Nattering, and a Question

I want to have adoption news. I really do.

A couple of emails ago, in August, I directed a little information and a couple of questions at Cricket. It seemed unlikely to hurt, and in fact, it didn’t; when Ruth wrote back, she gave me his answers. I tried it again last time, and while I probably won’t hear back for awhile, I think I’ll keep it up.

I’m planning Joey’s birthday party now—I know that it is grotesquely premature, but I got a coupon to have some invitations printed for free, and now I am testbaking things and counting down. One of those invitations will go to Cricket and his moms, and I’m shamefully glad that they won’t be able to come. Don’t get me wrong; I would be over the moon if Cricket could come. It would be great to see him tear around the yard and eat cupcakes. I miss that toddler boy, and I’d love to spend some time with him. But I so, so don’t want his moms at Joey’s birthday party. I think that’s less a function of the fact that they are Cricket’s adoptive moms and more that our relationship is lousy, although I suppose I could be kidding myself about that. But I don’t think so.

Cricket doesn’t have birthday parties the way that I did when I was little; his moms throw Hanukkah parties on or around his birthday, at least so far. On the one hand, that’s perfectly reasonable—Cricket isn’t going to remember one way or the other in ten years, and one party is much like another for a tiny person, I imagine. On the other hand, I’m making a different choice both because I want to have a day to explicitly celebrate my snerkleberry (we’re big on birthdays in my family) and because I want there to be a million pictures that he and I and his godmom and any other interested party can look through in the future. We have similarly different approaches to Halloween; Ruth doesn’t like Halloween, so Cricket doesn’t celebrate it. Mr. Book and I picked out a costume for Pete almost as soon as I knew I was pregnant, and it is an awesome one, which I will probably explain in irritating nerd detail once I post pictures here. When in doubt, we default to throwing our arms in the air and shouting hooray, basically, and it’s hard for us not to miss Cricket having that sometimes.

**

When do babies make the transition to eating significant quantities of solid food? Joey will taste anything, but rarely eats much—and he’s nursing very frequent. Like, more than once an hour some days. I have plenty of milk, so I don’t think that’s the issue; in part, I think he’s nursing for comfort, but I wonder whether he’s also just needing something that sticks to the ribs a little better than breastmilk. He’s ten months old, so I’m not actually worried, but it seems as though he might need real food and I don’t know how to get him to eat it. I’m doing what I think I’m supposed to—offering a variety of foods and letting him choose—but he’s not choosing more than a bite or two. Should I refuse to nurse for five minutes out of every twenty? Certainly I’m not in love with that schedule, but Joey sure is.

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6 thoughts on “Nattering, and a Question

  1. Re., the nursing: every kid is so different. Honestly Noah was not much for solids til about two cuz he had texture issues. If you want to limit snacking at the breast by all means do for your sanity. Either he’ll eat more food or eat more during nursing sessions but either way he’ll get what he needs. And nursing longer will mean more hind milk (snacking at the breast gets more of the watery fore milk) and that will stick to his ribs.

  2. I found your blog a few weeks ago and it took me a while to catch up. I’m an adult adoptee (that’s my connection to adoption in case you were wondering).

    My birthday is really close to Halloween. I can’t stand that holiday because I always felt like it overshadowed my birthday. Birthdays in my (adoptive) family were always a BIG deal. As in start planning the party three months before. And we always took LOTS of pictures. One of my favorite things to do is to look at the old pictures from those birthday parties. Some are embarrassing (“Mom, WHY did you put me in that dress? And WHY would you let me stuff my face with all that cake and take a picture of it? REALLY?) but some are cute and overall I’m glad to have those memories captured on film.

    Good luck planning Joey’s birthday party!

  3. My children didn’t start eating solid food in significant quantities until after their first birthdays. And Nicholas was closer to 18 months before I felt comfortable cutting back on the formula. I consider anything up to 12 months to be experimentation and practice.

    As for the whole birthday thing — that is definitely a major difference between families. Nicholas’s 3rd birthday was yesterday. We gave him some balloons and a few gifts at breakfast. Cake and ice cream was served after nap time. “Happy Birthday” was sung repeatedly throughout the day every time he requested it. He had a great time and had a smile on his face all day long. I personally believe that any birthday parties before about 4-5 years old are more for the parents than the child. Not that there is anything wrong with it, but I personally prefer the more intimate, close family only, low-key birthdays that we do. I will wait for the real birthday parties until he is old enough to really enjoy them.

  4. We did a little baby-led weaning, but not very strictly since H was also taking his regular bottles. For us, what worked was giving him long sticks of food (cooked carrots, steamed broccoli stalks, roasted sweet potatoes in big slices, pear fingers, and other similar things) that he could play with or not. Some things he liked, some he never considered eating, and others he tasted and rejected. We just sat back and let him play. After a few months, he started eating more and more. Now, at 15 months, he tries almost everything we eat and gets upset if we don’t let him try something. It sounds like you’re doing something similar. He’ll eat what he needs to, I think.

  5. About the nonstop 10 month old nursing- I very much identify. In fact, my 17 month old is nursing at this very moment. We just started offering her all the foods we ate, except super spicy stuff, and gradually figured out what she liked. To my shame, a partial list is so classic and un-natural foodie: hot dogs, (Annie’s) Mac and Cheese, etc. She will eat lots of our regular food though. Anyway I didn’t push regular food too hard, and didn’t really do baby food, and she went in and out of nonstop nursing cycles. I think they were connected to her growth spurts. At ten months, based on what I have read and what my pediatrician says, breastmilk really is still the best and most important food, and “real” food is supplementary. That will shift naturally, later. It sounds like you are doing the right thing.

  6. I’ve had big nursers & not so big nursers & a big milk girl. I think if he’s growing–& clearly he is!– & interested you are golden. No big worries about amount.

    I think about this a lot, less the birthdays (although those too) but how we might celebrate holidays differently or different holidays & how that makes Caroline feel. I do try to report/share photos.

    We had a HUGE b’day party for Ezekiel’s first birthday (the first child) & for Saskia a teeny one. I think that big party was for us. The teeny one suited her but I don’t regret either route. It’s almost developmental–as parents, never mind the family culture.

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