I’m finding it a fascinating experience to discover what is largely unchanged child-to-child, what is unique to each individual person, and just how much I’ve forgotten in three years. Food has to be one of those issues.
Breastfeeding I remembered thinking about. One of the things I dislike about nursing is just how much attention I find myself compelled to pay to it. I suspect this has a lot to do with me and my personality. My brother was commenting the other day just how much time I spend WORRYING about things and planning for things. It’s true — I hardly even notice because I’ve always been like that. But I notice with breastfeeding. I constantly wonder if I’m making enough milk to satisfy, how long it’s been since I last nursed, whether I’ve gone too long and am risking my supply blah blah blah. I think about it all the time. It’s exhausting. I take action on it all the time, too. I am still pumping at work twice a day, almost 6 months after my return.
Well, I’ve set myself a deadline. We’re headed out to Washington in the first week of August, at which point we’ll dump our children onto my parents and decamp. Or rather, camp. I’m planning on backpacking. I don’t see a great way to bring out enough frozen breast milk to provide for Thane while I’m there. And I don’t see a good way to preserve breastmilk while I’m backpacking the West Side of Mt. Rainier. So my plan is this: get Thane sufficiently accustomed to formula so that he can be on that while I’m gone. Bring my breast pump so I don’t totally shut off my supply, but stop worrying about it constantly. And then when I get back, I’m done pumping during the day and Thane can have formula at daycare. We’ll continue nursing when we’re in proximity for as long as it continues working. If this spikes nursing totally, so be it.
Of course, this matters waaaay less than it used to because Thane is getting so much more food from food. What I had forgotten about this stage was how unbelievably messy it is. Cheerios are all well and good, if a cross between a nutritional meal and a projectile weapon. Blueberries are beloved, but risky (nothing stains like blueberry!) But dear me, when the baby food comes out! First of all, Thane objects to not having control of all objects in his proximity. This is true of glasses, necklaces (I haven’t worn a necklace in about two months), noses, toys and spoons. So especially before he’s gotten his first bite, he’ll do a very good impression of an anti-spoon-aircraft battery. Usually he manages to at least hit away the spoon, which dislodges some food, which he promptly grabs with his hand. Then he rubs his eye.
“Ow! Mom! Someone put something in my eye! It hurts!” further evidence, if any was needed, that 8 month olds are not geniuses.
Once I sneak in that first bite (often while he’s protesting the indignity of not being allowed his own spoon), he’ll either decide he loves the food and open up (I always feel like a mommy bird popping worms in my baby’s mouth), or close his mouth tight in protest. Neither one really stops the questing hands.
The result is absolute chaos. He’s usually covered in food. His eyes are covered in food. His tray is covered in food. I’m covered in food (he has this charming habit of blowing raspberries). The floor is covered in food. The sides of the high chair are covered in food. And he’s hitting the tray with a stolen spoon, like some Victorian food protester.
Yeah, I think our babyfood days are limited. Time to start doing more finger foods.