"Temporality is part of the truth" -- Chuck Klosterman

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Feed Your Head

Can you allude to this song without intending any drug reference? You tell me:

If you listened to the song all the way through, then the segue to the next bit might make sense. Otherwise, nevermind. Write your own opening.

Xander is a good eater. I've mentioned before how his mother and I had to learn to feed him because he was such a small thing at first. And apparently we grew so adept at the job that he gained off-the-charts weight. Actually, he was still on the charts, just not the preemie charts. He was gaining weight so fast that he was heavy even for his gestational age, which means that even if he'd gone to term, he'd still be little hefty. He kinda looked like the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Tyke.

From his birth, we fortified his breast milk with formula to give him the calories he needed to grow and catch up. He accomplished the growing part. We cut back on the supplemental formula, but recently the breast milk supply began to diminish. Now we give him a half-and-half mixture.

All this is to say that feeding him has only gotten more complicated. Also, they say that babies sleep for shorter times when they're fed breast milk because it's what they are built to digest. Anything else takes longer to assimilate, so they sleep longer. Yet, this hasn't happened.

Not that I'm complaining about his sleeping habits. Neither of my daughters slept through the night until they were over 18 months old. I'm sure this was my own fault, as I was too young and hip to keep them on a reasonable schedule. They would attune to my schedule or just have to deal with it. And so they did...by not sleeping well at night. My oldest added some kind of night-terror to the mix and would scream in her sleep until someone arrived to calm her down. So the fact that the boy cat-naps all day (if you move him from wherever he falls asleep, you lose and he wakes up) and basically sleeps through the night (he wakes up once between two and four a.m., downs his bottle in less than ten minutes, and goes back to sleepy town) isn't something to grouse about.

The other complicating factor is the introduction of solid foods into Xander's diet.

The doctor suggested bananas to start. Two or three days of just a few spoonfuls of bananas gave us two or three nights of smelly, sticky, poopy diapers every two hours. Before this, he rarely handed us poopy diapers in the morning. After those few days, we waited another couple of weeks before trying again.

Doesn't this sound tasty?
When we did, it was better. Diapers will never be the same, of course; with just breast milk, diapering is an easy, comparatively fragrant task. You almost couldn't even tell when he was dirty. But now and forever more, the diapers become more malodorous each week. Still, the boy's system is ready for it now, and so he's eating veggies like peas, carrots, and sweet potatoes; fruits like pears, strawberries, and bananas; and the rice cereal mixed with his milk. Sometimes these fruits and veggies are mixed into one edible paste. He likes the stuff from Ella's Organic Kitchen.

Feeding a baby solid foods requires patience and skill. First you have to contend with the tongue. The child has developed that thing into a vacuum, able to suck down five ounces of milk in a flash. But now all the tongue wants is to prevent anything from getting through. It's the mouth's own sentry, assuring that only warm, white liquids will enter the gullet. Due to this protuberance, and the fact that by now the baby has won control over his limbs and fingers, 95 percent of the food you attempt to feed him will end up outside of the mouth instead of inside. Like so:
I admit it: this entire post is a flimsy excuse just to show you this picture.

Xander has also started to make this noise that's a cross between a cackle and a scream. It's a short burst of air from low in the throat, like a bird's cry. He also hums for most of his feeding time. This gets more shrill as more food is introduced to his mouth. What these sounds amount to is that you never know when he's ready to be finished. Unless he does the blow-on-the-spoon move, and you end up with peas on your glasses. THEN he's done.

Why do kids like watermelon so much? He was sucking on this like his bottle.


  1. I have ended up with peas (and other unmentionable things) on my glasses more than once. Sounds like the lad is coming along nicely. He'll be borrowing your car and your best cologne before you know it.

  2. I recognize that song. I think it was Grace Potter and the Nocturnals who did a cover of it for the Alice in Wonderland movie that came out last year.

  3. I used to feed my god brother...he used to spit it all back out the first time in with the spoon so I'd have to catch it and stick it in a second time. I have no idea if that's what you're supposed to do or not. But it was wasteful to just let him keep spitting it out.

    That's a pretty cute messy face picture though. I totally knew you only wrote the post to put it up. :P

  4. I had a roommate in college who had a crush on Chyna Kantner (Grace Slick's daughter). It was awful. He hailed from Marin County, California where Chyna had gone to school and he had been completely invisible to the young socialite (who also worked as a V.J. for MTV when they still played music). I got to where I hated Grace Slick songs because they played all the time in my college dormitory and I cursed her spawn Chyna Kantner with a clenched fist.

    Thanks (not really) for sharing the sordid details of your poop detail.

  5. Matthew: I'm guessing you're referencing my son, not my writing. I'll accept that.

    darev: Time flies. And my summer's half over.

    McKenzie: That's a good cover. Didn't much like the movie, though.

    Chanel: You were doing it right. One step forward, two steps back. But that's how you do it.

    Michael: That's a funny connection. I only really like Surrealistic Pillow. Everything after that, dare I even mention the Starship output in the 80's, isn't so good.