He must be ready – all the signs are there.
He watches the journey from fork/bowl/fingers/spoon to mouth, he reaches for it and grabs if he can. Everything he grabs, he directs straight for his mouth. He is even distracted from breastfeeding by this. The other day he suddenly stuck his hand right in my bowl of curried rice and grabbed a handful. And he has two teeth, for crying out loud (which I do sometimes, when he accidentally uses them on my nipple).
It’s time for solids. Or whatever you want to call mashed-up, watered-down big-person food. Yay! Yay?
I have mixed feelings.
a) I can’t believe how fast time is flying and how he’s already almost six months old. Soon he’ll be riding a bike and dating girls and… let’s not go there.
b) Goodbye, relatively sweet-smelling breast-fed poop. I know once you add “real” food to the mix, things get much stinkier. And stickier.
c) I look forward to seeing the faces he’s going to make! So many tastes and colours to explore… it’s gonna be interesting for everyone involved.
c.2) I think he’s going to get a kick out of the process. Even if he doesn’t like many things at first, he is so interested in food right now. I was eating bright-coloured raw vegetables tonight, at a party (for him) while I was holding him, and felt bad, like I was leaving him out of the fun, because he seemed so fascinated by the food but wasn’t getting any.
d) I want to be sure he’s getting what he needs. I know breast milk is a wonder-food, but other foods are wonderful too. I’m sure his growing self will make excellent use of nutrients in new forms.
e) This does seem like something I will need to be organized about. Keep track of what foods I’ve made, when I made them, when he tries them, whether he likes them, how many times he tries them, what order he tries them…
f) There is also much conflicting advice on this. Start with veggies or rice cereal? Fruit because they’ll like it or NOT fruit because they won’t like anything else? Each food one at a time, for days at a time, to watch for allergies? Or, as I recently read, change up, try all kinds of things in succession, thus developing a wider range of foods he’ll like? (So he won’t be horribly picky, like I was as a kid…)
g) It will be nice for the onus to be lighter. Don’t get me wrong: I love breastfeeding. I love the connection and being needed. I love the time we spend canoodling when he gets distracted while feeding. I even love him grabbing my sweater and stretching my necklines all to hell. BUT, it will be nice for there to be other options, and more chances for others to be in on the process. From here on in, my role is less essential. Smile, sniff.
I’m thinking… avocado. Mmmmm!