Tuesday, February 12, 2008

T.G.F.O. (Thank God For Oatmeal)

Josiah turned 6 months old at the end of January and on his half birthday we started down the adventurous road of solid foods. I had intended to start them earlier with him than I did with Lucy, but then there were the holidays, and I just couldn't add one more thing to the insanity at that time. Then we were getting back to our routine, and by the time I considered it, I realized I could wait a few more weeks to be able to say I was one of that minuscule percentage of mothers who are still exclusively breastfeeding at six months. Yes, I know, I'm a nursing snob. But nonetheless, we started Joey on solids and I found that, true to his personality (that being the opposite of his sister) he opened up for the spoon and swallowed anything I put on it.

Then came last week. He clammed up. Just clenched his lips and turned his head anytime I came close with the spoon. Every day. All week.

Now, I know that babies have setbacks when starting solids, and I was aware that it could happen, but to understand how deeply disturbed I was by this, you have to know that Lucy didn't swallow a single bite of food until she was 9 1/2 months old. It wasn't for lack of trying! I tried making my own, I tried every brand of store-bought I could find. I tried it in the morning, the afternoon, the evening, and every moment in between. I had every other mommy I knew giving me tips and tricks, and none of them worked.

One friend said to me, "I don't know of any kid who has refused Cheerios." So I tried Cheerios. Lucy would pop them in her mouth, then repeatedly spit them out onto her chin (which created a lovely 0-goatee).

So last week when Joey clammed up, I nearly threw in the bib and spoon as I envisioned many more months of desperate attempts and wasted time... and exclusive breastfeeding. It really wouldn't be that bad, but while nursing an 18 1/2 pound baby I'm dropping an extra pound below my pre-pregnancy weight every two weeks no matter how much I eat.

But then the proverbial light bulb went on in my head yesterday as I sat on my friend's living room floor with our baby boys, just weeks apart in age, talking about our joys and struggles. She mentioned switching her son to oatmeal from the rice cereal, and I made a note on my mental grocery list.

And today it worked! After the initial clam-up, I managed to sneak a spoonful of oatmeal into his mouth. His face went from "Eeeww!" to "Mmmm!" in an instant and he opened up for more, eating every last bite I had prepared.

It could be the texture, it could be the taste, it could just be that it's not rice (or pears or sweet potatoes or apples or bananas mixed with rice). It could just be his own timing. Who knows what tomorrow will bring, but for today T.G.F.O. indeed!

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