Dear Natalie: Week 44

Dear Natalie,

This week, I have just one question for you: where on Earth are you putting all that food?

You’ve had a healthy appetite for quite some time now, but it was variable depending on what time of day it was, when you last nursed, how tired you were, or how much fun the food was to squish instead of eat. But this week it’s been out of control. We keep putting more food in front of you after you finish what’s on your tray and you just keep eating. And eating. And eating.

You’re still a big fan of steak, but your current favorite is, without a doubt, peas.

Yep. Peas.

During the course of one day you can eat about a cup and a half of peas. We dump them on your tray a few spoonfuls at a time and you immediately lunge for them with both hands, deftly picking them up and popping them right in your mouth until they’re all gone and you screech for more. If there is any other food on your tray, or if the peas are mixed in to something else, you ignore the offending food, knock it on the floor, or pick the peas out before deciding to eat anything else.

I don’t know if you’re going through a growth spurt or if this is just the new normal, but it’s fascinating to watch. I used to be able to share my breakfast with you, but now you need your own egg and your own piece of toast, because you can eat both all by yourself. An entire banana in one sitting, gone. We used to marvel that one serving of Puffs is 75 pieces. Who is feeding their kid 75 Puffs?, we asked ourselves. Us, it turns out. Or at least that’s as much as you would eat if we left you to your own devices.

This is a fun development, because (coincidentally) I also like to eat. Sharing my food with you isn’t the neatest production, but it’s entertaining. I don’t mind eating my yogurt with a baby spoon. A bite for me, a bite for you. A bite for me, a bite smeared all over your face. Pretty soon you’re going to need your own yogurt and I won’t have to share.

You will, though. I hate to be the one to break this news to you, but you come from a family of scavengers. Not so much on the Helmrath side; they’re very civilized. But I guarantee you that you’ll have to protect your plate from me and your Grammy Hall. She can’t be trusted around French fries; take my word for it.

At least your peas are safe.

Love always,


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