Sunday, October 19, 2008

Who got no regrets?

I feel badly for J. I was a really uptight mother with him. He has taught me well, and I'm much more laid back with N.

When I tried to feed J cereal, I followed all the expert advice. I read books. I spoke with doctors, dieticians, and community health nurses. I was neurotic to a flaw. I'd forgotten how upset I got when he refused to cooperate. Thankfully, I have this blog. If you want to see the insane neurotic ramblings, they may be found here. I'm quite surprised no one said "Take a pill or something, T! It's just rice cereal!!" But everyone handled things with good natured advice and understanding. Score for good friends who let me be me, crazed though I be.

N started cereal tonight. I paid no heed to books this go-round, and trusted my instincts. Not because I'd forgotten all the good advice, (though I had). And not because I didn't care as much, (because I sure do). I just went with what was easiest and what seemed natural. Whatever.

I strapped N in his highchair. He was good and hungry, as I hadn't breastfed him beforehand. He was unimpressed with being hungry in the highchair. I mixed his cereal up, in a randomly selected bowl. It had a picture of Pooh bear with his head stuck in a honey pot. I mixed up the cereal with formula, using a randomly selected plastic-covered baby spoon (it was purple). I measured nothing. Poured rice cereal into the bowl until it looked like about a tablespoon, then added room temperature formula until it was runny. It was too runny, so I added a bit more cereal. Stirred it up, grabbed a plate of pizza for myself, and headed to the table to the screaming N.

I spooned a couple of mouthfuls of cereal into N's screaming open mouth. Then when the cereal started to fall out onto his sleeper, I sent H in search of a bib and baby washcloth, both of which I'd forgotten. As N didn't calm down, I pulled him out of the highchair and cuddled him close. I fed him the rest of his cereal and simultaneously ate my dinner as he cuddled in my lap. I never did get around to putting the bib on him, as it was easier not to worry about it. N ate the whole bowl of rice cereal without issue. He still seemed good and hungry. So I washed his face and hands, and offered him some formula. He polished off the entire bottle of formula. And then he breastfed for a bit until he nodded off.

He sleeps happily in his swing now.

I wish I'd been more easygoing with J. I would have had an easier time of things. So would he. But I was so overwrought and out of my element. Suffering from PPD, scared to death of life with a newborn, and stressing about every lttle thing. If I could go back in time, I'd do it differently. I wish I could. Maybe J would be a better eater now had I been a better mother then. But I wasn't. And so J suffers from eating difficulties and doesn't grow, and I blame myself.

I can't undo it, and I wish I could.


N is 5 months old today. There will be a photo retrospective coming, so stay tuned!

No comments: