Sunday, May 10, 2009

Peeper Wows the Family

We had lunch with Shrike's family today, and I must confess to being rather apprehensive about it, since her parents have been, shall we say, a bit doubtful about the baby-led approach that we're taking to introducing her to solid foods.

I guess my biggest fear was that she would gag on something, everyone would freak out about her OMG!!!CHOKING!!! and they'd be sure that we were trying to kill her.

Of course, I do let my imagination get away with me at times.

Here's what happened . . .

We were running late, of, course, and everyone was already eating when we arrived, but we got Peeper set up with her hang-on-the-table highchair and placemat and baked/roasted veggies - carrot (likes that), red bellpepper (a bust, too floppy to manage) and sweet potato (first time - a HUGE hit) - and banana and crackers and tried to be nonchalant about it.

We were sitting across from Shrike's sister's ex and his girlfriend (long story - very friendly divorce), and her aunt anduncle, so that was pretty non-threatening.

I started handing Peeper pieces of food, and she stuck them in her mouth and ate them.

And everyone was AMAZED!

The people right by us started asking how long she'd been on solid foods (A WEEK? IS THAT ALL!?!) and what's she eating (SWEET POTATO?! CARROT?! CRACKER?!) and so on.

Shrike's parents were asking a few questions about what she was eating, and I told them, ever so nonchalantly, and then her grandma asked THE question:

"Won't she choke?"

So I talked briefly about gagging versus choking, and "sure she gags some, and that just moves the food back to the front, so she can spit it out, or chew it some more - but she gags more on her thumb!" and Grandma seemed satisfied.

She was very "Well, I never did see such a thing!" but in amazement, not with disapproval.

She commented that her kids started on purees, and I reminded her at they were a lot younger when they started eating then, and they had to do purees, but now that they don't start solids at all until 6 months, they can start with finger foods.

Shrike's mom asked "Well, how will she learn about the spoon?" and I was genuinely confused and didn't answer right away, because I was thinking in terms of learning to be spoon-fed and my answer would be "Why does she need to?" but then she clarified "How will she learn to use a spoon?"

So, I said, "Oh, like this!" and opened her cute little plastic spoon/fork carrying case (thank you UncleBabyBro and HerLovelyAunt for that Christmas gift!) and chopped a bit of banana and put it on the spoon and handed it to her and she put it in her mouth.

And the room burst into applause . . . .

Okay, perhaps that is a bit of exaggeration, but not by much - and everything else is absolutely true!

Then Shrike's mom said, "Well, I have to eat my words. I thought it was crazy, but she's doing great with it. I was wrong."

Let me tell you something, folks:

To hear, from your mother-in-law, that "I thought [insert your parenting choice here] was crazy, but I see how well it's working out, and I was wrong, and you were right," is one of the best Mother's Day gifts that a new, slighty insecure Mama can get.

Then, after we left there, Peeper took us out to dinner and we ordered her half an avocado and she literally attacked it.


Wore it head-to-toe, but loved it and panicked when she finished/dropped one piece until I gave her the next.

I sent Shrike to the car for the leftover veggies and crackers and she ate most of that, too.

("ate" = ate the end of the piece, smushed the middle, dropped the rest. . . )

She was sitting on the table, covered in avocado and shoveling more in.

Every member of the wait staff (and her boyfriend, the manager - he stops to goo-goo at her everytime we're there) came by and commented in amazement.

One waitress mentioned "that's going to be really good for her skin, some people pay a lot for an avocado mask at the spa." .

Then I changed all her clothes in the bathroom and we went to Target and bought, among other things, an avocado slicer, because I think we will be serving them rather often and they sure are a mess to handle!


What say you?