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May 3 2012

Help! My Baby’s On a Hunger Strike

By at 3:03 pm

picky eater babyYou all know that I’m a third time mom, completely enamored with Baby G.

Except for one thing.

For the past week or so, this kid’s entire eating ethos has totally changed. It’s no longer the blissful, “Here comes the train!” bird-feeding like endeavor it was a week ago. Now, every meal is a war. She turns her head away from incoming spoons with horror. The ground is strewn with the hopeless carcasses of Cheerios, small noodles, what have you–fruitless attempts at finger food. Out of nowhere, she looks down on baby food jars–even sweet potatoes, once the sure-fire end-all and be-all meal of champions–with something closely resembling disgust. It’s a little foreshadowing of the look I’m going to get in 12 years, when she yells, “I HATE YOU! You RUINED MY LIFE!” and slams the door in my face.

Ahem. Back to our present day eating dilemma.

Is this some sort of political-based hunger strike? Well, she’s not completely abstaining from all sustenance, thankfully. She’s got her bottles of formula, which she keeps eating (so yes, she is hydrated/peeing/pooping) and will also hold pieces of bread like bagels, etc. in which she makes a miniscule dent with her two and a half teeth.

I’m sort of surprised, but this sudden “no food” thing annoys the crap out of me. I never had this experience with the other kids. Both boys would eat whatever I put in front of them with no argument, usually clamoring for more. And Baby G herself always has been the kind of kid who watches people eat and moves her mouth at the same time.

So what gives?

Is she getting teeth? Yes, of course. But why should that affect how she eats food the consistency of applesauce? I’m sure it’s annoying as hell for her (she makes that quite clear between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m.). But even when I have work done on my teeth, I can still enjoy a Jamba Juice–get my drift? Liquidy foodstuffs should not be impacted by teething.

As a Jewish mom, I find this particular abstinence…well, hurtful. “You don’t want the meal I slaved over?”

So as a third time mom, I have no parenting manuals lying around for “what to do the first year.” I don’t want to call the pediatrician yet, because they’ll say, “Come on in and we’ll take a look at her,” and then we’ll leave with Ebola. I am sure my own mom will have an opinion, but I wanted to throw it out there to you.

What is the problem here? And what do I do about it?


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