Thursday, July 28, 2011

Food for thought

So there's this scene in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer that always sticks out in my mind. It's where Santa has lost his appetite for some reason and Mrs. Claus is saying "eat, Papa, eat!" in a very distinct way that truthfully always reminded me of Goldie in Fiddler on the Roof. Was Mrs. Claus supposed to be Jewish? Or was this some Hollywood writer's clever way of letting you know who was writing the script?

In any case, I know it is a complete stereotype to say that a Jewish mom always wants to feed her kids. I hate to perpetuate this kind of thing. But for me, it is true. When A. started eating for the very first time, I loved the way her mouth sounded as she enjoyed all the new tastes. I have no idea why. I still love that she loves food; really, I have never seen anyone take such great pleasure in olives or sushi or chocolate chip cookies as she does.

And now there is Baby Boy.

If you read this blog at all you know that he was born with an esophagus connection problem that made the start of his life really challenging. Since then, he had to go back to the hospital once to have his esophagus dilated. This made it not quite so narrow and made feeding him sooooo much better. He loves to eat and literally smacks his lips when I come in the room. Baby Boy is so happy and smiley you'd never guess what the first eight weeks of his life were like.

And then one day, it happened. He stole a French fly off Daddy's plate.

Don't worry, he didn't eat it. But it was pretty clear the boy was ready to eat. Our pediatrician wanted him to start slowly so his six-month birthday came and went without any baby cereal or baby food. Although I will admit to giving him a taste of popsicle. He loved it so much, I felt terrible for not letting him finish it. The thing is, his breathing started to sound "wet"...which is something that usually lets us know he isn't swallowing the way he should. So I pulled it away and he yelled at me like well, a baby. He's not much of a yeller either so I knew he was ticked.

Yesterday, we got the thumbs up to feed him baby food. So last night, he got his first taste of pureed sweet potatoes...made even thinner with milk. Just a few teaspoonfuls but man, he loved it. He ate it really neatly too, as though he was not going to waste a drop.

We sat and listened and made sure everything went down the way it should. It's different with him; while I don't want to think of food as the enemy, there is still a chance that at some point in his life, the food will get stuck and we will wind up back in the hospital. This is pretty common with guys like him.

I still love the little noise his mouth makes.

I just want him to love to eat like the way his sister does. He completely deserves it.

Tonight's menu....avocado. As Mrs. Claus would say, eat, baby, eat.