Monday, April 19, 2010

Cereal and "I'd Nevers"

Most people are great parents until they have kids of their own, or so the saying goes. In the months that we anticipated Jack's arrival I formed all kinds of opinions about the type of mom I'd be. I'd breastfeed exclusively. A disposable diaper would never touch my baby's butt. We wouldn't start solid foods until the La Leche League recommended date of at least six months old.

And then reality set in, crying and inconsolable, at two in the morning. That's when I learned my new mantra: all babies are different. He'll be ready for the next milestone when he's ready, and not a minute before. And certainly not just because some book or website said he's ready.

Jack's doctor recommended that we start Jack on cereals early: at three and a half months. He had an insatiable appetite, he could support his head and body well enough to sit up in a Bumbo seat, and he was taking interest in watching us eat. We bought his first box of rice cereal and mixed up a tiny, watery spoonful for him to sample.

He did great. At first he wasn't sure what to do with the spoon being pushed into his face, but by the end of the meal he was opening his mouth in anticipation of the next spoonful. I have to admit, I'm addicted too: there's nothing like feeding a baby. We have rice cereal once daily, before bedtime, and with every meal he gets better and better at it.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I wrote my son a love letter today

Jack and I have created a wonderful morning ritual that makes waking up before five a little less painful. As he starts to stir in those early hours I pick myself up out of bed and sneak into his room. I peek into his little crib and say "good morning, Pumpkin" and watch a little gummy smile spread across his face. I pick him up and snuggle him for a bit, and then change him and get him dressed for the day.

This morning I dressed him in a sweet striped jumper that he is rapidly outgrowing. The jumper has a hood and a big front pocket. I always wonder why a baby would need a pocket, but this morning I found a use for it.

I wrote Jack a love letter and tucked it away in his pocket. I poured my heart out in three lines of text in red ink, folded it neatly and wrote his name on it, and put it in his pocket. I know he'll never see it - in fact, I'll probably forget about it and end up washing it with his outfit. But it made my heart smile.