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Blink. Seven months!

2006-08-24 - 10:00 p.m.

It’s funny but time doesn’t stop when you hit a major milestone; a month ago six months seemed like such a big deal that surely life would pause there for awhile. Instead another month sped by on gossamer wings and before I knew it, BAM! Seven months loomed!

As I thought, Grommet has indeed learned to roll from front to back and from back to front entirely unaided this month, though she still hasn’t put them together in a string in the same direction and almost always rolls back to her original starting position (whew!). I think the first time J and I both saw it was on a hotel bed in Burlington.

The big news – and big frustration – this month has been solid food. This baby hates everything! After the first couple of experiences with the rice cereal it was all downhill from there. She will occasionally tolerate rice cereal enough for us to get one or two teaspoons’ worth of the cereal mixed liberally with breast milk into her, but that’s not a given. She is utterly dismayed and betrayed when we have the nerve to place anything else in her mouth. This list includes, so far: barley cereal (which she barfed up Linda Blair style that evening), oatmeal, sweet potatoes, squash, corn, pears, and cucumbers. Her usual reaction is to leave her mouth hanging open in the hope whatever we’ve put in it will fall out. Since it doesn’t usually, she swallows it with and audibly forced gulp, but refuses to open her mouth for any more. For awhile she’d complain with her mouth open but quickly learned to do so with it shut as I’d take the opportunity to pop some more in there whenever her lips unsealed themselves. Ditto smiling, which she now also refuses to do at mealtimes.

Yet, she stares and drools at our food, she makes a grab for anything headed towards our mouth, and has even learned that she can shuffle our plates closer to herself by pulling on our placemats or the tablecloth. Nothing is safe within about an-arm-and-a-half’s length. She loves drinking water out of a grown-up cup and is surprisingly good at it with a little help. Mentally, she is ready to take on the gustatory world. Physically though, we have yet to find anything she truly likes.

You know how you’re supposed to wait, like, four days between introducing new foods? Every four days I think, this, this! will be the thing she likes! This will make her smile and open her mouth eagerly for more! Every four days I hopefully deposit a new thing in her little maw. And every four days she looks at me with total disgust and betrayal, the look on her face plainly saying, “Wha? What exactly is this disgusting stuff you have just put in my mouth?!?” I persevere until she starts doing the gagging, dry-heaving thing, then I just can’t bear to go on – usually within a few spoonfuls. (And apropos of nothing, does the word “spoonfuls” look funny to you? Just me then? Right.)

I finally called the doctor’s office for advice since it’s getting hard to keep her filled up with her almost-exclusive diet of breast milk. They advised making everything as close to liquid as possible since it’s often the texture that’s the problem, letting her get some on her fingers and “feed” herself to get used to the taste of it, and having J feed her when I’m not around so she’s not holding out for the boob instead. While I understand their point with the last one, I don’t think it’s the problem in our particular case since she clearly wants, oh-so-wants, give-it-to-me-now, I-said-now other food. This has not stopped me from seizing on this point: “Sweetheart, I’d like to go to the gym tonight and since you’re supposed to feed her while I’m gone this would give you a perfect opportunity…”

Hee.

No, that’s not J in the background.

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