When we first starting weaning the Lumpy, there weren't many solids in evidence. In fact, it was slop all the way. And, at first, this was pleasing to the baby dictator. He wolfed the lot of it down with wild enthusiasm. Baby rice slop! Yum! Mushed vegetable slop! Mmm, delicious! Squashed fruity slop! Gimme gimme gimme! Fishy slop! Meaty slop! Slop slop slop! Bring me more slop, woman! Get a bigger shovel! Why are you hanging around? Rwwoooaaaarrrrrrr!
And then it all changed.
I should have expected it, really. If there's one thing I've learned over the past almost-eight-months (and there is really only one thing) it's that nothing to do with babies is ever even vaguely permanent or predictable. Just when you think you see a pattern, or make a connection, or dare to assume that your baby likes/dislikes/tolerates something, without warning or reason everything will change and you will suddenly be faced with a small, frowny stranger. Who is wondering why you are trying to force him to eat this disgusting slop. Oh my god, woman, why are you trying to poison me with this filth? Meaty slop?! I puke on your meaty slop! I spit the sloppy filth upon your carpet, where it belongs! Get out of my sight, wench! You disgust me. Scream scream scream scream scream.
Mealtimes became quite a battle. As I have nothing else to do with my life at this point (I once had a job, you know, and was a vaguely productive human being. Once.), I was prepared to devote hours at a time to the game of trying to get slop into a flailing, complaining baby. Because it was SO MUCH FUN, and I like nothing better than making my baby cry. I did discover, however, that the most effective way of stopping Lumpy crying is to dissolve into broken, exhausted sobs yourself. Because that iz funnies. Real funnies. I'm trying to reassure myself that this is not the sign if a fledgling psychopath.
Eventually, sanity (aka someone who is not me) stepped in, and suggested we give it a rest with the slop, already. Maybe try some finger food. And stop biting the furniture.
I had heard of Baby Led Weaning (or BLW, as those trying to save precious time call it), and was skeptical. I mean, let's be honest, babies are a bit crap. Especially at things involving coordination and fine motor control and not just throwing shit around. People who did BLW were clearly crazy hippies with dangerous ideas, with which they planned to bring down the government and normal, decent society as we know it. And they had food in their hair. And skinny, extremely cross babies.
Even so, I had offered Lumpy finger food before, usually at the same time as trying to cram slop into him. It had not been a success. Most of it ended up massaged into the table top, or, if I was really luck, rubbed into an eye (they can absorb calories through their eyes, right?). So I was fairly convinced that this would lead to starvation, death, and destruction for all involved (melodramatic? Me?? Meeeeeeee???!!!) But I was prepared to try it, just so I wouldn't have to sit holding a spoon of putrid slop for more hours on end.
And guess what? It went okay. Without the distraction of some screeching harpy trying to shove slop into his mouth, Lumpy actually focused on the food and managed to get some of it into his gob. I'm not completely certain, but he may even have swallowed a small percentage. And neither of us cried, so that's a resounding success in my book.
Since then, we've pretty much given up on slop. Apart from porridge. And yogurt. And avocado. Basically stuff that Lumpy would quite like to eat, but which really require a spoon, at least in my repressed, uptight book. So we do spoon-fed porridge for breakfast, anything I can lay my hands on and think Lumpy might like to gnaw on or slobber to death for lunch, followed by spoon-fed yogurt, then more scavenged finger foods for dinner, with a delicious dessert cocktail of avocado, fruit, and yogurt slop. We had to leave some slop in there, otherwise the earth would teeter and tip off its axis.
Strawberries are the current favourite. Generally shoved whole into the mouth, then plopped in and out, and occasionally rubbed against the two teeth until a suckable mush is obtained. Yummy.
And, wonder of wonders! Lumpy is still alive. And still quite fat. And so am I (alive and quite fat). So hurrah for that.
(We're still not getting any sleep. But, hey, sleep is so last century, man.)