A Ceremonial First Meal

3.5.10: Adventures in solid food

Jack 4 months-pediatrician's office-main.jpg

Our experiment with solid food was a total bust. We brought the high chair down from the attic, got out the video camera, mixed up some warm rice cereal, and sat Jack in the chair as our entire family stood by expectantly, excited to witness his ceremonial first meal. Will manned the video camera while Julia stood by with a spoon and Charlie ran around in excited circles. No sooner had Will fired up the video camera and Julia landed a spoonful of glop in Jack’s mouth that the entire meal fell apart. There wasn’t even time to snap a picture. Jack thrust the rice cereal out of his mouth in a mix of disdain and bewilderment. Then, he slumped over in his seat, crying. I tried holding him and spooning some cereal into his mouth with my finger in my desperate attempt to get some food into his belly, hoping that it would help him sleep better, but he just wasn’t buying it. We gave up, resolving to try again in a week or so.

In the meantime, Jack continues to wake up every two hours in the night. He’s obviously going through a huge developmental change, because he wakes up every morning with a whole new bag of tricks. It’s like he’s been in his crib all night rehearsing his baby schtick, waiting to surprise us with his new act at the crack of dawn. One day, he grabbed his feet and weeble-wobbled over onto his side. The next day, he stuck one of his feet in his mouth and chewed on it for a while. The day after, he laid on his back, then flung his entire body over, only to get hung up on an elbow. A day later, he was rolling full-throttle, elbow be damned, landing in his tummy-time position. He did a little baby push-up to boot, which would make me think he was just showing off at that point, if it weren’t for the completely surprised look on his own face.

I took Jack back to the pediatrician for his 4-month well-baby visit this week and learned that… actually... he does have an ear infection, after all. Two of them, in fact. (It was our pediatrician’s day off last week, and apparently the doctor we saw couldn’t yet see any signs of an infection in his ears.) I guess that would explain all the middle of the night fussiness. I guess I wasn’t starving him after all. Now I’m wishing I had listened to my first instinct, despite having the doctor dismiss the idea of an ear infection. So now, instead of trying to spoon rice cereal into the baby’s mouth, I’m trying to squirt in syringes full of pink antibiotics, which Jack thrusts right back out of his mouth with even more disdain than the rice cereal. He ends up choking on the half that manages to slip down his throat, while the other half gets coughed up onto his shirt, my shirt, and the floor. I guess it’s a sign of things to come when we try solid food, take two. Until then, I’m hoping that antibiotics will be the answer to my prayers. A little bit of sleep would do us both a whole lot of good.

Next Week: Settling into a new kind of normal...