Wouldn’t it be nice if our education as parents proceeded in an orderly fashion, as if we were following a curriculum planned just for us?
Sometimes it works that way for a first child. When I was pregnant with Dub, I had so much time to research all the different stages of prenatal development, tracking her progress in the womb. Even after she was born, I read, both online and in print, preparing for this beloved child.
Tea is no less beloved, but I have so much less time and energy for intentional learning. His Wonder Weeks, which I noted so carefully with Dub, go sailing by with barely a notice. When he’s particularly clinging and grumpy, I might wonder if he’s experiencing a leap, but for the most part I just let him be.
With Tea, I rely so much more on what I call Eureka Parenting—where we muddle along, then lurch forward suddenly when a flash of insight helps us solve a problem.
When I introduced Dub to solid food, I bought a Vitamix blender, pureed a variety of foods, and froze them in silicone ice cube trays. For each meal, I’d take several cubes from their individually labeled Ziplock freezer bags, microwave them briefly, and educate her palate.
But when Tea reached the same stage, we were living in our RV during the great house search of 2017. The Vitamix, and the ice cube trays, were in a storage unit, and there was no way the RV’s tiny freezer had room for baby food cubes anyway. He ate a lot of scrambled eggs and jarred baby food.
He’s still a picky eater, and last week his pediatrician gave us a list of high calorie foods to feed him, since he’s not gaining weight as well as she’d like.
I’ve been resigned to the fact that he’s likely to continue having a narrow range of foods he will eat—whether that’s innate, or because we missed the food-introduction window.
But here’s the Eureka moment.
Why can’t I make a new window, now? Why can’t I do just the same things as I did with Dub, but at nineteen months instead of six?
No reason at all.
I’m solo parenting at the moment, but when Liesl gets home, I’m planning a big puree-prep day. I’ll start with things I know he likes—yellow sweet potatoes, not orange ones, for example. But I’ll also puree the things he turns away, because he doesn’t like the texture, the smell, or yes, even the color.
It might not work. But it’s worth a try.