Monday, August 08, 2011

on feeding a third baby

I remember well Asher's babyhood. The hours I spent mapping out his daily schedule, the trouble I took to make sure it never wavered. Folding each little onesie just so, packing a baby bag the night before we went anywhere. All outings were planned with careful precision, so as not to disrupt his sleep or feeding times in any way.

Then I had another baby.

Then another.

Enter Emmy, my mildest-mannered child yet, with a more confident mother and a distinctly more haphazard schedule. There is a rhythm to our day together, to be sure. But times? Gosh, I don't know. She takes a nap about 1ish? Or 2ish? Whenever she gets fussy and I have time to put her down. Bedtime? Is more drawn out that I'd prefer, but meh. She'll outgrow it soon enough. Baths? Sure, sometimes. Meals? Wait, you mean I have to plan what she's going to eat?

I knew a family who had a third baby the same time Asher was born. When our babies were eight or nine months old, his mother mentioned that she just threw whatever they were eating in the blender, and that was his dinner. Chinese food was his favorite.

I was appalled.

Now I totally get it.

I used to map out a baby's meals. I knew exactly how many green vegetables, yellow vegetables, and fruits Asher was going to need. I did the MATH (I KNOW) and calculated it on my grocery list. Silas was different; he was allergic to everything, so I just bought sweet potatoes and cereal en masse and we were covered. And now, with Emmy, I never seem to buy enough baby food. We run out every four or five days, and I don't want to go to the grocery store that often, nor do I have the inclination to do anything more than stare into the pantry when it's mealtime and say, "How do mangos sound, baby?"

This was becoming a problem, because my baby girl loves to eat, and I was forever running out of food. Until yesterday, when I remembered - wait a second, I used to MAKE this stuff. How did I forget that? This morning I didn't open a jar of baby food; I mashed up a banana, and voila! breakfast. I was so excited I boiled a potato (thinking AHEAD, even) and mashed it up for her lunch. She was not all that impressed with it, but that's okay. Now that I have remembered I don't have to buy a jar to feed her, I have all manner of fruits and vegetables to give my baby. I can just mash up what is on hand for her to eat. I'll even look like a cool mom while I do it. Look! I make my own baby food.

It's virtuous, trendy, cheap, and requires minimal effort (and no math on my grocery list).

Now that's what I'm talking about.


Danielle said...

It's amazing how many things I did by the book the first time around and now I'm like, oh yeah, you have to eat. Or, oh yeah, you're supposed to take 2 naps a day. And what do you know, #2 is probably more laid back than #1 ever had a chance to be!

And I hear ya about running through the baby food quicker than you can blink your eyes. I sure don't remember that from #1 but I'm sure it happened.

Kendra said...

I like this!

And if it helps at all - there are 5 of us girls in my family, and I think we get easier going as you go down the line. The 5th baby (who just turned 21) is FORCED to go with the flow, so she does it the best out of all of us.