Ventre gonflé: Eating anxieties
Ottawa, January 22, 2021
The other day (and not for the first time), Raven mentioned one of the mommy blogs she follows. This entry, she told me, concerned that mother’s problems getting her baby to sleep. Apparently she had to spend at least an hour a night dealing with a baby who wouldn’t stop crying.
Every. Single. Night.
And Raven and I laughed ruefully and sympathetically, pondering the 15 quite pleasant minutes she had just spent getting Baobao into bed following her nightly wash-up. No crying, no fighting, just a diaper change then into her pyjamas, followed by a few minutes of playing before she turned out the light and came downstairs.
“That,” said Raven, “is one of the reasons I don’t want to have another baby: I feel like we’ve used up all our luck with this one!”
And it’s true: we have (so far — knock wood and all that) had an incredibly easy job of things with our Baobao. From Raven’s almost nausea-free pregnancy to her four-hour labour, to Baobao’s shift from sleeping in a crib at the side of her bed to one in her own room without so much as a single night’s anxiety on her part, we have been blessed. (Again: knock wood!)
But still, there have been a few problems. Or at least, a few worries.
She was a little slow to walk, for one, and for a time she bordered on being so small — 5th percentile in height — that some sort of medical intervention might have been called for.
Also, she’s a bit of a fussy eater. Loves her carbs, loves her fruits and, of course, her milk, but despite some very early success with cheese, it’s been hard to get her to eat her vegetables and proteins.
Raven has worried more than I have — She’s got lots of energy, she’s growing, she’s smart and happy, so let’s not panic, has been my line — but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been concerned too.
The other day, I noticed that she had consistently pointed to a bowl of penne pasta in one of her books, Mon petit livre bilingue français-anglais, the same one I realized a while back she had been using to “order” blueberries from.
So, I thought, she might not even know what it is, but she’s intrigued. Why not try it?
And so, I did.
And guess what? Yup, she loved it!
She gobbled down one serving, then another. And then, another.
And when she asked for a fourth, Raven and I exchanged a nervous glance and a doubtful laugh, then let her have it.
When she asked for a fifth helping, our parental common sense finally kicked in and we told her that enough was enough. Thank god she’s a good-natured and pretty reasonable child. She didn’t put up too much of a fuss; possibly she herself realized she was getting a little too full.
And so, Mama Raven took her upstairs, cleaned her up and put her to bed, reporting on her return that our little one’s belly was gonflé indeed. (No pictures, I’m afraid; we’ve decided that even half-naked pictures of Baobao are not going online, no matter how cute they might be to us.)
Better still, two days later, she’s still enjoying pasta, and still putting up with the accompanying tomato sauce (which includes a raft of vegetables, along with ground beef). Win, win, win!