At some point in your life you would have heard that cows have 4 stomachs.
And more than one wise guy have either claimed the same for himself/herself, or for people they know.
And who have not heard (or used) this reasoning before: “I’m so full I cannot eat another bite! What’s for dessert? That goes to a different stomach”?
So PL and her mother has been introducing semi-solid food (or baby food) to Z – pumpkin mash, porridge, mashed fruits, etc.
And Z may sometimes finished a small bowl of say pumpkin mash. And PL would think, this should hold her for a while. Her next feed should be pushed back by a bit. Maybe an hour.
If say Z’s next feed would have been 8 pm, and she had a small bowl of pumpkin at 7, she would show us in no uncertain terms (crying) that she wanted her 8 pm feed.
At 7.30 pm.
“I guess baby food is just a snack. Milk is still her REAL food.”
“Or baby food goes to a different stomach. But her milk stomach is still dominant.”
“If it’s not milk, it’s not real food.”
The other thing we have been doing has been introducing “finger foods” – specifically, these small, star-shaped cereal crackers that melts in the mouth, and yoghurt melts which are mildly sweet and sour. Also rice crackers (unsalted). She likes them all. But up to a week ago, she would require us to hand feed her.
When we put one in her hand, she would stare at it as if it were an insect or some odious interloper. We tried getting her to feed herself, by moving her hand with the tidbit towards her mouth.
And she would have none of it!
She’d turn her hand to drop the odious object before it got to her lips.
BUT… when i put it in my hand and brought it to her face, she would lean forward and take the food from my hands with her mouth.
And previously, she had held teething rusks in her hands as she gnawed on the rusks.
SO WTF IS DIFFERENT?
Children. If raising them were easy, we would all be parents.
With baby food (mushy semi-solid) she also did not take to them initially.
She’d look at the spoonful of mush and give it a look that could be read as, “what is that DISGUSTING-looking thing? And what is that smell? And why are you trying to shove that in my face? It smells nothing like food (milk)!”
But we persisted (cause we don’t know any better), and dab a bit of it on her lips and she licks it off, and then, “hey! that’s pretty interesting! And doesn’t taste bad either!”
Then she will let us feed her. And by “us” I do mean us… for the first few times. Now it’s exclusively PL. And her mom when Z is at the in-laws during the day.
So anyway, it was a minor triumph or milestone when Z actually fed herself. We’d give her the star or a small biscuit and she would take it and put it in her mouth.
The first few times, she was still learning and she would drop the bit about half the time. Now she’s up to 90%, maybe.
So on Deepavali, we went out for lunch and ended up at Bedok Mall (the first bus that came by). And after looking around, we settled for Ayam Penyet Ria (my fave ayam penyet chain!)
We got a baby chair for Z, put her in, and placed the new suction base bowl on it. And filled it up regularly with a few pieces of crackers. Which Z happily fed herself. Meanwhile we could have our own lunch instead of either needing to feed Z or entertain her.
Self-feeding is self-entertaining.
So all was going well – we were having lunch, and topping up Z’s suction base bowl regularly so she doesn’t run out of crackers.
Then suddenly, she started to cry.
There was no change in circumstances or the environment.
We tried to soothe her, but she got even more desperate trying to climb out of the high chair.
“Maybe she’s hungry?”
“What time is it? Oh, it’s 12 noon. It’s time for her feed.”
“But she was just EATING!”
She wanted her milk feed. Even though she had been eating right up to the point when she wailed for her milk.
Children were put on this earth to keep us humble. And off-balance. And drive us insane. And create jobs for counsellors, psychiatrists, and social workers.