom who is 6 months further into this strange reality of parenting and none the wiser! good luck and I'm sure Charlie has it all figured out in his own head and will let you in on his plan at some point.

Sparx said...

Hi Suffering! I hope he does - thanks for the tip about the food. Interestingly, I managed to get food into him today by letting him play with his food and whenever he opened his mouth to put a finger in it I popped in the spoon - eventually he started opening up and we were fine. I'll try letting him feed himself and see how we go. Might try the cheerios as well in a few weeks.

A friend of mine is letting her 6 month old do whatever he likes with his food and like you say it's an unbelievable mess every time!

I'll try anything if it makes him happy!

sufferingsummer said...

Our little one was (is) so tiny that I wanted her to eat at all costs so at this point the mess seems a small price to pay for all those glorious pounds she's been putting on!
I'm so glad the feeding himself is working, I think they are just so curious and want to get their own hands on it all.
I'm sure he will be a fabulous cheerio king! Have fun.

portland mama said...

The Le Leche League recommends at least 1 year of BF, so if you are able-- I don't see any harm to letting Charlie keep nursing.

Sparx said...

Oh, we're happy to keep nursing - it's the turning down of solid food that was the problem!

Anyway, now I've let him put his fingers in it he's eating like a trouper. Clearly if it feels good, it's worth eatin'!!

portland mama said...

Sounds like you're doing a great job feeding the little man! I'd love to know more about your workshop- learning to puree organic veggies for him. My babe is still quite young- 2 months, but I'd love to learn those skills. What equipment do you use for it?

Sparx said...

Hey Portland Mama! Just back from a break. The workshop was great - more about how to make stuff easily and quickly then any real tricks. She turned on her oven and in about ten minutes had prepped some veg, bunged it in the oven and the steamer and at the end made a pile of purees... beetroot, fennel, corn, apple, a mix of veg for a ratattouile... all simple stuff, plus balanced - she talked about eating a rainbow, something yellow, something red, something green... the main equipment was a roasting pan, a steamer and a hand blender. I tried it and it really does only take ten minutes to prepare, plus an hour or so cooking, then the pureeing takes another half an hour and then freeze and bingo. I know it all sounds simple but sometimes I need someone to hold my hand and show me what I think I already know... anyway, Charlie is happy, I'm happy.

Good luck with weaning when you get there, it's a riot!

Anrinu said...

Me and my third again..I only successfully weaned her at the age of 3 and half (no not a typo error). Oh and after that great achievement she resorted to just playing with the boob..and she still does..Since birth she preferred(which she made very clear)the boob.I tried every conceivable teat,shape, size, texture, even different formula.To no avail..its the boob she wanted and she was not going to settle to for anything else.