My son is a mystery to me.
I touch his nose and make a boop noise and he disolves into gigles. I can do this for five minutes straight, each time getting the same bout of hysteria, and then two seconds later, stone cold silence. My husband can play a snoring game with him,* and yet when I try, my son throws me a look of “are you kidding me?” and turns right back to his stuffed monkey. One day he is fascinated by the toy penguin my folks got him (a sort of mini-punching bag that giggles wildly when pushed slightly) and the next he is so terrified of it that he eyes it from every position in the room and if he accidently goes to close to it or someone touches it, he runs and dives into my lap for safety.**
I told one of my friends who also has small children about his behavior. Her response? “Congratulations, you have a toddler.”
This fickleness extends far beyond his ability to tire of any toy in 3.2 seconds. For a week he’ll adore bananas. He’ll eat them mashed, cut into small pieces, mixed in with yogurt, any way I’ll serve them. And then suddenly, for no apparent reason, he will put his nose up at the mere mention of them.
A few days ago we switched him from formula (I HATE this stuff…it smells bad, is sticky and is just a pain to prepare) to whole milk. The transition was met without any resistance. In fact, he seemed to love the creamy taste of milk. He gulped it down and cried for more. After his most recent well baby check-up, the doctor told us we need to wean him from the bottle. Bottles are fine for babies, but once kids hit the year mark, continued use increases the risk of ear infection and can cause damage to their developing teeth as well as possible malformations of their mouth. Since she discovered my son has an ear infection (mostly due to a cold he’s just getting over), she suggested we quit cold turkey. My son gave no real protest…he just won’t drink nearly as much from the cup. A week ago he took 5-7 ounces each night before bed. For the past three days I’ve been lucky to get 3 down him. I know that if I put it back in the bottle he’d slurp it right down, but there is something about the cup that he just doesn’t quite like as much. He doesn’t mind drinking from it, but he just won’t take much at any one sitting.
I’m hoping he will adapt to his cups. His doctor seems to think he will. She says the initial milk slow down is normal, but it still has me a bit worried. Mostly about him getting dehydrated. He’s used to drinking 18-21 ounces of formula a day. Right now I’m lucky to get 12 down him.
His bottle is not his only strange food battle. Tonight I gave him pieces of cut up carrots. They are part of the Gerber Graduates line. They are already cut into chunks, soft and very easy to chew. He picked one up, put it in his mouth and immediately spit it back out. He then proceeded to smash the remaining two to smithereens. This is particularly perplexing to me because my son loves carrots. He’ll devour a jar of mushed carrots without even the hint of a grimace. His other jar of food (I didn’t cook tonight for either of us) was beef stew with smaller chunks of carrots in it. He was already eating carrots, and liking them, but for some reason the hand-held ones got spit right back out.
I decided to try to trick him into eating the veggies. I put a carrot chunk on his spoon and dipped it in baby food. He ate it. I did this several more times and each time he chewed it right up. For fun I just picked a carrot up on the spoon and fed it to him. He didn’t even hesitate. He ate it right up. In fact, by spoon feeding him, he ate the entire jar of carrot chunks. This made no senes at all to me since usually he spits things given to him on spoons out so he can pick them up, smush them a little and then put them in his mouth.
I remember being so excited about my son eating real food. I couldn’t wait until he could walk and talk. But now, I’m not so sure about this whole toddler thing.
*My husband invented a game where he closes his eyes and snores loudly. My son creeps up on him (well, as much of a creep as an unsteady one year old can do) and just as he’s about to touch my husband, my husband snaps open his eyes, grabs my son and tickles him.
**It has been put to great use as a sentry for our video rack. My son loves to pull them off and we can’t really move them as they hide the wires connecting our TV/VCR/DVD/SAT.