|Baby's first food- Mashed avocado!|
Then came the time I had to go back to work. Because of my husband's schooling and work, I went back to my previous evening waitressing rather than the preschool teaching I had done before in order to work with our time constraints and avoid the extra expense of child care. I was unable to pump while waitressing so for the first time in my life, I went to buy formula and bottles. I had no idea what I was looking for, but chose what I thought were a good quality dairy-free formula and a bottle meant for breastfeeding infants. My poor son suffered for two full days of my husband trying to feed him from the bottle, but to no avail. I went back to Target and purchased yet another bottle meant for breastfeeding babies. Again, more screaming and hours of hungry baby boy. The next day I went to the store and bought one of every single bottle there was on the shelf, came home and boiled them all, then made my son a bottle and went to work. SUCCESS! Turns out Gerber makes a NUK nipple that is shaped EXACTLY like their NUK pacifier and I had happened to grab one of them. DUH! Wish I had noticed that three days previously!
As a general rule we do not start our babes on solids until they're six months. Our boy was no exception. I was repeatedly told that perhaps he had what is called "silent reflux" and perhaps that was the cause of his relentless tears, and that solid foods would help keep his tummy calmer. At six months on the dot I marched right up to the avocado display and picked the nicest looking specimen and took it home. I carefully mashed a small portion with a fork, set my little man up in his high chair and gave him a bite- just a tiny bit on the end of the spoon. After less than a second he began heaving uncontrollably until that little bit of fruit slid out of his mouth on a boat of saliva. I thought perhaps I had choked him with the spoon so I dipped my finger into the avocado and stuck it in his mouth, knowing he LOVED sucking on my finger. He quickly sucked on my finger, then began to heave again until the little bit of food again left his mouth in a stream of saliva. Thinking he might want it thinner, I added just a touch of water and basically made a smooth avocado soup. Same results. I thought perhaps it was a flavor issue that he just needed to get used to, so I dipped his now ever-present binky in the avocado liquid and popped it in his mouth. Almost as quickly, the pacifier shot from his mouth like projectile as he heaved and gagged until he vomited. I was at a loss. So I gave up. Maybe he just wasn't ready and his bizarre oral pyrotechnics were his way of showing it.
Then one day it happened, and it happened all on its own. As usual, we were all around the dining room table, plates in front of three of us and a toy in front of 10.5-month-old G. As I turned away from my own plate to cut up food for our 2.5-year-old daughter, I watched out of the corner of my eye as he reached out, grabbed a fistful of whole wheat rotini and crammed all of it in his mouth. He didn't gag. He didn't scream. In fact, he grabbed another fistful with one hand and the edge of my plate with his other and pulled the whole thing toward him. I let him. My husband and I just sat and watched as the boy used two hands and devoured an entire adult-size portion of pasta in quick order, then hollered for more. And we gave it!