[This post was supposed to include a very cute video of Kolya having dinner. Like really cute. But for some reason, YouTube won’t let me upload the video. Been working on it for several days now and I just can’t figure it out. If anyone has any bright ideas about how to fix that, please email me and tell me how to do it. The photos are stills extracted from the video. L.]
I was a little relucant about starting Kolya on solid food. Firstly, as a mother, there’s something immensely gratifying about having a child who has only ever been supported by your own body. Carried for nine months, borne into the world, and fed nothing but breastmilk for months and months as he doubles in size and strength and ability… It’s a very special time, when your child is so intimately, literally your own flesh and blood. Part of me didn’t really want it to end. What I didn’t bargain for was the delight of seeing your child reaching for and enjoying his food, gradually feeling out his own preferences. When he likes to eat, and how much, and which combinations. The funny stuff he does with the bits he likes – or doesn’t. The sensory adventure of food. Yum!!
Secondly, there was the poo thing. I use cloth nappies, and friends who use disposables had warned: wait til the end of the nice breastfeeding poo and the start of the stinky grown-up poo. Well, I have to say, I’m not sure what they’re talking about. Without wanting to gross out the non-babied amongst you, proper poo is way easier to handle.
Lastly, there were all those other parents that made out that food was such a drama – trying to get an unwilling child to eat; coping with food flinging and tantrums. Well, maybe it’s still awaiting us. Or maybe I just enjoy fistfuls of jelly. Maybe he was ready for it by the time we offered it to him, so there haven’t been any big fights (and when he doesn’t feel like eating, no one forces him; there’s always more breastmilk on tap anyway). Dunno.
For what it’s worth, we started with watermelon, some time ago. And then some rice cereal. With or without banana. And some papaya. Pear and banana was a big hit. Until we hit butternut. Oh my. We love butternut. Butternut and rice. Butternut and apple. Butternut and broccoli and carrots. There have been forays into other good things – avo and rice went down well (creamy but chewy), and crusty bits of bread are always a winner (I know there are all those finicky naysayers about wheat, but he eats at the table with us, where there are usually some bread rolls about – and so far so good). At first, we kept it all smooth, but soon he started going for all sorts of textures: whole grapes, cherries, lasagne… at last night’s New Year’s Eve, some of Cath’s lovely bruschette and Matthew’s very impressive bouillabaise!