Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Two Steps Back

Z and I have noticed as soon as T picks up a new skill it feels like he has been doing it forever. Which is ridiculous. Dude is not even 8 months old. He hasn’t been doing much of anything forever. It reminds me of a story my dear friend told me when her daughter was brand new. They were at a pediatrician visit and my friend told the doctor that her daughter “always did that”. The Doctor told her that her daughter was less than a week old and she didn’t always do anything yet. My friend found that very reassuring and liberating, and for whatever reason the story stuck with me. Especially during the first few days I was a mom and trying to figure T out.

T was sick last week and one strange benefit was it made him sleep easier and better. He stopped crying when he went down for his naps and for bed. And he slept really well. Stands to reason, he was exhausted from being sick.

During the last few days he has been getting fussier and fussier about naps and bedtime. At first I was really confused. And I thought to myself “He never is fussy at bedtime!” Upon further examination that might be the stupidest thought I’ve ever had. We’ve struggled with him and sleeping from the time he was a few weeks old.

I also got used to him eating like a champ. T has a gag reflex like you wouldn’t believe. I introduced rice cereal when he was 6 months old and it wasn’t until he was more than 7 months that he figured out how to swallow from a spoon. I had about a week of really great eating before he puked avocado all over the place. Turns out the gag reflex was triggered by his illness and since then every time I’ve tried to feed him with a spoon it’s been a struggle.

Bottom line is I feel like things were pretty smooth here at our house about a week ago. Now I feel guilty as hell when he cries before sleeping and I am convinced he isn’t getting the nourishment he needs and I have no idea how to teach him to eat. I want to help him so much, but I don’t know what he needs. And he can’t tell me yet.

It’s a crazy thing, parenthood. One minute you feel like things are going really well and the next you feel like you are messing everything up.


  1. You're a wonderful mom, and he's a great kid. I suspect you'll both be fine. Maybe try some very basic finger food (tiny bits of soft fruit, avocado, etc). Some kids seem to figure out that sort of self-feeding first.

  2. You are doing great!! He'll get around to telling you what he wants. Both my girls HATED anything spooned and wanted to just play with mouthing food their own way. I saw him reach for a pizza crust at the restaurant - maybe let him mouth it and see what he does? Or (for a more controlled experiment), slice the banana and avocado and let him sort out putting it in his mouth. He may not eat it (which won't be different from right now) but he might sort out his own terms for food. I end up with a pile of grab-ables (oatmeal balls, cheese, slices of fruit) on her tray and me on the side sneaking in spoons of yogurt. It's a dance.

  3. I feel really lucky to get to have this window into your parenting efforts. Really lucky. It's not going to be all that long before we're trying to figure this stuff out, and I really appreciate how authentic and human your writing about parenting is. I have been a guilty parenting blog addict for an embarassingly long time now, and your blog is very good. I just think that you illustrate much more concretely the real ups and downs thank I've mostly seen. Anyway, I'm glad you're doing it.