Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Motherhood is full of surprises, part 8

1. I may have mentioned that Barak's diet has, shall we say, telescoped alarmingly in recent weeks. As of last Monday the only acceptable food items in his lunchbag or on his plate, so far as he was concerned, were--let's see--string cheese, Triscuits, bananas, raisins, milk, orange or apple juice, granola, yogurt, cereal, challah, noodles and cheese (the famous "doodles cheese"), and, of course, cookies/ice cream/sugar in any other direct delivery system. While the bulk of his diet was composed of perfectly healthful items, it was not, as you might notice, particularly well-rounded. It didn't get that limited overnight--it had been about a year of items gradually falling off the accepted list and being scorned with a summary "I don't want it. Someping else please."

So, being full of bright ideas, I decided to resort to drastic measures. As of last Monday, I decided to strike all Approved Food Items from his diet. He could have any someping else he wanted as long as it wasn't string cheese, Triscuits, bananas, raisins, etc. I bought carrot juice and apples and cucumbers and veggie baloney--all recently acceptable--and dropped the bomb.
Remember when I decided I was going to toilet train Barak by taking the diapers away with a six-week-old baby in the house? Remember that brilliant idea?

Well, this went much much better.

Before I left for work I packed him a lunchbag of all kinds of things in containers. Our babysitter (babysitter, fabulous) cheerfully offered the breakfast and lunchtime buffet to withering scorn. When I came home, he thought there would be relief. Nope. His most winning requests for cheerios, granola, yogurt and crackers were all denied.

But by dinnertime, well, he just got hungry. So he ate the cucumbers.

And then he ate the tomatoes. That was last Monday.

You will not guess what he ate for dinner tonight. No, guess.

Herb linguini with pesto. I'm serious. He did. And half a cucumber, which he asked for, and the totally wrong kind of crackers. On Shabbos he ate chicken soup and even played earnestly with his cholent. He's eating apples. And cheese that isn't stringy. And things with sauces on them. He isn't suddenly eating anything--he is still a toddler, after all, and those bean burritoes I made last night just weren't going to fly--but, well. Wow.


2. Further to the "things we didn't really think were going to work," Iyyar slept more or less through the night last night. Yeah. Really. He did. And that's not just sleep-deprived hallucinatory imagining, either--he slept from around 8 till 4 am, then nursed and slept again till 9.


What happened? Two nights of Abba fielding the baby from midnight till six, that's what happened. Iyyar decided that getting cuddled by a grumpy and impatient man with a beard was not worth waking up for.

So, he sleeps. And wakes up to an awful lot of milk. I know that in a few days my supply will adjust but right now he is not used to having all this milk spraying into his mouth, and he tries to get all of it. Even though it doesn't fit. And he throws up afterwards. This happened to me tonight, after Iyyar's bedtime nurse. He nursed away happily for a while, looked up at me with a big grin, opened his mouth, and then all of a sudden I was very, very warm. In a smelly, sour-milk-and-curdled-banana kind of a way.

What does this make you think of? Roman banquets? Yeah, me too.

3. In addition to sleeping, Iyyar is now eating food fairly regularly. Cheerios have become more acceptable, but mostly I just put whatever I'm eating in a bowl and go after it with the immersion blender. Last night he had zucchini and yellow squash soup and brown rice. And plain full-fat yogurt, unsweetened. I wish I'd taken pictures of the faces.

4. Since it is really really cold here right now (I'm not giving away my location, it's cold pretty much everywhere that isn't LA) I haven't taken Barak to playgroup in a while. Today was a work-at-home day and I had both boys here, which ordinarily would have meant an hour or two of writing while Barak napped, regular email checks, and serious writing after bedtime. But at 10 am the phone rang, and it was the Head Honcho Client Guy's secretary. He wanted to talk about speeches. Uh-oh.

I had a little talk with Barak. Did he want Imma to go to work? No. Did he like Imma to go to work or stay home. Stay home! Well, Imma could either go to work or talk to work on the phone. What should she do? Talk on the phone. Okay, so, that means that you're going to need to play with toys in your crib for a little while, okay? You don't have to go night-night, and you're not getting a time out. I just want you to play quietly with toys. Which toys would you like? He picked out a few puzzles, and I put him in his crib with the light on, door open, and curtains open. Not only did he not object, but he played in there quietly for forty-five minutes--the entire length of my conversation with this guy.

Iyyar, fortunately, had been napping all this time, and woke up just as I went to get Barak after I got off the phone. Barak was looking perfectly content. "I didn't getta time out. I just play in there."

5. While Iyyar was having nap #2 of the day I decided to clean out my spices, and then my whole big food cupboard. I took everything out, washed all the jars, consolidated spices, wiped down the shelves, etc. Barak thought this was lots of fun. Especially the pepper grinder, which, it transpires, he can dissassemble and reassemble. Not actually with the peppercorns intact, but, well, nobody's perfect.


LeahChaya said...

Not only did he not object, but he played in there quietly for forty-five minutes--the entire length of my conversation with this guy.


I'm speechless. I'm in awe.

Did you remember to tell him what an AMAZINGLY good listener he is? And applaud him for helping Imma so well?

Deborah said...

Wow. Great idea about the food.
And the playing.