Like so many times in a mother's day you try to stop and inhale all the special growth marks going around you as your newborns are growing into babies and babies into toddlers. These developmental breakthroughs of independence! Now that I have two toddlers my mind is triggered into such different brain waves as when the boys were babies. But since we have a baby food company inspired by our amazing duo, I would love to share my favorite baby discovery- Hand to Mouth.
I breastfed both boys for a year, and actually had a lot of trouble with it, but refused to give up or supplement. I found everything under the sun to take to increase my milk supply, and I thought I was going to float away from drinking so much water! I couldn't pump enough to fill their baby cereal with milk- and water added to baby cereal was not had by Miles nor Ridge. They looked at me like "Really mom? Not so much!" This was another reason I knew we had something special with Miles Outside, because I could add the dehydrated fruit and veggies to see if they would meet the consistency that I wanted to the cereal and water. The boys would eat it without looking at me like I had four heads. Success!
Once they turned about 9 months old it was so long baby food, hello solids! My boys didn’t even blink at what I served them. They ate what we ate, and they were perfect troopers with all the crazy tastes that I threw their way. If I was by chance eating something different than they were and they wanted to try it, by all means my little men try away. This is when I feel in love with them reaching over to my plate, staring at me with their big eyes, smiling and stealing my food with their own fingers! That full hand engulfing the food to try to get as much as they could to shove in their mouth. It was love, I tell, you love! My favorite developmental stage yet! Some of you may think I was crazy giving my 9-month-old a spoon and a fork and letting them have a field day exploring what they could do. I could just stare at them for hours watching these little beings feed themselves. Their little hands wrapped around the spork, and when they got done with that, just grabbing these handfuls of food to their mouths. Neither one of my kids took a bottle, I went to the straws, which they loved and actually orthodontists say it’s better for their tongue reflex than the sippy cups. But I feel it’s totally a matter of option and its child driven.
But I smiled every time they would walk up to their cup and grab it with both hands and feel so proud of themselves for solving the thirst problem all by themselves! I decided when they were just about a year-old, at home I would take away the straw and let them drink out of the cup with no lid. I only let them do this in the kitchen, and yes at first it made a crazy mess. Yes, actually this whole developmental stage made a crazy mess! I look back at it and I have no idea how my OCD let me just let go for a couple of months. Granted, there were some days I wanted to shave my head and beat people up with umbrellas, but that smile of them feeling their first wave of independence. Their first 'ah ha' moment of 'I can do this', was worth every dirty rag I had to wash.
Enjoy all the days-even the dirty ones! Because one day we won’t be in that moment with them anymore, just remembering it!