Dear Natalie: Week 26

Dear Natalie,

Despite your uncanny resemblance to Toothless the Dragon, we can no longer use that as a nickname.

toothless

You have a tooth! I mean — you have teeth!

Always the overachiever, you were not content to cut your first tooth all by its onesies, instead cutting both of your bottom front teeth at the same time.

I would put a picture here of your tiny teeth nubs, but you barely let me look in your mouth long enough to verify that we can see the teeth — let alone take a picture. But they are indeed there, with more to come soon enough. I love your gummy grin, but this new look is even cuter.

And with the advent of teeth comes another first: solid food. We were not waiting for teeth before we started you on solids; it just happened to line up this way.

About a week ago we gave you your first banana. I broke mine in half and handed it to you, which you grasped quite delicately, all things considered, before shoving it in your mouth. The shock on your face when you realized that 1) it didn’t taste like plastic, and 2) it was breaking apart in your mouth, had your dad and me shaking with laughter.

You promptly spit it all back out.

Other than banana, we’ve also given you clementines and apples. You pulled the same face with both of those as you did with the banana, and I’m quite sure you just haven’t made the connection yet that these things are for eating.

I admit – watching you “eat” is quite harrowing at the moment. We are letting you feed yourself (instead of doing spoon-feeding and purées), which means a lot of gagging as you sort out exactly how much food is ok to put in your mouth (hint: not half a banana at once).

I know you’ll work it out and it will get easier as you start to get the hang of this whole food thing, but right now my heart is in my throat every time I place anything on the tray of your high chair.

Today it’s solid food, tomorrow it’s walking. You will sputter and cough when you take too big of a bite, you’ll fall on your butt or probably (definitely) faceplant, and there’s not a thing I can do. Well, I could, but it wouldn’t be helping anything except to ease my mind momentarily.

That, as always, is the lesson I’m continually learning as we approach six months of your existence on this Earth. It’s so much harder to do the right thing when the wrong thing is to save you from any discomfort, to swoop in and fix everything and shield you from all of the hard and painful stuff in life.

Because, as tough as that is, it doesn’t actually help you in the long run.

But maybe I’ll take a Child First Aid class just to be on the safe side.

Love always,
Mama

natalie-week26

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