Friday, January 23, 2009

Peer pressure

In light of Jacob's dislike for solids, I've been joking a bit that I keep hoping that peer pressure will get him to eat. I think most of the kids (if not all) in his room at day care eat solids, and I keep hoping that seeing them up in their high chairs chowing down will make him want to do it, too. No such luck yet, as we had another failed attempt at bananas tonight. I thought we had turned a corner last night when I got him to take a couple fairly willing bites of banana and he seemed to like it a bit, but I couldn't duplicate the feat tonight. On a side note, I'm really starting to enjoy mashed bananas and homemade applesauce myself! But having him watch me eat his food isn't working either, apparently. It's times like this that I wish I was a stay-at-home mom, just so I could have more time to experiment with feeding him at other times of the day. He's usually in a pretty good mood after his early evening feeding, but whether he's just not hungry, not interested, or is indeed traumatized by the whole thing, I have no idea. While I know that solids aren't totally necessary at this point, it's still a good skill for him to be acquiring, and rice cereal is a good source of iron, which he will start needing shortly.

I suppose Mommy is feeling as much peer pressure as anyone these days. I mean, some people start solids at four months. I honestly didn't see the point in it, partly because it just seemed like a lot of unnecessary extra work, partly because of the whole allergy thing, and partly because I figured the doctor would have some words of wisdom about it at Jacob's six-month well visit and I'd get the scoop then. Well...the doctor was no help (though I am going to ask again Monday), and I have come to the conclusion that I will probably start just a little earlier with baby #2 (no news...just a mental note) just so we have more time before I start getting panicky. But anyway...when it comes to the people that did start solids early, they see me with my seven-month old and probably wonder what I'm doing wrong that he's not eating them yet. I see babies younger than him at day care eating and worry that he's falling behind. I know that's just the paranoid new parent thing kicking in, but's making me nuts. I think he's up there with the best of them when it comes to things like sitting, standing, pushing up and rolling over, but when it comes to actions like opening his mouth for food, blowing raspberries, or sticking his tongue out on command (all stuff a lot of babies mimic from early on), he just doesn't. The one thing he does mimic--and I am quite grateful for this one--is smiling. Ahhh. The peer pressure thing even extends a bit to clothing. I haven't sent Jacob to day care in a sleep 'n' play (basically like a sleeper, but maybe not quite as cozy) because I never see any of the other kids wearing them.

I know you hear over and over about how all babies are different and you can't really measure them against each other. I know that's true, but sometimes the mind does wander into that minefield. As a new parent you can't help but wonder what you're doing right or wrong, and any source (no matter how irrational) sometimes gets a passing glance. At the end of the day, Jacob seems happy, I know we're doing something right. I just don't want him to walk into school one day and discover he's the only kid who still __(fill in the blank with embarrassing thing here)__, because it never occurred to us to stop doing it. My current issue like that is when we stop putting him in his carrier for anything other than a car ride. He's getting quite heavy in the carrier, but it's still more convenient sometimes. But now that he can sit up we're getting closer to the point where he'll be able to sit up in a shopping cart or restaurant high chair. Going in to day care it still makes sense only because some days I need to leave his seat there for Craig to take him in the afternoon, and the last thing I want to do is carry Jacob in one arm, his empty seat in another, and be fighting with the diaper bag and my purse and keys all the way into the building. But still...there must be a point at which that is necessary and I'm afraid of sticking with the status quo a little too long, to the point that I'm getting funny stares out in public.

So, anyway...I just find it ironic that I'm getting peer pressure from Jacob's pint-sized peers (well, and maybe their parents by association as well) and he's only seven months old. Scary to think what age seven or 17 will look like! Speaking of peers, we're off to see one this weekend...a friend of the family is in town with her five-month-old (hi Laurie & Colin!) so we'll be heading off to meet the little guy at some point--probably Saturday, assuming Jacob's schedule cooperates-- and get what we hope will be one of those pictures to look back on in 20 years and smile! We might finally make it to Jacob's first lacrosse game as well, but that's a long day so we shall see. Happy weekend!

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