Friday, September 22, 2006
Rice cereal it is!
The little prince is growing up. William got his first official taste of solid food tonight. Well, I say solid food, but only in the loosest sense: he got a mouthful of very runny rice cereal as his entre into the world of food.
I dressed him up in a new bib, and David put him in the high chair. Then I attempted to mix up a small bowl of rice cereal. Rice cereal, for those of you who've never bought the stuff, comes in a box, and you pour the flakes out of a little spout in the side. The box gives you only the vaguest directions about mixing it up with water, formula or breast milk, although it does give more specific instructions for "baby's first experience." It recommended mixing one tablespoon of cereal with four to five tablespoons of liquid. So I heated up some bottled water, and I mixed some breastmilk and some water with the one tablespoon of cereal. It turned out to be so thin and runny that I didn't think it would even stay on a spoon long enough to get into William's mouth. So I played mad scientist and mixed a little more cereal here, a lot more cereal there, a little more water there, and so on. I had no idea if I was doing it right or not. They should be more specific, really. Okay, I admit it. It looked like gruel. I fed my child gruel.
David said it was okay that it was runny, and he's the doctor, so we went from there.
It was time for William to try it out. He was pretty game. He didn't cry, although he did make some really spectacular faces. I offered the little purple spoon, and he opened his little red mouth like a baby bird and gingerly accepted it. He gummed it with a dubious expression for a few seconds, his mouth wide in a "oooh, I don't know what this is, and I'm not sure I like it" expression, as runny cereal oozed back out onto his lips. I scooped up a little more rice cereal and tried again.
Granted, most of the gruel rolled back out of his mouth onto his chin, and from there onto his bib. But I fantasize that at least a little bit made it down his gullet into his tummy.
All in all, I think it was a pretty decent introduction.But I imagined him thinking, "This? This is what I've been waiting for?"
I reassured William that there was much better tasting food to look forward to. I mean, think about it. When we don't like some type of food, we know that there are other things out there to eat. Just because that cafeteria-style turkey tetrazini is awful doesn't mean that some luscious barbecued ribs don't lurk around the corner. Or if something is bland and runny, we can add sugar or salt and kick it up a notch (or ten). Or ignore a particularly offensive food altogether. Poor little William thinks this is it. Runny lukewarm bland rice cereal IS food, as far as he's concerned. He doesn't know about sweet potatoes, or chocolate, or ice cream or blueberries or anything like that yet. I think I'm going to feel guilty about this until I can feed him something that actually tastes good.
So, anyway. Happy Five Month Birthday, Butterbean! I hope that the rice cereal wasn't too bad. I'll try and improve at least the consistency next time. And I promise there are so many more good things to come.