Sunday, March 3, 2013

March 3. Day 62. Spoon fed

The buzz in the baby raising world is baby-led weaning. It means no purees. It means no weaning spoons. Gone is the aeroplane game where we pretend the spoon is an aeroplane and coax the child to open his or her mouth so we can land the food inside.
Instead, finger foods are presented as soon as the baby is able and the little one is invited to try everything. From an early age, baby gets used to different food and textures, joins in at meal times and is able to take as much or as little as he really needs.
Sounds messy and I'd worry about chocking.
But it's more than that. In the great spectrum that ranges from free range to helicopter parenting, I fully confess to being a hoverer of the top order.
Forget spoon feeding. As my bottom would attest, given half the chance I would eat it for you.
See these magpies feeding on my back deck today? That would be me. I would predigest it if I could.
This is despite the fact that I see the end result of this kind of take-over parenting every day in my job as a university lecturer. There's a whole generation of kids who want it all chopped up in tiny little bits and presented to them on the plate. And then they want it spoon fed to them.
Ideally they would like this to happen virtually so they don't even need to turn up.
But in so many other ways they are so knowledgeable, so independent and so confident.
So hovering can't be all bad. And in any case there are enough people out there ready to blame mothers for everything that is wrong with society without us doing it to ourselves.
 Now if you'll excuse me it's time for morning tea. I need to go and cut off the crusts of some peanut paste sandwiches - and then feed them to myself. Some people never grow up.

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