Dinner Time, Circus Time

I’ve had to laugh at myself quite a few times over the past couple of weeks when it comes to feeding Davey solids.

My son loves to eat.   When I finally get the food into his mouth, he gladly swallows it down.   It’s just getting the food in the mouth that’s the obstacle course.

When we sit down to eat, there are constant distractions whether it’s the dog, or the ceiling fan, or the birds flying outside, Davey can’t seem to focus on the task at hand…eating.

Nursing him was so much easier.   It didn’t require a lot of effort for either of us.  All Davey has to do is just latch on and then it’s non-stop eating at least until he is full.   Unfortunately, now that he has graduated to solids, it’s a lot more difficult to feed him and I can only assume it’s due in no small part to all the distractions he encounters.

First there’s our dog, who I now must put outside or in another room when it’s time for Davey to eat.   Even if she happily sits by and watches him, he’s much too intent on keeping her gaze on him as opposed to eating.   I’ve even caught him watching me and then when he thought I wasn’t looking, he would slide down in his high chair and reach his arm under the arm of the chair to let our dog lick his hand.   Once, he caught me watching him and smiled devilishly, but didn’t bother to move his hand.

Second, there’s the strap for the high chair.   For some reason, this one little thing is so enticing to Davey, that he’s willing to completely forgo eating just to flip this strap over and over in his hand and inspect it’s every little groove and every little fiber.   It doesn’t change, but it seems to be a new toy for him each day.   I’m not sure if he’s expecting something to happen with the strap or if he sees something new in the mundane piece of brown fabric.   I guess I’m much too narrow-minded, because I can’t possibly imagine wasting away my breakfast, lunch, and dinner time just to inspect a strap!

Of course, we’ve learned that the sound of the television is also a distraction.   It used to be that we could have it on while feeding Davey, but if he hears something then all of his attention immediately turns to it.

Other days, he can be watching me the entire time, with a sort of eat crap grin on his face, but will not once open his mouth.   My husband and I find ourselves performing circus acts just to get him to open his mouth.   It’s like a safe, locked tight.   I’ve pretended to be an airplane.  I’ve sung a Muppet song.  I’ve created my own songs for each feeding time.   I’ve made bubbling, gurgling noises and even have pleaded with him to open his mouth.  I’m concerned that some days I’ve even whistled to him just to get him to look at me and then maybe he will open his mouth.

It’s not that he doesn’t like the food, because he will and has kept his mouth open like a little bird waiting on the spoon.  Not liking the food is NOT the problem.  

I’d love to say I’m so flustered that I’m angry, but I can’t.   Normally, in my previous life, I would have lost all patience with antics such as these.  I would have huffed and puffed, did my best Tom Hanks impersonation via “A League of Their Own”, and even screamed in frustration.  I just can’t do it because when I see my son laughing at me as I try in vain to feed him, I can’t help but laugh as well. 

I’m beginning to wonder; however, if I’ll need to start doing a comic routine or possibly dress in carnie gear just to entice him into eating.   For all of you out there who haven’t experienced the crazy ride of feeding your child solids…just you wait.   I can’t wait to hear what sort of hoops you’ll have to jump through.