Archive for the ‘ Food ’ Category

Teeth Talk

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

We’re all about choppers over here. Vera got her first tooth. Yay! Also: Roy’s into biting us. Boo!

Little girl’s been pretty drooly for the past couple of months. She’s also ferociously gumming anything she can stuff into her mouth. It seemed a bit early to me, but it’s hard to argue with such signals.

Then last weekend, at five months and one week, her first tooth broke through. Bottom right. The second one, right next to it, appeared a couple of days later. Do you think it’s a coincidence that on that very night, she finally and mercifully slept until 4 AM? 4 AM, you guys! She celebrated with a magnificent blowout, which necessitated a complete wipedown and outfit change, followed by over an hour of uninterrupted screeching, cooing and kicking. While I, personally, would prefer a celebration that involved MORE SLEEP, I’ll take it. It was actually pretty cute.

Which leads us to something that’s the opposite of cute. Our sweet, gentle little two-year-old has taken to frustrated explosions, wherein he’ll thrash and scratch and scream like a, well, like a two-year-old.

But sometimes, there is biting. He’ll be so obviously bursting with emotion, over a “no,” or a naptime, or a similar shift in his world that’s not to his liking, and he’ll clench his teeth and growl and come at you, clearly intent on chomping down. Hard.

At first Clint was his sole (and intermittent) target. Eventually, I was fair game, too. We dealt with each bite as it happened, depending on that moment’s state of mind, mostly trying to minimize our reactions, because we figured that negative attention is attention. Things escalated.

Finally, about a week ago, he bit me so incredibly hard that I lost it. Declared I’d had enough and that this was going to stop. Sure, I hated getting hurt. But even more frustrating was watching my little guy’s emotions continue to boil up and over, and not being able to help. Clearly we needed a new tactic. Or, more accurately, a tactic, period.

That night, after a flurry of Googling, I wrote on a piece of paper: “We don’t bite. Biting hurts.” I set it on the kitchen island, so Clint and I could commit it to memory. From there on out, whenever Roy bit (or tried to bite) one of us, we looked him in the eye and calmly and firmly said it: “We don’t bite. Biting hurts.” Then we plopped him on the nearest chair and told him he could get up when he was ready with an apology and a kiss.

I noticed a few things. 1) I was easily able to stay calm, because I knew exactly how to respond. 2) Roy almost always apologized immediately and genuinely. 3) Within just a day or two, the biting all but stopped. Ideally, I wouldn’t have to type “all but” in that sentence, but again, I’ll take it. Perfection doesn’t seem to have much of a place in parenting.

Too bad this tactic doesn’t work on infants, though. Those two jagged little whitecaps hurt!



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Starting Solids

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

At Vera’s four-month appointment, the doctor mentioned that a little rice cereal in her belly might help her start sleeping through the night again. I just couldn’t bear it. Roy started solids at 6 months old, and I assumed I’d wait that long with the chunky monkey, too.

And then I didn’t get a decent night’s sleep for another month and thought, What the hell? Let’s give it a shot.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have an eater:

Rice cereal went over well last weekend. She’s still deciding about banana, which we sampled this week. Avocado and sweet potato, purchased today, are next in line. It’s a new era.

Part of my hesitancy last time was that feeding a baby in a manner that did not involve simply attaching her to my boob sounded like so much work. Choosing the right foods, plus the right amounts, plus watching for allergies, plus using the correct BPA-free eating equipment, plus choosing a proper eating space, plus finding the time, plus cleaning up a new mess. And so on. The “eating thing” loomed, ready to topple what little hard-won confidence about kid-having we’d finally established those first few months.

Once we dove in, it was actually pretty fun. We made our own food. Roy and I would cruise the local farmers’ market for in-season possibilities, then drag the haul home, where Clint and I would cook and puree it, then freeze the leftovers in ice cube trays for future use. We’ll do the same for Vera.

Hopefully she’ll show her appreciation by sleeping through the damn night.

When did you introduce solids? Why?

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Time Magazine Breastfeeding Cover: Get Over It.

Friday, May 11th, 2012

Maybe it’s just because I’m currently nursing, but I’m surprised that the Time magazine breastfeeding cover (at right) is causing such a stir. Top Google search? Newspapers across America? Entertainment Tonight? Really? This is the most-talked about topic out there right now?

First off, Time sure knows how to get our attention. I get glances while discreetly nursing my tiny three-month-old under a blanket in public. Throwing a hot young mama up there openly attached to not young child? Yes. People are gonna talk. More than even I expected. All this press, and from what I can tell, the issue hasn’t even hit newsstands yet.

That said, I’m not going to comment on attachment parenting, which is what the cover is actually addressing. (I do have Beyond the Sling, by Mayim Bialik, aka TV’s Blossom, waiting in the reading pile at the moment, so we’ll resurrect that thread when I finish it, hopefully sometime before my kids leave for college, dammit.)

But I can comment on breastfeeding past a certain age. Before I had a child, I’d decided nursing was for babies. Meaning small children with no teeth or verbal skills. It was a knee-jerk opinion based solely on the feeling I got when I saw grown children actually ask for the boob, then climb onto mom’s lap on their own to get at it. If the kid can ask for it, I thought, they shouldn’t be getting it anymore.

I’ve said this before, and I’m sure I’ll say it again: And then I had kids.

I’ve written about my own nursing experience on this blog before, most notably on my post about weaning, but to recap: Before I had my first, I didn’t even want to breastfeed. I told myself I’d give it three weeks, for the health of the baby and whatnot. I ended up nursing Roy until he was a year and a half old. By that time, it was limited to before and after bedtime, but still. You better believe he was able to ask for it.

He wasn’t as old as the kid pictured. But he was a lot older than I ever figured he’d be while still nursing. The experience pushed me into the “To Each Her Own,” breastfeeding camp. I know that’s often the theme of this blog, but it can’t be helped because it’s what I believe. We are different people, raising different kids, and no one has the one-size-fits-all magic formula. We need to quit judging and concentrate on trying to figure out what’s truly best for ourselves and our kids.

Meaning that at this point in my life, when I’ll nurse my child while getting my hair washed at a salon without batting an eye, this cover doesn’t bother me one little bit. You? If it does bother you, especially, I’d love to hear exactly why.



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Happy Birthday to My Big Two-Year-Old

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

Two years ago at this very moment, I’d been experiencing contractions for roughly 24 hours. Little did I know, I was still far from done. They would strap on the oxygen. They would try the vacuum not once, not twice, but three times—unsuccessfully. They would coach me through four hours of pushing, and even hang a little jungle gym-type setup over my hospital bed to help. They would quietly give in and summon back-up, declaring it c-section time. Then, finally, before back-up could arrive, my son would enter the world, wide-eyed and calmly alert from the very beginning.

We threw his big birthday bash last Saturday. To ensure he’d nap, we kept it a secret. (We learned our lesson after having to tackle Christmas Eve napless due to excitement.) Once he woke up, people started arriving, and he just could not believe it. Grandma & Papa Buckner drove up from Iowa, and his Birthday Brother Vincent drove down from Duluth. (Happy birthday today, too, little Vinny!). Plenty more grandmas and papas and aunties and uncles and friends filled the house.

We had pizza and corn on the cob (for some reason, that’s all the kid wanted for his birthday—corn on the cob) and cupcakes. Being the center of attention during the birthday song really isn’t his bag. He’d rather run around getting one-on-one time with all his favorite peeps. Which he did, happily, until everyone went home. Every day since, he’s talked about all the great people who came to his party. That, and the corn on the cob.

Today, on his actual birthday, he’s having cupcakes at daycare with his friends. We’ve got a few presents to open tonight, and we’ll do a repeat of his birthday party meal, from cupcake to corn. I’m sure we’ll cap it off with a bubble bath. Maybe an extra book or two at bedtime. Kickin’ it two-year-old style.

Dinner will unfold at about the same time, two years ago, that I finally held him and instantly knew that the previous 30-some hours were completely worth it. Worth him—my sweet, easygoing little hugger, bookworm, truck aficionado and corn-on-the-cob lover. My sweet little baby boy.

I love you so much, Roy. More than you’ll ever know.

(P.S. I’m still pregnant.)


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Tags: | Categories: Food, Love And Diapers, Musings

Encouraging Adorable Mispronounciations

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

So you know how when your toddler says something incorrectly, you’re not supposed to outright correct, but rather to repeat what he or she said, demonstrating the proper pronunciation? That’s the advice I remember, anyway. It makes sense. It’s positive and kind and responsibly educational. Perfect. Except that some words are just too cute to correct.

So cute that I find it’s not good enough to simply leave them uncorrected. I irresponsibly promote their use, keeping the proper pronunciation from Roy like a secret. For example, I desperately wanted him to make it to preschool, at least, calling pizza peetzi. It was the way the word first slipped out of his mouth once it’d had a chance to knock around in his developing brain, and it killed me. Especially when spoken in his squeaky toddler dialect, which pounds every word into a compact question. And so pizza was banned under this roof. Peet-zi? was the new house pronunciation.

Only, somehow, Roy adopted the true version. Dammit, daycare and its promotion of proper diction and whatnot. I held out for a week or so, hoping he’d switch back, which succeeded only in my sounding like an overinvolved kindergarten teacher on Valium. Peet-zi? is now simply part of on an ongoing list, including cuckoo? (cookie) and didi? (Nico, our dog), that we’ll lovingly trot out when he’s teenager, despite any eye-rolling. Or perhaps because of it.

Currently, I’m safeguarding roni-pepper? (aka pepperoni—I swear we have a diverse diet over here) and payter? (caterpillar) while Clint’s doing his part to prolong doh-doze? (bulldozer). We can dream, anyway.

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