I'm not a fan of feeding babies, my own or otherwise. Don't get me wrong, I treasure every second that I nurse my baby. She's my last and I know this time is fleeting so I gaze at her, enjoying the bonding and relishing every moment. But baby food? That is another story. My relationship with baby food is similar to my relationship with my gynecologist. It's a necessary evil. I don't like the smell of it, the consistency of it, or the sound the jar makes when you open it. And the actual feeding part, well that's just painful. She can't wait for the spoon to reach her mouth but, the second it does, she spits 80% of it right back out. When each microscopic, plastic-lined spoonful takes five tries to reach her belly, the process of finishing off a baby food jar is slow, messy, and frustrating. Not exactly my idea of a good time.
My older two kids react the way I am supposed to. They want to be notified when I feed the baby so that they can have a front row seat. They laugh when she spits out every bite and giggle uncontrollably when she tries to grab the spoon and feed herself. They each request a turn to spoon some in her mouth, wanting desperately to participate in this process. I let them, cringing when they miss her mouth and graze her cheek with the spoon or when they tilt it ever-so-slightly and a big chunk of vegetable medley plops on the baby's lap. They think this is hilarious. I smile through clinched teeth, doing my best to look like I am enjoying the madness. I know I'm supposed to but I simply don't. My husband enjoys it too. I'm convinced it's not real joy but his way of making up for the fact that he hasn't been able to participate in her feeding at all up until this point. He always jumps in when he sees me struggling and I'm OK with that. I try to feed her in the evenings when he's around.
I plan on making the baby food phase as short as possible. As soon as she gets a tooth or two, I'll start chopping up our meals into teeny, tiny pieces and giving her that so she can pick it up herself. I figure I've got three months tops of baby-food-o-rama to go. I can handle that, right? Until then, I'll feed her through clinched teeth, feigning enjoyment for the sake of my kids and the rest of the moms out there who can't wait to crack open that first jar of mashed peas.