Friday, November 14, 2008

"The Crusher"

We've been trying to get Autumn started on finger foods for a while. We're still giving her formula in a bottle and baby food mush, but we're trying to move past that now. That classic standby Cheerios has worked wonders. At first she had difficulty picking them up and sticking them in her mouth due to lack of hand-eye coordination (once I get her started on video games, we'll fix that...), but now she loves them. Due to the success of Cheerios, we tried to move onto other things like green beans, kidney beans, pieces of bread/waffle/pancake, bits of meat, and unsalted pretzels. We try to give her a lot of green beans. Autumn really likes the green bean baby food so we thought that real green beans would be an easy sell. We're using canned green beans so they're slightly mushy and easy to chew with no teeth.

At first she didn't really know what to do with the beans. She'd just shove them around on the high chair tray. It took a few days but soon she started picking up the beans and ate them! For a few days there she was really packing away the green beans. I thought to myself, "Hah, this feeding stuff is easy!" What I didn't know was the Crusher was lurking, waiting to bring destruction to food everywhere.

She hasn't been eating her finger food much lately. That's because the Crusher is in control. I'll put a bean down on her high chair tray and say, "Autumn, do you want to eat your green bean?" I'm hoping that the Crusher doesn't show up today. She briefly looks at me before looking down at the bean. Her little hand lifts and starts toward the bean. Then the Crusher takes over. Her hand stops and the index finger points. This is the first tool of the Crusher. That finger comes down on top of the bean and crushes it to pieces. No food is safe from the crushing finger! I've even seen her launch a Cheerio off the tray like a tiddlywink.

Even if the food doesn't get smashed by the finger, there's a secondary weapon. Autumn will pick some food, say a chunk of bread. She'll bring it to her mouth, maybe even give it a tentative lick to give you hope that she'll eat it. Then that little fist will pull away from her mouth and crush whatever is there. Crumb of bread will fall, beans will squish, nothing is safe from the grasp of the Crusher! I've even seen her add insult to injury when she drops the entire mess over the edge of the tray onto the floor!

I really hope she outgrows this whole crushing thing sometime soon. With her teeth starting to come in, I'd like to see her start eating more table type food and less mush/liquid type stuff. I know that there's still plenty of time, but I'd rather see her eat less food that comes out of a blender.

You have to admit, if she does decide to have a career as a supervillian or a profession wrestler, she's got a great nickname!

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