Friday, June 05, 2009

Feeding Frenzy

One thing I’ve noticed about my youngest is that she’s not fundamentally opposed to food, just that she has an aversion to feeding herself. I can sit next to her and spoon an entire container of yogurt into her, or a full serving of Annie’s mac and cheese, or little bites of pizza, but if left with the food on a plate before her, the food never makes it into her mouth. Her arms just hang loosely at her sides, like they aren’t even a part of the eating process.

The funny thing is, when she was a baby, she hated being fed. She was a good nurser, loved snagging drinks out of her sister’s sippy cup of milk, but as soon as I got her into her high chair and put a bowl of mush in front of her, there was no way it was going down. She’d hit the spoon away, turn her head away, or just clamp her mouth shut. Back in those days, she preferred to feed herself. If I cut up pieces of fruit, cheese and made a pile of frozen peas on her plate, she’d happily browse the buffet, popping food into her mouth to gum down.

Now, she likes to stop by the kitchen during lunch to have a few bites of whatever sandwich her dad has made for lunch, or pause next to my salad bowl at dinner and ask me to feed her a piece of avocado, and she’ll even let her sister feed her with a fork (one of the cutest things to watch). But food sitting listlessly on a plate holds no appeal to her. Occasionally I’ll forget the new deal, that feeding her, almost two years after I quit trying, is now back in favor, and she’ll turn to me and say, “Mommy, will you feed me?” And the truth is, since I never got a chance to spoon-feed her as a baby, I don’t even mind. For now…

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