In the past fortnight, Moo has gone from zero to hero on the weaning front. I was steadfastly counting up to 183 days, but a slightly unnerving trip to the GP about reflux and weight gain (or lack thereof) saw me throw caution to the wind and give her a bit of soggy shredded wheat to have a go at.
This first meal had an ulterior motive, as it would also prove pretty swiftly whether she had an intolerance to dairy or not. The term “CMPA” had been bandied about by the GP as another potential cause of all the sick and negative centile plotting, which had me reeling as it meant I might have to give up my mild to moderate chocolate habit. I figured direct exposure to cows milk would show me the lay of the land, and I’m pleased to report that she showed absolutely no ill effects. Great, just my crappy, acidic, indigestible milk then. Pass me that Kinder Beuno, would you?
I hadn’t quite anticipated how quickly she’d cotton on to the fact that food is wonderful. The first couple of days, she struggled with her hand-eye coordination and scooted some elusive goodies around her Bumbo tray, getting more and more pissed off. Then, once she’d honed the wide fist grab ‘n’ shove technique, she was well away.
I’d had visions of leisurely whipping up some batches of savoury muffins for the freezer, making two-ingredient banana pancakes for breakfast, and doing some chunky chicken goujons in a light herby batter that the whole family could enjoy. No time for any of that shit – I was scrabbling about in the depths of the cupboards for baby-gut friendly morsels while she shouted at me and beat the Bumbo drum like a Texan tycoon in a titty bar.
My plan for introducing her to vegetables, carbs, meat and finally fruit went straight out of the window when I was eating breakfast on Day 2, and breastfeeding her simultaneously. I became aware of a little sticky hand, departing from its usual resting place under my armpit, creeping up over the rim of my cereal bowl. Without so much as a by your leave, she’d unlatched herself from me, pinched a fistful of bran flakes, gobbled them up, and vacuumed herself back onto my nipple for a milky chaser. Then off she popped again, this time going for a couple of blueberries.
On Day 3, we went to a well-known restaurant chain popular with the Wurzels, and I wrongly assumed that she’d be content sucking on a slice of cucumber from the salad wagon. But no – all eyes were on my ¼ roast chicken. I peeled away the skin (good mum points, go me!) and gave her a chunk, which she deftly mauled into submission with her gums, before looking wistfully at my husband’s burger and smashed avocado relish. Alright love, steady on.
Day 4 demonstrated some defiance to the laws of physics, when I placed a bowl of chopped fruit some two feet away from where she was sitting with some toys. I busied myself with putting some washing away, and when I turned back to her, she had conjured the bowl onto her lap and was smiling up at me, with the entrails and juice of an overripe peach all over her face. The girl was proving herself to be a bottomless pit. “This is alright!” I thought. “I’m sure it wasn’t this easy first time around.”
About 30 minutes after Operation Peach, I noticed an ominous yellow patch creeping up the edges of her vest. Ah, yes, I’d rather forgotten this bit. All the poo, in all the textures and colours of the rainbow. We’re averaging about five poos a day now: real rotten, vile cowpats. We’re also cleaning up no end of smeared footstuffs from every surface including ourselves. The table is once again becoming encrusted with cereal, and we’re constantly retrieving bits of mangled dinner from her neck folds. We’re yet to find something that she doesn’t like, and any day now we’re going to lose the battle with Mouse, who furtively attempts to feed her sister biscuits when we’re not looking.
Anyway, I’d best crack on. I have 80 courgettes in the fridge that I need to grate and turn into fritters, and I daren’t keep her waiting. You know how she gets.
– SJW August 2016