My son Tristan has always been a good eater. From the time he first started with baby-cereal up through fruit smoothies and blended delicacies. I would put food on his little spoon, move it towards his little face, he would open his little mouth and before you knew it, he was done with his little meal. It was quick and clean.
Then along came Cheerios. Like crack for a junkie, Cheerios became the center of my son’s life. All meals began and ended with the tiny oat circles. They were perfect. Easy for him to pick up, easy to chew and most importantly, easy to clean up after.
The boy would have his fill of Cheerios and then we would move on to the “real meal”. What a great routine right? At least that’s what I thought. So I was surprised when a few weeks ago the boy decided to mess with the perfect system. He no longer wanted to be fed. He also began to get frustrated with what choices he was given. He wanted just one thing.
No fruits, no vegetables no ground up chicken or pork, no potatoes, no nothing. Just those tiny tan rings crafted by the hands of God himself. The boy wanted his Cheerios, nothing more, and certainly nothing less.
But babies can’t survive on a steady diet of just breakfast cereal can they? It was time to consult his pediatrician. So during Tristan’s routine check up we talked about it. This is about how the conversation went.
Me: “Doctor help. My son won’t eat his food. He only wants Cheerios and wont take anything else I try to feed him.”
Doctor: “Your son is at a point in his development where he is ready to feed himself everything. So instead of trying to feed him, let him try to feed himself. Give him what you are having for dinner and let him play with it.”
Me: “Ummmmm, so like, wont he get it everywhere.”
Doctor: “Yes he will, it’s all part of the process. Try feeding him spaghetti Let him use his hands. He will eat some, play with some, put some in his hair. It’s all normal and part of the process. It’s good for his development, so enjoy it.”
Me: “Doc. You’re out of your f***ing mind”
OK, so I only thought the last part but seriously, has this guy met me? Spaghetti? On his clothes? On the floor? On the dog? On the walls? In his HAIR?
I knew that I needed to seek counsel. A second opinion would surly reveal a better, cleaner, alternative then what I was told by that quack doctor. So I went to the hive of mothers at my office. I rounded them all up and asked them if what my doctor had said was true.
Turns out they all drank the Kool-Aid too. This is in fact how it all goes down. Good lord? Are there people who know this before they have kids? It seems like a deal breaker to me but what do I know.
So against all my instincts I’ve taken the route of the masses. I’m sure its no surprise to those of you with children that it in-fact works. The boy seems to once again be eating a variety of foods along with his Cheerios (the security blanket of foods) and doesn’t seem to be wasting away to nothing. He is happy and healthy and exploring all sorts of interesting things.
After 20 minutes with pasta Tristan looked less like my son and more like something out of a Hellraiser Movie. But all things considered. I think we handled the “spaghetti incident” pretty well. Of course this dinner was directly followed by a bath, 20 minutes of crying and bedtime (for both my son and I). It was all either of us could handle on this particular day.
Oh and if you were wondering about what happens to all the food that misses his mouth. See below.