Bottles are for Suckers

About a week ago, Mr. O picked Chick up from daycare and they mentioned that he hardly took any bottle at all. At first they thought he is just going off breast milk. A weird idea to me, but one I welcomed since… well, I’m so over pumping. Nursing is fine, but this ‘round the clock business while I’m at work is cramping my style.

So we upped the formula and thought that would be the beginning of the end. It was, alright… the end of my SANITY.

You see, Chick hasn’t gone off breast milk. Au contraire, mon ami- Chick still loves boob time. What he has turned his back on is bottles. He will drink at most 6 oz over the course of the day from a bottle. Attempts to get him to drink more are futile unless he goes right to the source, i.e. me.

(Before you ask, yes I have tried to introduce sippy cups. #epicfail)

After some back and forth with Chick’s doctor, we’ve determined the best path forward is to make sure he is eating more solids, and more high calorie foods. So rather than preparing one lunch and two snacks for him every day, I’m making three god damn meals for him to take to daycare. This does not include breakfast and dinner which are served at home.

I’m making this little despot angel 5 meals a day. 5 MEALS!

I spent 4 hours chopping, steaming, mushing, and freezing food yesterday. Not only that, the added pressure of varying flavor combinations and textures. Butternut squash, apples and farro, butternut squash, golden beets and brown rice, golden beets, zucchini and pasta, zucchini and pear, sweet potatoes and black beans, avocado, black beans and quinoa… LENTILS! Lentils and pear and farro, lentils, apple and quinoa, lentils and sweet mother of pearl…

After hours in the kitchen making his meals for the week and then making our dinner for the night, I sat down with Mr. O and Chick. My one concession to this whole thing is that when Chick is at home, he is eating whatever we are (or some version thereof.) Last night, Mr. O and I were eating pork loin, lentil salad, and sauteed fiddleheads. Chick was eating some of the lentils, pork, and freshly prepped pears.

Chick hated it. All of it.

Now, maybe it was the hours of standing and cooking in the kitchen, which is exhausting under any circumstances. Maybe it was the indignity of having spent all that time making food only to have Chick reject it. After caving and giving him some stupid Happy Baby Organics packet usually reserved for emergencies, I asked Mr. O to take him for 10 minutes. I went to my bedroom and cried.

I have not been this frustrated since Chick was 2 months old, ironically also around food. It was the final nursing of the evening and Chick was still hungry. Mr. O was taking a bit longer than Chick would have liked heating up the bottle, and he just sat in my arms crying. So I cried. We both cried. It felt desperate, but also glorious in a weird way. There is something really liberating about admitting to misery.

It isn’t all bad, of course. While I was in the midst of my cooking marathon, Chick hung out in the kitchen with me playing with books, eating scraps, and banging on the floor with a pastry brush. I loved watching his face light up when he turned to the pages in his book, or when his faced turned after eating a raw piece of zucchini. But after this weekend, I’m going to seriously consider supplementing his lunch box with some store bought options… I’d rather spend my weekends with my baby than making food for him.

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12 comments

  1. Molly · May 16, 2016

    I really feel your frustration here. I spent HOURS cooking for C this weekend, and mostly all she wants to eat is grapes and blueberries. She won’t TOUCH any of the 40 damn meatballs I prepared. Do you freeze much? I made a giant batch of quinoa this weekend and froze it in 1-cup portions. I also discovered last week that C looooves cottage cheese, which is at least some easy protein (if you have a kid who can handle dairy). I thought the stress of feeding this kid was in the past, but apparently not!

  2. thebarrenlibrarian · May 16, 2016

    I’m so sorry. Charlie and I had a goddamn battle over a baby food pouch today. And I can never get her to take enough liquids from a cup during the day to get enough miralax, so every other day she’s constipated. I feel like I feed her the same foods over and over again because I know she’ll eat them and they won’t worsen the constipation.

    charlie won’t take a bottle or a sippy cup, but she will take a straw cup. She actually will drink a ton if we’re out shopping, but I can only walk around Target so many times in one week before my bank account looks sad.

    • thecommonostrich · May 17, 2016

      With some emotional distance from Sunday night’s rejection, I think it was the pork that did him in. He hasn’t really liked the consistency of meat. I’m fully expecting to get to his one year check up in a month and have them tell me he is underweight and iron deficient. (Of course, you know he’ll be just fine, and I’m freaking out over nothing… as one does.)

      STRAW CUP. Must try one of those. I mean, what’s the worst thing that happens? He rejects it completely, which is just about where we are now anyway.

      I do love how Charlie will drink more when you’re out shopping- it’s a level of diva I could totally get on board with!

      • thebarrenlibrarian · May 17, 2016

        It’s crazy. She’ll also drink more in her car seat, which is probably against some rule but dude-anything that gets her meds in her is ok with me.

  3. My Perfect Breakdown · May 16, 2016

    This does not sound like fun! I’m sorry it’s such a struggle! I have absolutely no advice, but just wanted to let you know I hope Chick feeding habits don’t cause you this much stress for too long.

    • thecommonostrich · May 17, 2016

      Eeeh… I think it was just a bad day. He went on to eat really well yesterday, particularly overjoyed with the zucchini, squash, and ramen noodle combo last night. I mean, he STILL won’t take a bottle and nursed for 20 minutes this morning. Babies are Beyonce-level divas sometimes. (Said with nothing by love for Queen Bey.)

  4. g2the4thpower · May 17, 2016

    Ohhh dear I’m sorry to say it, but it’s only the beginning! Toddler years are fab for food related struggles. I’m only starting to get into the food groove with my wee one, but I’m sure the struggles are just around the corner. Hang in there!! Your efforts will not be wasted, btw. As much as the toddler time was a struggle for for, our little 3.5 yr old eats SO well compared to others her age. Keep doing what you’re doing. You’re on the right track. He’ll come back around. Xx

    • thecommonostrich · May 17, 2016

      I do try to remember that what they eat early on helps imprint good eating habits down the road. No, really… there is some really interesting research that what we eat as small children becomes our go-to-comfort food for the rest of our lives. I would rather that be butternut squash in all its many forms than, say, fish sticks.

      In the meantime, SERENITY NOW.

  5. AdoptiveBlackMom · May 18, 2016

    Baby drama! I have really got to step my diva game up. Going things smooth out soon!

    • thecommonostrich · May 18, 2016

      According to Chick, it just requires refusing everything put in front of you and crying a lot. Oh, and possibly mushing food in your hair. 😉

      • AdoptiveBlackMom · May 18, 2016

        Um, see the way my life is set up right now…I can do that. Yep, I can definitely do that.

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