You know that joke about how you should enjoy having all the (parenting) answers while still childless because it’s the last time you’ll have all the answers? Well seriously, this past 16 months has been an exercise in learning how to eat humble pie for me. I know we’re all guilty of this. I have a little smile on the inside when I hear some of my childless friends make comments and judgements about parenting. I smile because I know that when they become parents, they too will be eating a heap of humble pie, just like I am.
So in the last week, whilst Ava was so desperately ill, the miniscule amount of food that she had been eating diminished to nothing. I’m talking about less than 100ml’s of milk, when she should be having 400ml’s a day. I’m talking about 3 t-spoons of yoghurt and perhaps a raspberry in an entire day, and those things are eaten under duress, I’m talking about literally holding her arms done and shoving the food in. Out of desperation, we broke one of our own (pre-parenting) cardinal rules! We broke one of those rules that each one of us, before becoming parents, sniffed indignantly and states our child would NEVER do that!
We have started offering Ava what we jokingly refer to as “The Buffet”!
This entails preparing her meal – two veggies, a protein and a carb, presenting them, neatly separated, on a plate on the tray of her high chair (but the high chair has been dropped to its lowest setting, so it’s literally waist height for her) and allowing her to pick and choose and eat while (deep breath – don’t tell the mommy police) watching TV and walking around and playing with her toys.
And the change has been phenomenal! She has started to eat! For the first time in her life, my child is eating! And she’s eating well! Granted, it takes about an hour for her to eat a meal but I don’t care, she’s eating without tantrums, without having to hold her down and shove food in her mouth, without all the whining and tantrums that go along with sitting in the high chair! Her meals are now peaceful affairs where she stands over her tray, has a look at what’s on offer, selects something, pops in her mouth, wanders around, picks up a toy, plays and then heads back over to her high chair to make another selection. In addition, she’s also started eating things she previously refused – veggies for example, she was not wild about them and would throw them on the floor but now she’s eating carrots and peas and corn and its wonderful!
She’s extremely active since starting to walk full-time. She does not stop for a second, she never sits down, and she’s moving all the time so putting her in the high chair had really begun to cause problems as she hated having her movement restricted. But this new “Buffet” method appears to be working a treat.
The other side effect of “The Buffet” method that has been fantastic is that because she’s started eating better, her constipation has pretty much disappeared *knocks on wood* and she has been Dupholac free for a week!
Whoop whoop for eating and pooping!