yesterday was oliver's 8 month birthday and the day i had agreed we could start solids.
after picking up a new camera battery and taking him for his first walk around the playground and deco boathouse at white rock lake, we came back home so i could get to work. i pulled out all the fancy, non-baby friendly dishes people had given him and washed them. i peeled the sweet potato, cubed it, and set the stove's ray gun to Boiled Mush.
brian and i scarfed down our dinner and i hooked oliver up for his last feed as an exclusively breastfed baby. sigh. we rigged up his little booster seat at the table and put all our cameras at the ready.
there was nothing left to do.
i tossed a chunk of squishy sweet potato on to his little silver duck plate and slid it over. after redirecting his attention from chewing on the beak, he realized there was something else there. he pointed at it and pointed at it and i coaxed and coaxed until he finally did the inevitable: grabbed it and went straight for the mouth.
oliver's tongue retreated and his lips pursed up as if we had just fed him peppered lemon slices in battery acid sauce. two minutes later, the memory continued to persist as displayed through his periodic heebie jeebies. he spent more time chewing on the table and his eating accoutrements than anything else.
despite my erroneous hopes that this would be a relatively tidy encounter, well... it wasn't. little bits of sweet potato were pervading a two foot perimeter at speeds i never knew tubers could travel. gravity was also having its way and the floor was reeking of the consequences. but we persisted until the baby was in obvious discomfort and ready to get the hell away from it all. i waved the white flag in the name of not giving him an eating disorder his first time out and put the remaining 99.98% of the sweet potato in the fridge to torture him with later.
for dessert, i had an apple so that i could try to give him a wedge to chew on. i know you're supposed to wait up to a week before introducing a new food, but i felt that he hadn't exactly consumed much of anything so far. well, he was having none of my chunks. me and my chunks could hit the road as far as he was concerned. every time i took another bite, he would rise up in his activity center on his toes and flutter his arms about as if to warn me. but, as it turned out, if daddy offered him the entire apple, it must be okay. then it became a lady-and-the-trampish game of mommy with the apple in her mouth holding the baby while the baby alternated between pointing at the apple and slamming his mouth into it. but he still didn't eat any.
all that time we've spent in restaurants and at home eating while constantly prying his hands away from our food seems to have been in vain. apparently, the most effective way to have kept him out of it would have been to let him see what he was missing.
here's something almost as fancy: monday night, i decided to finally toss some vegetarian cheese slices that have been sitting in the butter drawer since we moved in a year ago. holy penicillin. i had no idea vegetarian cheese slices could do this...
it turned into raw chicken.