Eating sweet potatoes

Remember when we used to write about food all the time? I have to admit that my pregnancy kind of took away some of my love of talking about food. Maybe it was the unsolicited opinions for strangers, but I think, honestly, it might have just been the sheer volume of constant eating that did me in. I love food, but spending so much time with my eating at the mercy of someone else made it less fun for me to talk (and think) about. It seems like just yesterday that our little RJ was a squirmy passenger in my belly, making all manner of demands about what I should be eating, and now here he is today, sitting up and crawling, and feeding himself avocado for lunch. Oh my, how time flies.

When he started out, we called him Blueberry Danger, because it was funny, and eventually it became clear that the thing he wanted me to eat was fruit. All the fruit. All the time. No, really. ALLTHEFRUITALLTHETIME. Like, pounds of strawberries in a day, or a whole pineapple, or several grapefruit one after another. It was both awesome and bizarre. But I obeyed! Because, hey, fruit! And also, the non-fruit cravings were so few and so specific that it seemed silly to ignore them. And then he was born, which was a whole thing, and I spent several more months eating all the food in sight, to fulfill my duties as a factory that turned food into other food.

Right about Christmas, RJ started figuring out that the big people were doing something with their mouths, and a week or so later realized that they are eating something that’s not breastmilk. OMG, YOU GUYS! Being a baby and a jerk, as soon as he figured out that people were enjoying something that he wasn’t getting, he wanted in on that action. I mean, seriously. During one lunch, Carlos and I had to trade him off multiple times just so we could each eat our sandwich, and he still ended up stealing a big piece of lettuce from Carlos’s salad and trying to intercept the french fries of the woman next to us.

Now, finally, at six months old, we’re starting to do the eating thing in the other direction: I wiggle around in front of him, and demand that he eat the things that I want! Okay, it doesn’t go exactly like that. In reality, he tries to grab everything that anyone appears to be eating, and, if successful, proceeds to smear it in his eyebrows. He’s not super great with the mechanics of eating just yet. But so enthusiastic!

So, we’ve started solid foods, which is awesome and also way more work than just making baby milk. On the one hand: sweet potatoes! THE SWEET POTATOES THAT WE EAT! I bake a sweet potato to perfection (thank you for reminding me how perfect they are, Mark Bittman), let it cool to warm-ish, and give him a pointy end like an ice cream cone and eat my own with him! I DO NOT HAVE WORDS TO ADEQUATELY EXPRESS HOW MUCH I ENJOY THIS!

His love of sweet potatoes is my favorite proof that he really is my child.

But there is another hand. And on that other hand: none of us can live on sweet potatoes alone, and now we have to take the digestive development of a tiny screamer into account when making dinner. Having just typed that, it kind of looks like I’m complaining about having to think about my kid while making dinner. File that under: well, duh, parenting is work. Thankfully, beyond sweet potatoes, he seems to really be enjoying most of the things he’s tried, including green beans, jicama, and the drawstrings on my hoodie. We are starting to realize that the next stage (after “one new food at a time”) is going to be pureeing up our dinner wholesale, and that we’re probably going to need to cut out dairy products when we do that. Sad faces all around, but no cow’s milk for babies just yet.

So! Pro: I get to eat ALL THE SWEET POTATOES and lots of other veggies and fruits and generally good foods. Con: I have to think about what I’m feeding us, and the prospect of giving up dairy. We’ll call “pooping” a neutral, because, well, everyone poops. And I think my “Cons” are clearly actually “Pros,” so, I’ll quit my complaining. grass in his toes

During this process, I’m really enjoying having a big community of parents on Facebook, sharing the mundane stories of every day life. I like hearing about how your kids are doing! They give me guidance about my own kid! I can’t wait until we get to have real time for them to play together (and us too!).

(The pictures are from his first meeting with something he didn’t try to eat – grass. He was not particularly a fan, it turns out.)

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