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Sydney, Australia
My musings and meanderings on childhood - mine juxtaposed with that of my kids'. Everyday incidents and images from our life in Sydney turn my thoughts towards my own wonder years growing up in Bandra, Bombay, India.

16 April 2008

Feeding Fiascos

‘My lips are sealed’ - that’s Caitlyn’s stance against eating solids. Ever since she turned six months, I’ve been fighting a losing battle to feed her. The score so far: Caitlyn = 37; Mummy = 7.

My daily feeding ritual goes like this:
Peel, cube, steam, mash, puree the apple/pear/carrot/sweet potato/insert any veggie or fruit you can think of.
Sit Caitlyn in her new highchair.
Put on her bib (I made the mistake of forgetting to put it on once – never again!).
Pretend to eat her food, with lip-smacking noises et al, so as to tempt her.
Offer spoon to Caitlyn.
Offer declined with stony-faced resolve.
Start singing ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star’, followed by ‘When You’re Happy and You Know It’ and ‘The Wheels of the Bus’.
Caitlyn gurgles in response to my song ‘n’ dance show.
I try to sneak a spoonful of food into her mouth.
Food is spat out a nanosecond later.
“Eat. Your. FOOD.” I tell her in my ‘Don’t-Mess-With-Mummy’ voice.
She glares back, unblinking.
Fifteen minutes of cajoling, distractions, bribes, pleading, praying follow…
I capitulate.
She acknowledges her victory by pumping her little feet and hands in glee.
I sop up the mess.
And the food goes down the drain – yet again.

Oh, she’s great one for giving me false hope… The other day I was in a mall when I noticed her staring at my chicken avocado sandwich. So I put a little avo on her tongue; she couldn’t get enough of it. Of course, I bought four avocados with glorious visions of Caitlyn licking her bowl clean. She clenched her jaws shut.

And last week, at Mothers’ Group, she ate every morsel of her apple and pear puree – all a big act in front of her audience. When I tried to give her the same thing at home, I got a look of pure disdain.

Today, my Artful Dodger perfected the art of turning her head away at the precise second I aimed a spoon at her mouth, thus ensuring that the carrot puree stained my clothes/the sofa/the carpet/her cheeks/all of the above a brilliant shade of orange. So long as it went anywhere but in her mouth.

If only her mother could show such steely resistance towards all things edible!

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