Because I am a certified Bad Mother (nifty framed certificate and all!), I started my Alexander on solids as soon as I possibly could in desperate hope that this would resolve the My Child NEVER Sleeps Problem. It didn’t actually do the slightest bit of good in the Sleeping Department, but at least it gave my poor nipples a rest for a time or two.
To say that he has taken to solids well would be a drastic understatement, he LOVES his solids, which thrills me in ways I’d never imagined.
Let me back up for a moment, so I can let you in on where this comes from: Ben, my darling Ben is not what we in this family call An Eater (but he is, however A Sleeper). Sure, now he’ll wolf down McDonalds like it’s going out of style, but what you never saw is the coaxing, pleading, begging and threatening we did in order to even get him to TRY THAT in first place. WHY would I make him eat this horrible, overprocessed, fatty gross food, might you ask? I was sick and tired of him only eating Saltines and Oatmeal three times per day and I assumed that this would be some sort of safer segueway into eating Real Food That Doesn’t Taste Like Cardboard. It worked. Eventually.
But not before some nearly irreparable damage was done to my ego. You see, when your kid does ANYTHING outside the norm, and as I can see, FoodStuff appear to garner a special place here, people are so very interested in discussing this with you. Discussing is totally the wrong word. More like judging you loudly about it.
Before we knew about the Spectrum Stuff, I was given SO MUCH FLACK about what my child ate that I eventually developed a hugemongous complex about my parenting in general. It wasn’t so much that I hadn’t TRIED to get my son to eat food, it’s just that he flipped the hell out every time I did so, and I wasn’t about to engage in a battle of the wills with a toddler. Period. Why give the poor kid a complex at such a young age? (BTW: we used the same method to potty train him and it worked beautifully).
So, chip on my shoulder large and intact, I used to laugh bitterly every time that I would head down the baby aisle, where the diapers are so convienently located across from the large display of prepackaged baby foods, because as far as I was concerned, it was all a sham: no one’s kids ate that crap (to be fair, if you saw “Turkey Dinner” all pureed in a jar, the color of vomit AND UNREFRIDGERATED you’d call it crap, too). I picked up some fruits and veggies in July, just to have on hand in the unlikely event that my child would ever allow such stuff to grace his ickle palate. Wouldn’t you know it, my supply of this mushed up food is now nearly depleated.
This has redeemed me in ways that I had never thought possible, because maybe, just maybe the problems with Ben had nothing to do with me in the first place. That might sound like a “Well, duh, Becky” statement, but it isn’t, not really. Parents, especially with their first child, are likely to blame themselves as well have to fend off blame from other people for whatever abnormalities (or as I prefer: personallity) that their children may have.
But since seeing Alexander literally wriggle his ickle body with joy when confronted with yogurt (so much so that I actually checked to ensure that he was not having a seizure. Yes, I’m serious.), I’ve decided that maybe, baby, it had nothing to do with me.
So thank you, Alexander, and thank you Gerber baby foods (which I still contend look awful) for redeeming me in ways I’d never imagined.