Don’t get me wrong, Orange loves a good meal. Just like his parents 😉 But I often get asked by The Professionals how his feeding is going. And I don’t really know what to say.
When we first started weaning Orange, he enjoyed chewing on a banana and was very happy being spoonfed all manner of mashed vegetables, fruit (and quite a few Ella’s Kitchen pouches when I just couldn’t be bothered).
But it was always different feeding Orange than it had been with The Beep. It still is. He likes to hold a spoon while I feed him and, if I load it for him, he will usually get it somewhere in the direction of his mouth. But he’s very far indeed from feeding himself. He should be doing this by now but he’s just not bothered.
Finger food? Well. That might as well just not be there as far as he’s concerned. His little hand might, on a good day, reach out for something I’m holding, but it’s usually soon lost and forgotten, squashed and warm in the depths of his high chair.
I feel under huge pressure to get Orange feeding himself. Every mealtime my heart sinks as he just sits there like a baby bird opening and closing his mouth, waiting for me to spoon in pasta or casserole. Or not, as the case may be. He’s been rather difficult recently as his tastes have started to develop. I need to up my game on the cooking front. He’s a discerning diner, is Orange.
It’s extra hard, given he can still barely sit in a high chair and he struggles to chew and swallow. If I rush him even just a little too much, he chokes and vomits.
I know I should feel grateful, at this point, that he doesn’t need to be tube fed. There is always that possibility in his future. But instead I spend most mealtimes wishing he’s just participate a little bit more, or that I could hand him a piece of toast and he’d plough on in. It’s heartbreaking to watch him just dropping bits of food down next to him and, seemingly, not caring. The less he responds to finger food, the less opportunity I give him to get the hang of it. I just can’t bear watching him fail. Again.
I have a new plan, which is to offer him some finger food with one of his meals per day, for the next two weeks, without fail, and just to not care what he does with it. It is 12.05. Caribbean Chicken then Orange, followed by, er, corn snacks. Gotta start somewhere…