Sunday, October 16th, 2011
I begged Phi to take over today. He lasted 30 seconds. Argh.
I have become a circus performer. Ever since I wrote a few days ago about Fia’s finicky eating, I have taken in your comments like a sponge. My best luck from your tips so far has been the art of distraction. It is exhausting. I dance. I sing. I bark like a dog, moo like a cow, chirp like a bird. I ask her to color. To rip up paper. To bok like a chicken in her highchair. All the while, I shove the food in her mouth. I move from one distraction to another about every 2 minutes. Because it’s about then that she says “All Done.” And I don’t believe her. Usually I’m right. A new distraction gets a new round of eating. I sweat. I go on all fours. I jump. But, it’s working.
Our kitchen has been shipped to LA so we have little to cook with. So the other day I took her to a restaurant. There, since I was a bit embarrassed to hop on one foot like a monkey, I distracted her for 20 minutes with a squirt bottle of hand sanitizer. She kept saying more, I’d squirt, she’d rub her hands together, I’d shove food in her mouth, she’d ask for another squirt. Granted it was the alcohol-free kind, but I kid you not, I went through about 300 squirts. Probably got at least that many calories in her stomach. And lord knows, she had the cleanest hands in Brooklyn. I think I’ll get a water bottle next time and pretend it’s sanitizer.
My resume is going to get updated this weekend. The first line will say Animal Imitator/Circus Performer. Hopefully in a few months, she’ll just eat on her own and I can take that line off. But for now, I’m going to embrace the 3-ring circus that is fast becoming my life. (Wayne being the 3rd ring, as he hungrily eats her crumbs).
The Svelte Scavenger
Categories: Fearless Feisty Mama, Mom Situations, Must Read | Tags: art of distraction, distraction, eating, eating problems, eating tips, feeding problems, food, food problems, picky, picky eater, picky eaters, toddler, Wayne Sanchez
Monday, September 12th, 2011
Okay, this is a shameless post. I’m plugging two things. One is for this week only in New York City. The other is for anyone with an internet connection. So if you’re reading this post, it means you can participate.
First, all about me. I’m hosting an event Tuesday-Friday in Central Park. It’s called Casa Barilla and as the name suggests, it’s all about pasta. The Barilla Family still runs the company, located in Parma, Italy. They decided to set up shop for four days in Central Park. There will be some amazing chefs there, both from Italy and the US, giving cooking tips, teaching the art of olive oil, wine pairing, you name it. Oh, and free food. I’ll be on the main stage with the chefs, narrating and chatting with the audience while they cook. Look for the big pregnant lady shoving food in her face. That’s me. The event is huge. I’m just one small part of it. Admission is $5.00 and proceeds go to the NYC Food Bank. Come visit!
Second Plug/Promotion: The Parents Best Blog Awards. You guys read blogs. I know you do because you’re reading mine right now. So go on the site and nominate your favorite ones, and vote for the ones already there. I’d love to say, “vote for me!” but I can’t. We Parents bloggers are excluded from entering. The website is: http://www.parents.com/blog-awards/mom_blogs. To nominate a site, just enter the site’s name, URL, a brief description of why you love it and indicate which category it best belongs in. It’s that easy.
Okay, that’s all the self promotion for now. Off to eat.
Wednesday, July 20th, 2011
yeah, I know. I gotta tackle the pacifier thing soon....
If there is one thing I am evangelical about in motherhood it’s sleep training. I want to spread the gospel far and wide. I want to convert those who don’t believe. I simply don’t get why moms (or dads) would rather suffer and put themselves through Guantanamo Bay-sleep torture by choice.
In fact, I don’t think you should complain about being tired/up with your baby at 3 a.m. if you choose not to sleep train (this excludes the first few months when you hunker down and deal with it). And there are exceptions: illness, special needs babies, adjusting to travel, etc. But at a certain point if you choose not to sleep train it’s like complaining about you’re unhealthy diet and eating donuts all day. Makes no sense. Especially because you’re not doing your child any favors–I mean, babies need sleep. Humans need sleep. We need uninterrupted sleep. It is essential to life, to our well being.
I didn’t always feel this way. When I first had Fia and my pediatrician suggested letting her cry it out all night, I gasped in horror. And changed pediatricians. By three months I was the walking dead. By four, my husband threatened a padded room and straightjacket. Our strong marriage foundation was getting weaker with each anguished night. Many of my friends had sleep trained. They were gentle with me and would simply say, “If you do it right, it works.” I thought they were monsters.
Categories: Fearless Feisty Mama, Mom Situations, Mom Tricks and Tips, Must Read | Tags: baby, baby napping, baby sleeping, boob, bottle, bottle-feeding, cried, cry it out, crying, eating, Ferber, Ferberizing, fussy, nap, pregnancy, pregnant, sleep, sleep associations, sleep training, sleep training methods, sleepy planet, torture
Friday, June 17th, 2011
Okay, what the f–k is the deal with Elmo?
I’ve put on television before. Besides our mutual love of Lee Goldberg, she really has shown no interest in it. But then, a few weeks ago, I decided to put on Sesame Street. Within seconds I had a full-fledged addict on my hands. I used to have to drag her outside to get away from Wayne Sanchez. She became obsessed with his tail and he in turn, became obsessed with using his claws….on her. Now I have to leave because of that furry red thing. She’ll stand there pointing, begging for me to turn on the TV. She’ll whine, then wail, then flop on the floor kicking. I try to distract her with books, toys, even Wayne. Nothing works. Not only that, but now every word in her vocabulary is replaced with that annoying four letter one. She just learned “elbow.” I kept hoping she was just practicing that. But who points to a turned off TV, shrieks and flails because of a body part?
Now if this were a character created by Disney, I would absolutely insist there is some sort of creepy conspiracy. However, it’s PBS. Nevertheless, there are surely conspiracy theorists out there who think Elmo is programmed deep inside the US government to make our children, well, I don’t know. Something. Because this addiction is just downright weird.
Categories: Fearless Feisty Mama, Must Read | Tags: addiction, addiction to television. toddler addiction, baby, Big Bird, characters, conspiracy, Disney, eat, eating, Elmo, Intervention, Lee Goldberg, New York Times, Sesame Street, Sesame Street characters, television, time, toddler, tv, tv addiction
Saturday, November 27th, 2010
From the beginning of her bottle life, Fia took it like a champ. So much so, that even after she turned one, I was apparently feeding her too much formula. Truth is, the bottle became my crutch. If she didn’t eat enough real food I’d get nervous that she would be hungry, so I’d give her one. It was quite enlightening when I recently took her to the pediatrician for her one-year appointment.
Here’s how the conversation with Dr. TJ Gold began:
“How’s her appetite?”
“Well, I’m still giving her about 32 ounces a day of formula. Real food is kinda hit or miss.”
A stern stare. I continue.
“She gets picky at the table and I worry that she’s not eating enough, so I fill her up however I can.”
Dr. Gold nods knowingly, as if saying, yeah, I’ve seen this before.
“And do you also run around while she plays trying to put food in her mouth?” she asks.
“YES!” I exclaim, thinking she “gets” it. She understands how picky babies are. I continue: “I run around the exersaucer chucking cheese into her mouth. I run after her through the living room, shoving saltines in. Anything I can get her to eat and any way I can do it.“ I beam, waiting for the sign of approval.
Dr. Gold clears her throat and she says something to me that was a game changer for me.
“Terrible Two’s happen because of parenting choices made during the 1’s.”
She continues, “And it’s much harder to reverse bad behavior than to just begin with good behavior.”
Look, I feel like I’m a fairly reasonable, somewhat smart and aware person. And I’ve read the range of babybooks—from Dr. Sears to Babywise. But in this scenario, for whatever reason, my mom instincts were off. I’m sure it stems from my primal need for sleep and my irrational fear that she’ll start waking up in the night hungry if she doesn’t get enough during the day. Whatever the cause, I’m so so so glad Dr. Gold stopped me cold in my tracks and reversed my behavior. It immediately made a difference, and continues to nearly a month later. Here is a recap of what I learned:
You feed your baby broccoli one day, the next day she flicks it off her tray and refuses to eat it. You try pasta, which you know she likes. And oops, there goes the flick again. She isn’t interested in any of the usual staples. Desperate, you scour your fridge. Yogurt and applesauce. The sweet stuff. You pull it out, try it on her, and voilà, she eats it. Guess what? You’ve just been had and your baby just won a major battle. Continue like this, and soon she’s the master. And you’re the servant, scrambling to find food she’ll eat.
“Picky eaters are formed by this exact scenario,” Dr. Gold tells me. They know if they flick food off, eventually mom will come running to their rescue with something sweet.
Then she gave me a very healthy warning. “This is also how you end up with a 2-year old who can’t sit still at a restaurant. And it’s how you start to lose your edge as a parent. “
“But, what do I do?” I say, wringing my hands. “If she won’t eat, then she’ll wake up in the night, and next thing you know, I’m dealing with a newborn schedule again!!”
Not true, says Dr. Gold. Mealtime is very specific. You put her in the highchair, TV off, time to focus and you feed her. If she flicks her food, you stop feeding. Take her down. Wait 30 minutes. Try again. She’s not going to starve. When she’s hungry enough, she’ll eat.
She also told me to switch to whole milk and cut down to 16 ounces a day max.
At the visit, Fia was in the 10th percentile for weight, 48th for height. While Dr. Gold wasn’t a bit worried, I swear Fi fattened up within 3 days following her instructions. It was a remarkable shift. And now, she literally eats everything. And lots of it. When she sees me setting her food out, she toddles up to her highchair and throws her arms in the air, begging to go in it. A far cry from me running around in circles, chasing her while shoveling bits of food in her mouth.
Every baby is different, so this might not work for you, but I just thought I’d share my own experience. My new and improved routine goes like this:
7am – She wakes up. I give her a 6 oz bottle of whole milk.
8:30-9am – Breakfast. Yogurt, toast with peanut butter, banana, etc. Sippy cup with water and a splash of OJ.
11am – Lunch. Chickpeas, rice, chicken, mac and cheese….whatever I’m eating. I just cut it up in small pieces.
1-2pm – Small bottle. Snack.
5-6pm – Dinner. Again, whatever we’re going to eat.
6:30pm – Bath time.
7pm – Book and 6 oz bottle. Baby sleeps through night.
Categories: Fearless Feisty Mama, Mom Tricks and Tips | Tags: advice, appetite, baby, baby bottle, baby food, baby formula, bottle, eat, eating, flinging food, food, formula, hungry, hungry baby, milk, picky, picky eaters, poor appetite, terrible two's