Saturday, November 20, 2010

Look Who is (Finally) Eating!

Andrew and I have been working so hard on getting Oliver to eat. His eating habits have typically been this: we dice up something we know he likes, like a turkey dog or a banana, and watch as he eats four tiny pieces of it. We'd give him Cheerios, and he'd eat about 6 and then throw the rest on the floor. We'd give him a waffle, and he'd eat a quarter of it. We'd follow him around with baby food and try to slip in a spoonful when he wasn't paying attention. The boy would not eat, which made me feel bad trying to push his nursing times farther apart.

At Oliver's 12 month appointment, he was at 21 pounds. That's not ridiculously skinny, I know, but it puts him in the 20th percentile.

It sounds stupid, but I get frustrated with people when they comment on his weight. Some people (who see his middle) comment on how skinny he is. He is--you can see his ribs!--but we try so hard to get him to eat! Other people (who notice his cheeks and/or ankles) comment on how chubby he is. This also makes me mad because I just want to say, "But he's not! He won't eat!"

Anyway, finally, finally, Oliver has started eating food this week. He's like a bottomless pit, and I'm not used to it! I'll dice up an inch of turkey dog, and he eats the whole thing. I'll put a handful of Cheerios on his tray, and he eats them all. I put more Cheerios on his tray, and he eats those, too. Then, I think he might need some fat to make him feel full. I put a few ounces of whole milk (organic with no growth hormones) into a sippy cup and hand it to him, and he drinks it down. I'll wait an hour and then open a package of vegetable baby food (he still eats baby food because I get it with WIC), and eats the whole thing (I have to spoon feed him myself again because when I hand him the spoon, all he wants to do is try to spoon out the food from the container--which I let him do sometimes--and won't actually eat any of it).

When I'm eating, I have to constantly hand him bits of my food. He probably eats a quarter of all my meals! It's crazy. Yesterday evening, after a meal of turkey dog pieces, sliced green beans, and Cheerios (so, so many Cheerios), he also got a jar of baby food, and then he ate about a quarter cup of black beans and a few hunks of tomato and tofu from my tacos.

I thought the WIC people and the people at the pediatrician's office were off their rocker when they handed me a list of what Oliver should eat in a day. It would list multiple items for breakfast, like cereals, fruit, and milk, and I thought, "Dude, I'm lucky if he eats more than a spoonful..." Literally, he'd only eat a spoonful of most baby foods, and just a few pieces of finger foods. Of course, I asked them all about it. At WIC, they said, "Just keep offering him foods." At the doctor's office, they said, "He's fine. He knows how much he needs to eat."

Although we never expected Oliver to eat this much, it's such a relief to us that he's eating. We feel like we don't have to stress about cutting back his nursings, and we don't stress about him getting enough nutrition and calories to grow. Hurray to my little man who has discovered the joy of food!

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