Finger Food

Punkie is officially a finger food kind of guy now.  We had practiced at home over the past week and he was doing pretty well getting the food from his tray into his mouth, although the pincer grip is still a challenge.  Mainly, he puts a food item into his hand, grips it with his fist, and then mashes it into his mouth.  It’s insanely cute.  And he works very hard when he’s eating his finger food – his little forehead crinkles and he sucks in his bottom lip as he picks up the food.

I thought I would give him some more time to practice at home before sending finger food to day care.  He’s 8 months old and our pediatrician advised that, if we increase his solid food too much, he might not get as much milk and it’s too soon to cut down on the milk.  In fact, my husband and I disagreed about this for the past several days – he thought I should send finger food to day care and I wanted to wait a few more weeks.  Why rush him, I thought.

But Punkie had become a food scrounger.  He was waiting for the older babies at day care to start eating their solid food and then he’d crawl over and eat the food they dropped.  When the teacher in his room told me this yesterday, it broke my heart.  The poor little punk is so excited about eating solid food, he’s willing to sit under chairs and take what falls.  She said they had to put him in the exer-saucer to keep him from crawling over to scrounge for food, and he would cry.

So I sent some finger food to day care today – bananas.  I stopped by to visit him this morning (I was hoping to catch him napping – the teachers keep swaddling him and I don’t want him swaddled anymore) and found him in a high chair (next to a couple of other babies in high chairs), wiggling and grunting with happiness, and shoving chunks of banana into his mouth.  He was so happy.

I really didn’t expect the peer pressure to begin this early.  He can’t even talk yet, but he wants the same Cheerios or whatever else the other babies get.

My heart gushed when I saw him so happy.  And my brain reminded me that I now have to produce a care package of finger food every morning.

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