Solids, Poops and Teething Bliss

WARNING: this may turn you off adopting 6 months old babies!

The doctor tells us to start her on solids. I am one third excited, two-thirds nervous. My culinary skills, how do you say, were quite non-existent for a long time. It isn’t that I didn’t want to learn, it’s just that I was an epic failure in cooking so I gave it up. Why, may I ask, would I want to continue with a skill that I suck at? But again, motherhood changed me. I am home for mat leave and what do I do? I start applying myself and lo and behold, yes you guessed it, I can cook a total of 8 great meals with thousands of variations. I use ground beef and chicken as my meats and I am still experimenting with vegetables. I haven’t even began trudging into pork and veal territory. Whoa- take it easy. Anyway, back to my baby daughter since this blog is about being a mom and NOT my inability to fry an egg. (I should start a blog about that though… who’s with me??)
Ok. So I am dreading starting my baby on solids because that means I will have to steam, bake and boil stuff, then mash it up and freeze it. All so I can take it out, heat it up and feed it to the baby whose taste buds are underdeveloped to begin with. Then comes the art of puree’ing everything we eat as she gets older so that she is introduced to human food and then she can decide whether to be a carnivore, a herbivore or an omnivore (remember that from grade 5 science class?? I do!)
I am getting way ahead of myself in being nervous. Let’s conquer the current dilemma. What veggie should I start with? Which ones should I avoid? What if she’s allergic? How do I know when something is sufficiently steamed? How many poops will that equal to?
So many questions, so little time.
So I dove in head first and Bugs Bunny inspired me. Why not start with carrots? They are orange, fun colour, and they are good for the eyes. I hated them throughout my life and when I was pregnant, I forced myself to eat them in order to pretend I was being healthy. And so I steamed them, stabbed them with a fork a couple of times and when they were sufficiently mushy, I took them out, mashed them, distributed the mush evenly into 7 small square containers we boughts and I placed them in the fridge. Then came the time I have been anxiously anticipating- feeding the steashed (steamed+mashed= steached) carrots. I placed her in her little chair, velcroed on a bib, had a wet paper towel on the ready, her burp cloth, a bottle of prepared formula and a heated small container of steashed carrots (if that word catches on and becomes quoted in Dr. Spock books, we will know two things: one- he is not dead and two- it was read here first!). I digress, as usual.
So I fed her the carrots. I am not sure what I expected but I definitely did NOT expect the face she made. It hurts my side from laughter every time I think back on it. I sang a song and I got her to open her mouth (she knows this part because we’ve been feeding her cereal which was also funny but this is funnier) and in her mouth it went… her face distorted into the most disgusted expression I ever seen.
She looked at me with mistrust as if saying “How could you feed me this? How could you sing a song and be excited when you are about to feed me sludge that you scraped off the bottom of a grease fryer in a fast food joint that shall remain nameless?? HOW COULD YOU?” and yes, I really felt she said all that in that fleeting moment before she hurled out of her mouth the ENTIRE spoonful of steashed carrots. It was beyond hilarious. I was laughing so hard, the sound startled her and now she was disgusted and startled, let me tell you, makes for a VERY unhappy baby. She began to weep with big fat tears coming down her fat pink cheeks. I was feeling guilty and so full of mirth, I decided to do what any other new mother would do at that moment, TAKE A PICTURE!!!
So on to the poop, which apparently discusses things with the rest of the body because the output matches the input if you know what I mean. It is definitely smellier and the ‘movement’ happens more often. I am sure that my daughter will hate me when she reads these in the future but for now suffice it to say that her poopage is aromatic and regular.
Moving on to the next splendid surprise that mothers receive from their little babies at six-months-old. Teething has got to be one of the most annoying and unnecessarily saddest events in a baby’s life. The drool, the tears, the screaming, the insanity and that is just me… let alone the baby who is also experiencing the same symptoms!
I thought my child was quiet. I thought she was mild and even-tempered. I actually thought she was strong, brave and resilient. What happened?? A few teeth want to escape from her soft fuchsia gums and THAT turns her into a crying, whining, agitated, irritated, sickly creature? I cannot remember getting my teeth as a baby but I know it must hurt like heck because she didn’t even cry when she got her shots. I wish they would just come out during her sleep or suddenly- “Oh look honey, all her teeth came out last night”. Why this agonizing, drawn out, painful process that enflames an already sticky situation (being parents is now a situation)?
I really hope that the pain subdues and that the teeth come out without much of a fight. I also hope they come out with lots of gaps in between (apparently that is the healthiest thing). I have thoroughly inspected my daughter’s jaw (especially when she is screaming her little heart out) and I can clearly see she has lots of room in that tiny mouth for some tiny teeth. I am hoping for anything soon so I can stop steashing and minimize the process to cutting food into really small pieces. That way we cut out the middle-man or thing- a.k.a the mini-mincer.
I think that this is it for now. I am all vented out.
Until next time…
S. Martignani

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