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.