I remember when Charlotte was trying new foods and learning to eat real food (that is to say, not pureed baby food) and I was so proud that she would try almost anything. Salmon, check! Steak, check! Lentils, check! Broccoli, sometimes check! And I thought I had this feeding thing in the bag.
Let’s all take a moment to laugh at me. Because boy was I wrong.
Meal times are now a struggle that I’ve come to dread. Charlotte still has a decent palate for things. She’ll still eat some proteins, black beans are her favorite snack, fruit is always a winner, cheese is number 1 in her heart. But then some days she won’t eat at all. She’ll scream NO NO NO and refuse to eat something she ate the day before. She ate a shit load of peas at my neighbors house when I wasn’t there, but when I offer her peas she scrapes them off of her tongue. The squeeze pouches she loved so much are death incarnate. One day she’ll eat 3 slices of turkey and the next day she’ll throw them at me. She’ll start to take big hearty bites of the meals I’ve made for her and after 30 seconds she acts like I’m poisoning her. It is so frustrating, because 1) I love food and she should love it just as much as I do and 2) I feel like she isn’t getting the nutrition she needs and she’ll be hungry and malnourished. I know the second isn’t true, but still. When you see your kid being a champion eater one day and going on a hunger strike for the following 3 days, you can’t help but wonder if you’re doing something wrong.
Last night I made her macaroni and cheese (always a favorite, no nutritional value) with peas and carrots. She spit the peas and carrots out onto the floor. I then started mashing them up into the macaroni and cheese and putting them in her mouth. This kid ate the macaroni and would find the mashed up bits of vegetables and wipe them on me. You’re killing me kid. Killing me.
So, I’ve decided that since her belly sticks out pretty far and she’s still got some chubby legs and thighs, I’m not going to stress about it. I’m going to offer her two different options at every meal, and if she eats neither of those options, she doesn’t eat. I refuse to be her own personal line cook. My house is not a diner. The menu is not endless. I have no patience for that, and I don’t want her to think there will always be a million options for meals if she doesn’t want what I’m giving her. I’m the boss here. I sound like Mommy Dearest.
Also, she loves her milk, but I can’t get the kid off the bottle. I ask her if she wants milk and she says yes. I say do you want it in a cup? She says no. Then I say well how do your want your milk, and she says BA. We’ve been trying to offer her a cup every day. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I can’t stress about this either. She’ll get off the bottle when she’s ready and I’m not going to force her and deal with the screams of the damned. Her teeth are nice and straight and she only has a few bottles a day, so WHATEVER. I have to worry about getting her off the boob before getting her off the bottle anyway. And YES I STILL NURSE HER A COUPLE TIMES. Take your judgments elsewhere, you judgey judgers. I can see you rolling your eyes now. WHATEVER.
I mean, if worse comes to worse, she can just eat cheese for every meal. That’s pretty much what I do anyway. We can be fat dairy cows together.