Mason was home sick again last Friday–his fever returned during nap time at school on Thursday and his teacher called me at work to come pick him up a little early. I hate getting those phone calls, I always feel a little frantic, like I can’t get to school fast enough. It’s incredibly stressful knowing that he’s hurting and I’m not immediately there. That night, he threw up after dinner from coughing so hard. I panicked and called the doctor because I’ve very allergic to the antibiotic Mason is taking for his ear infection, and I was afraid he was having an allergic reaction. Since he didn’t have a rash she said that his cough was most likely the culprit. Apparently kids his age often vomit from coughing, who knew? Nightmare!
Bug was still dragging Friday and didn’t feel like eating very much. When I took him to the doctor’s earlier that week, she said his throat looked raw (in addition to the ear infection), so I let him be peckish all day. He seemed interested in yogurt when I served it –and while eating it, he made a tremendous mess. In fact, I removed his shirt at the same time I cleared the dishes from his tray because it had all gotten so out of control (right). A mess like that generally freaks me out, but I let it go. He was having so much fun after feeling so crummy for several days, how could I possibly break that up?
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(Left): Mason feeds himself Greek yogurt with homemade peach puree–and tries to snatch my phone when he catches me photographing him.
Our efforts to teach Mason to feed himself with a spoon have been in full swing for about a month now. He seems much more motivated to use the spoon when he’s at school. I suppose it’s because he’s sitting with eight other kids, all around his age, who are doing the same thing that he’s doing. It’s absolutely precious to watch all of them in action (the girls are dainty, the boys are sloppy). At home, we generally practice every night at dinner, with yogurt or applesauce. It always starts out the same way: He studies his spoon and then takes a few spoonfuls of the food in front of him and feeds himself very well. I get excited and cheer. But after a few minutes he tosses the spoon and scoops up handfuls of his food and shoves it into his mouth. It’s really cute but the mess just stresses me out! I mean finger food is messy, but this is mess on a whole other level. By the time he’s finished, there are globs of applesauce or yogurt everywhere. Any tips on helping him master the skill, with a little less mess?
Will Mason’s Superman cape give him super powers when it comes to learning how to feed himself with a spoon?
When I picked Mason up from school the other day his teacher told me that he and the other kids in his class will learn how to feed themselves with spoons in January. “That’s so exciting!” I gushed, but in my head I was thinking, Really? So soon?! We only just mastered self bottle-feeding! Of course I’m looking forward to this new milestone but I’m a little nervous, too. Mason is such a messy eater already — sometimes it seems like more food gets on his clothes, hair, and face than in his mouth — I can’t imagine how much more messy he’ll be when we throw a spoon in the mix. (As you can see from the photo in yesterday’s post, Bug loves to play with his spoon while he eats but he’s never actually fed himself with it.) So I had to laugh when I arrived at work this morning and saw that my coworker Jessie had left a copy of “Too Soon” by Shel Silverstein on my desk. The poem is part of a series of unpublished poems and illustrations in the late, great author’s new book Everything On It, and it perfectly articulates how I envision our first few spoon-feeding sessions to be like:
You’ve spilt your milk
And dumped the mashed
Potatoes in your chair.
There’s tapioca in your nose
And broccoli in your hair.
Your applesauce is on the wall
And nothin’s on your spoon.
I think perhaps we let you
Try to feed yourself too soon.
Hope you get a little chuckle from it too!