Adventures in Parenting #44: Is My Baby a Bottomless Pit?

In the past I wrote about the transition from formula to rice cereal and from rice cereal to baby food. I never wrote about the transition from baby food to real food (which I sometimes call "table food" even though A.) we almost never eat at the actual table and B.) it sounds like I'm feeding a dog not an actual human) because it was such a gradual, "here, have a little of this" thing rather than a, "Hey, you know how you've been getting all of your sustenance out of a bottle? Well now that's over and you have to use eating utensils for everything" thing. Like most people, it started with little things like puffs and Cheerios, progressed to Goldfish (which only resulted in one massive puking incident that we know of), and eventually we got to the good stuff. Cooper fought this transition at first. No one likes change, least of all babies, and so he would lightly rebel against fruits and vegetables a bit and refused all meat for a while. But eventually he came around on the idea of real food. And now he can't get enough.

Seriously. No matter how much food you give this child, it is NEVER enough. Two tubs of baby food? Please. A tub of food, some of these ridiculous pasta pickups, and an entire orange? NOT ENOUGH. An entire hamburger? I'm not certain he's made it past this feat quite yet but it's definitely heading that way. If there is food in sight, Cooper MUST have it. When it's time for breakfast or elevensies or lunch or snack or dinner or second dinner, our well behaved little guy turns into a whiny mess of a child who might have a demon. He yells, he cries, he pounds his fists on the table. Sometimes he yells for more while actually chewing on the last bite and holding the next bite in his hands. He is a monster. This is a note we got from his school last week regarding his eating habits:


Yeah, that's right, my child is a "bottomless pit." And if we're being honest, that's sugarcoating it. God bless Ms. Kathy.

I used to look forward to Cooper's progression to real food. It's one of those little hallmarks that indicates your child is actually turning into a little person now. But none of you told me that once they start down that road, you have to start rationing their food like you're in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. Now when Lindsey and I eat we have to take turns shoveling food into our own mouths while the other attempts to sate the appetite of this little creature who might be turning into the Sarlacc Pit. (Look, I don't make many Star Wars references around here but it's been a pretty exciting week for nerds like me so just give me this one.) It's not that bad at home because I can always just eat over the kitchen sink where he can't actually see the food. But in a can get bad, guys. I pity any waiter who draws our table and doesn't bring approximately 18 extra pieces of bread to the table because if and when we run out of bread, the demon/monster child will lose his mind. He's even started pointing at other tables and demanding their food. It's pretty embarrassing, really.

On the plus side, it can be pretty hilarious to watch the child's meltdown when he is told there will be no more eating. (And hey, what's the point of parenting if it isn't to laugh at your child?) At the outset of the meal, he looks like this, happy, content, excited about the filling of his stomach:


But when the food is gone and one of his cursed, horrible, just downright mean spirited parents refuses to get him more, he is likely to collapse into a puddle of tears like the Wicked Witch of the West:



If he's really upset about the state of his stomach, he will stomp (he will seriously slap his hands against the ground as he crawls to show his frustration) his way into the kitchen and cry there in the presence of the food he can't quite get to. This video was shot after he had already eaten a tub of food, a cheese stick, and enough Cheerios to put the Honey Nut Cheerios bee's entire family through college. What you don't see: the three attempts he made to OPEN THE REFRIGERATOR before I started filming. And let me also say, this is a very mild meltdown on the scale of Cooper/Sarlacc Pit Freak Outs:

So this is the world I live in now. Sometimes when Cooper is on the prowl for more food, I half-way lock myself in the pantry and eat an entire granola bar in one bite just so I don't have to share it with him. We've created a little monster. We thought we had a Mogwai but instead we have a Gremlin. Please send help. And food.

Are there diets for babies? Brian