As I started to write this post, I took a look back at where we were last year. Obviously, the muppets were very tiny and our journey was just beginning. At the time, just over a week into their little lives, we were already fiercely focused on food.
In 2010, the question was how much milk they could tolerate – increasing a gavaged intake by 2 mL with each feeding. Well, now we’re here in 2011 and again facing a milk tolerance issue. But this time, it’s most certainly not their bodies rejecting it – it’s their brain. (To be fair, I don’t think they were a fan of the feeding tubes either, they just couldn’t do anything about it.)
At our well-baby check, our doctor told us it was time to start introducing a lot more “big boy” foods. Yes, let’s talk about that. Most of the jar foods beloved by the muppets feature significant amounts of carotene-rich veggies.
Did you know that flamingos are pink due to pigments in their diet? (Can you guess where I’m going with this?) In the case of our pretty pink Phoenicopterus, a regimen of brine shrimp provides carotenoids that deposit the well-known blush color throughout their feathers. (Did you know today’s post would provide a zoology lesson? Thank you Miss Mallory, A.E. Wright Middle School, Sixth Grade Science. But I digress…) Flamingos in captivity (such as on the lawn of the Hyatt Regency Maui) often have additional additives with beta-carotene to brighten their trademark color.
Let’s go back to the paragraph above for a moment. “Most of the jar foods beloved by the muppets feature significant amounts of carotene-rich veggies.” Our doctor chuckled saying pediatricians look at the carrot-tene tan and think “healthy baby.” Now, I’m all about healthy babies. But let’s get real – they are starting to look like little oompa-loompas.
So as mentioned in Out Damned Sippy Cup, we changed the food routine. They were displeased. In full disclosure, they were also not terribly thrilled with the series of Chicken Pox, Hepatitis, and Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccination shots that were an added bonus of the yearly checkup – so they were already prone to a bit of muppet malaise.
I previously shared that morsels of French bread will prompt statements (gestures) for “more” from Search.
Destroy has now mastered, “No more.” The proper ASL sign is a slight flick of the hand – as though you were brushing something aside in an “away with it” motion. Apparently the muppets are concerned that we will not understand them. They express the sentiment by wildly waving their chubby little arms across their bodies. Often they hedge bets toward furthering understanding by brushing the remaining bread, carrots, potatoes, avocado, pasta, banana, apples, peaches, yogurt, cereal, turkey, cheese or other vitals from their tray so it flies as far away as possible.
In a frustrating turn of events, even such dramatic gesticulations were not clear enough to communicate their initial sippy cup displeasure. After denying the first sippy cup trial, Destroy waved away the offending plastic device, “All done.” But when we foolishly persisted in the attempt, our little dude *flattened* himself to the ground – legs in the splits and face firmly indenting an imprint in the carpet. Suddenly he sat up; with a banshee Braveheart wail he flung the cup across the room. SIPPY CUP BE DAMNED WOMAN! Kid’s got a decent arm… (Granted this particular portion of the room is maybe 4 feet wide, but that’s still pretty good for a 2 foot kid.)
They’ve got G.G. on their side too. In the muppets first email (I was 15 when I first got an email, the boys are 1. Technology…) she noted,
“I just want you both to let Mom and Dad know that I agree with you two boys – that it’s much too early to give up your precious bottle. I consider it “cruel and inhuman punishment.” I’m curious to know why you are being weaned so early. Everything else has had that “3 month adjustment” — why not the bottle? You are definitely setting a pattern –I know my kids were closer to 2 years. As I’ve related, I took it away from Uncle Tom after he decided he knew how to pull off the nipple and spit the milk all over. You boys wouldn’t do that – would you? At least, enjoy “real food” — and you may just find something tasty in the “sippy cup.” Keep trying.
Thank you all so much for such fabulous advice. We have now acquired quite the selection of sippy cups: Avent hard nipple, Munchkin spill-free straw suckers, Born Free soft nipples and Playtex straw cup. They’re lined up along the living-room ledge in a police lineup of sorts for the boys to select. But we’ve decided to not cut off the bottle cold turkey just yet. So maybe sippy love will blossom over time. It did take them 10 weeks to figure out the bottle for the first time.
In the midst of a late-night text session, Auntie Beeca shared that the muppet’s little cousin Leila had preferred straw cups at an older age, but had first successfully transitioned via the soft (chewable) nipples of the BornFree cups. “Bossy, bossy” Auntie Beeca always says when proffering advice. And like most times I hear her share personal experience, I immediately followed said advice.
There were no tantrums that night. We’re still not terribly thrilled with the concept. But my sanity thanks you for all the sound suggestions.