22 July 2011 by romanin
Yesterday marked the first exertion of will power by little N. Our normal routine thus far has been to eat a vegetable medley puree followed by a blueberry-banana combination puree. The blueberry-banana started last Monday and has been a hit since with little N since the beginning. Who wouldn’t like blueberries mixed with bananas? It’s like a baby smoothie! Well, yesterday at dinner time, he was sitting in his chair with his bib on, ready to eat and after the first 4-5 spoonfuls of vegetable medley, he started to scream, his face turned red, his arms and legs were flying. His little body, every inch of it, was angry! He was mad about something. So I took him to get his diaper changed since I had heard him push something out right before he started eating.
After the diaper change, he was calm, so I sat him back down in his chair to finish his dinner. Well, after 2-3 spoonfuls of vegetable medley, he started screaming again- the same thing- little arms waving, little legs kicking forcefully. I went through the checklist of factors that could be contributing to this behavior and couldn’t come up with anything. And so I thought, “Well, maybe it’s the food?” So I tried feeding him more vegetable medley to see what kind of a reaction I got. He calmed down every time I put the spoon down and talked to him and the minute I started putting the spoon into the vegetables, he would start fussing again. My suspicions that it was the vegetables that caused the screaming were confirmed when he started spewing and dribbling it out of his mouth a few spoonfuls later.
I told big N what was going on and that I suspected that he wanted the blueberry-banana instead of the vegetables, so big N said I should try giving him some blueberry-banana just to see if I was right. The logic was that if little N was full, he wouldn’t show much interest in either fruit nor vegetables, because that’s what he normally does to signal that he’s full. So I went to warm up the blueberry-banana in the microwave.
I think little N knows the whole food routine now. He knows that I microwave something and then I bring over a bowl full of food for him…so I think he knows that once the microwave turns on, he’s going to get something afterwards.
So, I walk back over with the warmed up blueberry-banana and show him the bowl, telling him it’s purple and it’s blueberry-banana. He immediately starts opening his mouth and panting like a starved puppy. He waves his arms around and kicks his feet, this time, in excitement and happiness.
I give him one spoonful of the fruit followed by the vegetable. Once he tasted the vegetable, he started to dribble it out of his mouth and started pouting/whining. I gave him another spoon of fruit and he calmed down. Wow, my little N has a taste preference and I was right! He wanted the blueberry-banana! We went on like this for just a bit and it was amazing to see how little N would start getting fussy as he saw me insert my spoon into the vegetable bowl and how he would get happy when he saw me inserting my spoon into the fruit bowl! He knew the difference between the bowls and everything. HE FIGURED IT OUT.
So, my brilliant idea was to see if he’d finish the vegetables if I mixed a tiny bit of fruit into the spoonful of veggies. He ate it, but after a couple spoonfuls, he started realize what was going on– that I was trying to trick him into eating what he didn’t like eating. THE NERVE! He started wailing again, kicking his legs, waving his arms…Well, he calmed down a bit after I talked to him, telling him that the vegetables were tasty and good for him. He finished his vegetables, with the blueberry-banana incorporated into it, and then I gave him 3 spoonfuls of just fruit as a reward for finishing his vegetables.
The battle was done. It was a…tie this time, since baby had a head start.
He has a will. He is strong-willed. He likes his sweet things. Just like big N.