Monday, November 12, 2007

How to eat like a 10-month-old?

There are a few rules laid down by my mom in this how-to-eat-your-food business. Mommy's rules are way too many to remember and adhere to, so I formulated a few of my own which works just great for us. And, I hope it would suit you fine too provided you are as young as I am.

The first rule is to never display any liking for the high chair. Protest with all the force you can muster once positioned in the chair. Beat your legs against the foot-board, tap the food tray ahead with your hands until mom gets angry.

Once the feeling of displeasure has been established and communicated to all parties, show signs that you are hungry and would like food to be served. If mom leaves you alone to get the food, use this opportunity to push and pull what's nearby. Usually, I drag the dining table chair and start biting its edges. Or if there's any object within reach that can be pulled down (which otherwise cannot be reached from floor level), I ensure that the damage is done.

Let's assume the food has arrived. Now, that mom cared enough to get you something to eat, let her know your hunger has died, and you are no longer interested in eating. Turn your face away from the feeding cup with pursed lips showing interest either in the neighbor's kitchen or the passing vehicles on the road or a blank lost stare at nothing in particular.

Remember, this was just to piss off mom; the truth is you are very hungry. When you can no longer tolerate hunger for even a min, open your mouth and expect to be fed. Satisfy your hunger with the first few spoons or until it's time to have fun again. Bite the spoon and hold it tight between your teeth; don't let it go until mom begs you to leave or uses force. After letting the spoon go, make sure you grin sheepishly at her that says, "I know what I was doing!"

If no water is served after every 3 spoonfuls of food, start crying. Increase the volume if the request is not met. Use your hands and feet to good effect.

If the menu is the same ole' dish that was served 3 times the day before, convey that you would like something new which is just about the right temperature - neither too hot nor too cold. If mom forgets and keeps the feeding cup within your hand's reach, push it away and topple it over to the floor. Who likes clean floors!

Moms wish that their kids should learn how to eat by themselves by this age. So, they are likely to force you to practice eating by spoon like my mom did. Hand-mouth coordination? Uh? Never heard of that. Sure, I know how to hold the spoon alright but can't guarantee if it would reach my mouth. Ah! so sorry, food fell on my lap and my shirt is soiled. Next spoon mama, please. Mama complies. This time take it to your mouth to get back mama's trust. The next spoon with the food is all over the chair and floor.

It's easy to get bored while eating. Especially, when you have to do this ritual so many times a day. So what, if you've just been given a shower. I love to smear my hands in the food and wipe it all over my hair. I loved my naturally highlighted hair yesterday (one part was orange in color with the mashed carrot and the other half white with curd).

Throw you water bottle onto the floor atleast once. How can anyone expect you to hold a teether for so long? Keep throwing it over every 5 minutes and demand to be brought again.

Playing with water is fun. To ensure it happens remember one rule of thumb, "the more mess you create, the more water you get." Hands, feet, neck, legs - every exposed part of the body should have signs that you just finished the most difficult task of the day - eating.

Parents always empathize with us at this age as teething occurs. They know we like biting on chilled fruits and vegetables. When I am offered a chilled Pear, I bite it and then spit it. Mom doesn't appreciate this behavior, but I don't like the taste of Apples and Pears to swallow them. This works fine as it soothes my gums.

Don't worry. You did not piss off mom. She is proud you are learning how to eat. On the brighter side, you are keeping her busy, exercising her naturally and creating work. This was a job WELL DONE!