Thursday, August 28, 2008

Breakthrough of a Different Sort

Not talking about teeth this time. He's got a mouthful of choppers already - the canines are the last to come in. I guess he's supposed to get another set of molars eventually, but I don't know where they'll fit.


Before I got pregnant again and horribly, miserably sick for 3+ months, AJ was doing pretty well with eating at least a little of what Momma and Daddy were eating for dinner. He was big into green beans and would eat rice dishes with some regularity. Then I was horribly, miserably sick for 3+ months. It was a good day when there was food for him to eat (and us - preferably without me barfing it back up later) and his diaper got changed a couple of times (again, preferably without me barfing). So while we'd been edging away from the little plastic Gerber containers, the horrible, miserable sickness cured us of that. And AJ got VERY used to eating from the little plastic Gerber containers. He was never a fan of their "Stage 3" stuff, so we didn't waste time or money on those and stuck with "Stage 2."

Well, now that the horrible, miserable sickness seems to have passed for the most part (although I'm still weaning myself off the drugs - who knew Unisom did so much for nausea?), and I'm coming out from under the dark cloud of months-on-end of feeling and being sick (not to mention gas prices and everything else spiking during all of that, making me feel guilty for not doing my part in cutting down on household expenses), I realized that not only was he pretty much only eating the Gerber mush, that was ALL he would eat anymore. Don't get me wrong, the occasional kid's meal chicken nuggets and french fries would still usually get eaten, as would peanut butter sandwiches and the occasional grilled cheese...but you can't eat peanut butter every day and grilled cheese involves cooking and dishes and while I'm feeling better, I'm still never going to like causing myself work, even for a grilled cheese.

So we tried the "eat this or eat nothing" for dinner tactic. He just loaded up at breakfast and lunch the next day. We tried the "airplane coming into the hangar" tactic. It'd make him laugh, and occasionally we'd get a rice grain or two down the gullet, but it never made the hangar doors open indefinitely. We tried the "stuff it into your mouth and hold your mouth closed until you swallow it" tactic. But dude has some STRONG jaw muscles and that mostly just made us both mad.

Well two nights ago we had a break through. It was essentially mac and cheese, except that there was chicken and broccoli in it too. And there was corn on the side. And he wouldn't touch any of them. But he had leftover raisins from his afternoon snack still on the table that I was ok with him finishing. He was eating them, but I was bored and we were talking about eyes and ears and other exciting toddler talk, so I decided I'd make a smiley face out of the raisins. Then we ate his eyes and his ears and his mouth and it was fun. That gave me an epiphany. So I put the pasta on the same plate in the same face shape. It took a little more convincing, but eventually he ate the two eyes from my hand, then got down from my lap, finished eating the face I made, then went to town cleaning out the bowl all on his own with NO encouragement from Momma and Daddy!

Then last night, he just started eating his spaghetti. No rigamarole. He _did_ steal one of my meatballs (and would have stolen more if I hadn't eaten them all), but I was ok with that. We'll see if the eating continues with peace. Here's hoping, because those little Gerber things get expensive.

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