Yesterday was a big, big day in the Reproducing Genius household. It all started in the morning when were all lounging around in bed, and Baby Genius decided very nonchalantly to roll from his back to his front. He’s rolled from front to back a number of times, but we’ve always had to move him onto his side and then coax him to his front. Now he’s doing it all on his own as though he’s always done it. He was very proud of himself, and because we made such a big deal about it, he was positively beaming.
But later in the day came an even bigger deal.
Baby Genius has been watching us eat with great interest for some time now. We have given him his (very cool tractor) practice spoon to play with, and for awhile, that was enough. But soon it wasn’t. The other night, we were eating some pasta, and he was watching me eat with more and more excitement. He was leaning back on a pillow, but each time I would take a bite, he would try to sit up, and he would stretch out his arms trying to reach the food. Then he would mimic my chewing. At one point, J picked him up and put him on her lap, and he immediately lunged for her bowl of pasta with both hands, his mouth wide open.
So we talked about it. The boy was at that point only ten days away from his six month birthday. He’s been interested in food for some time, and we’re frankly very excited about introducing him to eating–one of our very favorite things. The only thing holding us up was that six-month birthday, and it was beginning to feel a little arbitrary. We decided that the next day (yesterday), we’d give it a go.
At some point yesterday morning, BG was in a great mood, and I suggested that we go for it. We pulled out a banana, and I mashed a small amount up in two separate containers so that we could offer him some mixed with a bit of breastmilk and some on its own. J and I wanted to eat with him, so we split the rest of the banana, and we began eating it in front of him. He watched us, and then J let him taste her fingertip, which had a little banana on it. He was interested, so I then gave him a fingertip full of mashed banana. He took it easily, made a slightly confused face, and then proceeded to swallow the banana, after which he flashed me a huge grin. He loved it.
We spent the next twenty minutes or so alternating between banana and banana with breastmilk using his spoon. Each time we began to offer him the spoon, he would grab it as well and pull it toward his mouth. He had some pretty incredible accuracy! It was such a lovely experience, the three of us sharing this banana, my wife and I seeing our son enjoy food for the first time.
I did find myself getting a bit emotional though. While I will continue breastfeeding until we’re ready to stop, this does mark a new trajectory, and it’s one that involves that connection less and less. It means my baby is becoming more independent, more able to live without me. Ultimately, this is what we all want for our children–it’s certainly what I want–but I couldn’t help but get a little weepy yesterday seeing my baby, who was so tiny and new not so long ago, sitting there so grown up and eating with a spoon. The time is going by so very quickly. Why aren’t kids equipped with pause buttons?