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Happy Meal

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There are certain meals you’ll always remember. Both good and bad. Good– lobsters from a Maine clamshack; steak frites from a fancy New York restaurant. Bad– salmon croquettes and something I ate that landed me in the ER. So how about the kids? We all know they develop refined food preferences pretty quickly.
As for the Titty Bear, he just had his very first meal that was OTB, or “off the boob.” He reached the six month milestone and so it was time for some rice cereal. The Bortski (our two year old) actually had his first rice cereal at four months. But since then, the pediatrician’s recommendations for first solids have changed. The American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends exclusive breastfeeding (ie. NOTHING, but breastmilk) for the first six months. So, that’s what we did this time around.
The Titty Bear turned six months a couple of weeks ago, but it took me a little while to get the stars aligned for his big culinary adventure. First we had to get the thumbs up from the pediatrician, then I wanted to give him a couple of days to get over his shots, then we were traveling to visit relatives. Once things settled down, it was time to set him up in the high chair.
Day 1, Attempt 1: After a very sleep deprived night (but that’s another story altogether), stumble into kitchen blinking in bright lights. Bortski is already seated “like a growm-up” at the table with DaDa having oatmeal. Wrangle the Titty Bear into the high chair. Bortski immediately wants back into the high chair. Go figure. Pour rice cereal into bowl. Add water. Notice an odd looking brown clump. Dump the mixture in the sink. Start to pour another bowl. Think twice. Dump the whole box of cereal in the trash.
Day 1, Attempt 2: Now we’re cooking. Bortski is fine about ceding his throne to the Titty Bear. In fact, he is wearing a paper crown he got at an arts and crafts class at a book store. “I’m a Prince,” he says, from his seat at the table. Titty Bear starts to suck on the high chair tray. Make the rice mixture. Put spoon to his mouth. Titty Bear looks shocked. Offended even. He starts to shake. Is something seriously wrong? Determine he is fine. Continue feeding. “I ate the whole thing!”
Day 2: The Titty Bear loves it. Cereal is all over his face. His hands. He tries to pick up the bowl. Afterwards, flat out refuses to breastfeed. Do we have a problem here?
Day 3: Not so interested.
Day 4. I think this thing is working. Titty Bear eats his cereal. Breastfeeds to wash it down. And promptly takes a nap. Still sleeping 2+ hours later. Go check that he’s still breathing.
So will the Titty Bear remember these very first meals? If he’s anything like the Bortski, some day he’ll look at the rice cereal and say “blech.” But just in case, I have pictures to show him how much he loved it. Now, if I could just get this crusty mess out of my hair.

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