21 December 2010

Motives, multiple and mixed

Babygirl has passed the seven-month mark. (What?! When did that happen?)

Babygirl has yet to be offered so much as a spoonful of rice cereal.

In light of the rather surprised reaction I got from someone who inquired about Babygirl’s eating habits the other day, I was just musing on the potential interpretations of this situation. Why might I have a seven-and-a half-month-old who’s yet to taste “solids”? Here are just a few of the motives that suggest themselves:

1) I’m some sort of lactavist who’s trying to make some sort of point.
2) I’m one of those holistic earthy (glossing “wacko”) types who sincerely believe in the mom-and-baby benefits of exclusive breastfeeding for the first year.
3) I’m too cheap to buy baby food and too lazy to make it.
4) Breastfeeding is my hobby.
5) I’m reluctant for this sweet stage of my daughter’s babyhood to end.
6) I’m concerned about potential food allergies.
7) I’m struggling with one of the following vices:

a)Gluttony, since a largish parasite makes the skinny jeans a lot more likely during the Christmas season.
b)Sloth, since those first few months of force-feeding solids are nothing but a messy hassle that adds yet another task to the daily routine.
c)Cowardice, since the more the baby nurses, the less likely she is to have a sibling anytime soon (in my humble experience. Not true for everyone, as we are all well aware).

I wish my motives were simply and sweetly multiple, rather than severely mixed, but was there ever a CSPP whose mind didn’t stampede anxiously on ahead, no matter how sternly she bid it be still? On most days, were I to untangle the web of motives behind that empty highchair tray, all of the above would be among the sticky strands. Excepting #1, because I’m really not interested in using my baby’s nutritional needs to try to make some kind of dramatic point that nobody is really interested in anyway. ‘Cause you know what? Everybody else is also busily caught up in the drama of her own multiple and mixed motives.

So. Feeling ever more Adventish, we pray ever more fervently. Come quickly, Lord Jesus. And while we wait, tease out the snarls of our knotted, fearful foolishness. Left to ourselves, we tangle, we fray, we come undone. Weave our loose threads securely into the grand tapestry, until the Day when we can finally, finally, finally see the intricacies of the Master pattern for ourselves.


Wing It Mom said...

Keep on! The thing I miss the most from my children being babies is spending the first year curled up in the recliner snuggling and nursing the baby.

Leah said...

"4) Breastfeeding is my hobby."

Had to laugh at that! I'm right there with you, I guess. Mine's 18 months, and still not weaned. I suppose he's eating solids, but I choose not to reveal the nursing bit to anyone for fear of weird stares.

Pr. H. R. said...

My friend, and evidently retired blogger, Fr. Petersen likes to point out that our motives are never pure. We like to fast in Lent because it takes off the pounds we gained in the Winter. But still, fasting is good.


Katy said...

I am definitely cheap, lazy and slothful. But my boys are always ready to dig in at 8-9 months (real food--no rice cereal or mushy baby food). They don't really let up the nursing, though, until I'm a few months PG. My 11 mo. loves chunks of avocado, banana, sweet potato, whole apples and pizza crusts :)

Susan K said...

That's called baby-led weaning. Rice cereal and purees really aren't necessary. I don't think shoving a spoonful of food into my daughter's mouth and tricking her into swallowing it really teaches her how to eat. That being said, the continued lactational amenorrhea (until almost eleven months) was a big plus. I have often wondered the rightness or wrongness of my desires while trying to figure out what they really are sometimes.

Untamed Shrew said...

Leah, the world-wide average weaning age is 4.5 years, so you've got nothing to hide. (Not that anyone here aims to be worldly. :o)

Reb. Mary, I've missed your posts!

Megan173 said...

Ah your motives are all better then mine. My boobs don't work, so my baby boy,although he is now 10 months, really mostly eats formula because I'm lazy. I mean he usually gets a little 'solid' food but I think most of what he gets is big brother and sisters cast offs that have gotten left in his reach. I keep thinking one of these days I'll get my act together, but then little brother of sister will be here in August so probably not.

Elizabeth said...

I would have to add another vice to the list: selfishness. I am torn between wanting that portion of my body back to myself (well, sort of), and loving the intimacy of nursing (oh, and the forced quiet times during the day). I guess either way I turn, I war with my old Adam. I suppose I should also add that this is my first go-around, and that in 5-10 years, perhaps I will have totally resigned myself to the fact that my body (no part of it) will ever be truly mine again. For now, I dream.

Reb. Mary said...

Aw, shucks, Shrew, I've missed me too ;D. Stuff keeps happening, y'know? And speaking of stuff happening, if I haven't already said it elsewhere, CONGRATS on the relatively recent happy addition to your household!

There's an unopened box of rice cereal in the pantry, but like many of y'all, I'm planning on (at some point) mainly transitioning to "real food."

Elizabeth: by all means, hang on to the quiet time. Some of my best (sometimes only) reading gets done while nursing, especially in the early months postpartum.

Katy said...

Congratulations, Megan (me too! on the 26th)

Untamed Shrew said...

thanks, reb mary. we complement each other nicely, you with your 3 boys and baby girl, me with my 3 girls and baby boy.

Elizabeth said...

Reb Mary - Yes, I am an overachiever who can ALWAYS find something to do, so I have to say that nursing may be the single best thing that has ever happened to me (okay, next to God and my hubby and baby, of course). Because I have x amount of times during the day in which I am forced to sit down and read or reflect and snuggle my baby.

Megan - with all the yummy food you cook at your house, I have a hard time believing that your 3rd won't be consuming everything in sight soon! :)

Rebekah said...

I always thought baby-led weaning meant you get pregnant with another baby, which leads to weaning.

Christine Whelchel said...
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Christine said...
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