Monday, November 20, 2006

Feeding the Drew Monster

Drew's taste in food is evolving, as are his abilities and temperament at the dinner table. He's been eating finger foods for a while now, mostly of the Cheerios variety. But it seems he's ready to broaden his palette and feed himself.

I suppose this really started when he learned to beg by watching my mother's dog. That and my mother indulged Drew when he did beg. This is how he learned that he really, really likes frozen fruit pops. And egg salad. We already knew that the little guy enjoyed fries and was fond of a good juice box (if we were holding it; we made the mistake of letting Drew hold the juice box while he drank...he squeezed the box and sent a stream of juice splurting out). Now Mark and I are in the habit of giving him bits and pieces of our own meal that can be mushed up easily with his gums and seven teeth (one of his molars came in). This is how we figured out that he likes fish, much to his father's dismay.

While we are excited to see Drew eager and willing to take on new tastes and textures, we are less than thrilled that our darling son has taken to throwing hissy fits at the table. We have no idea why he gets so worked up every now and then, but if we don't settle him down quick enough (and there's never any rhyme or reason as to what sets him off, so figuring out how to make it all better is not very easy), then he ramps up to full scream mode and we have to call it quits. I think I would feel less frustrated and helpless if he was just a picky eater.

On the liquid diet front, we realized that switching straight to whole milk wasn't going to work, so we've been mixing some milk in with his formula. The little guy's up to a cocktail of half formula, half milk now and should be on to straight milk within a couple of weeks. The next step after that will be to get him to feed himself his milk from a sippy cup in a timely fashion. He's been a wee bit spoiled in that department because Momma and Daddy are still feeding him his bottles, allowing him to drain 8 ounces in less than five minutes. Feeding himself is going to slow him down.

There are times I wish I could wave a wand and he'll be magically able to feed himself anything and eat anything and never fuss. But then he does something cute like picking up a piece of dried apple and feeding it to me (he reaches out and shoves it in my mouth when I get close enough). Or, even better, he'll offer me a piece of his food, I'll move close enough that he can feed it to me--only to have him get this wicked grin on his face as he pulls the food away and puts it in his own mouth. Cruel little trickster. Those fun moments are worth the strange screaming episodes. I think.

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