It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Introducing Jazz

I am starting a new baby in a couple of weeks. High time I named the OLD new baby, isn’t it?

She’s Jasmine. Jasmine because she’s fine-boned, delicate, and very sweet. We shall be calling her Jazz, though, because she is also lively, strong-willed, and quirky.

What makes her quirky?

I think it’s the combination of a very strong personality with lots of good manners. So, even as she’s refusing to do… well, anything at all, on a particularly feisty day, she’s doing it very politely.

“Let’s get our boots on, so we can go outside!”

“No, thank you.”

“If you do that, Tyler will be sad. You don’t want to make Tyler sad!”

“Yes, please.”

She isn’t often that negative, though. Jazz is, for the most part, utter sunshine. Even when she’s being contrary, she does it with the most cheerful demeanor possible. I don’t think this is a conscious desire to manipulate through charm. She just is that charming!

She’s tiny. Food is not real high on her list of interests. It seems clear to me that her parents, frightened by dire words from doctors, have decided that any calories are good calories for their featherweight daughter. The child would subsist on nothing but bread if you let her… and I think, once she’s ingested a mouth or two of other stuff, she’s pretty much allowed to do that.

We’ll be working on that. 🙂

I hope to convince her parents that she can be trusted to consume what her body needs, so long as they provide it to her. Which is to say, give her protein, vegetables and fruit in decent quantities, and keep the bread to an occasional event. At first she’ll refuse to eat at all, expecting that she can assuage her hunger as she always does, but when the bread isn’t forthcoming and she’s allowed to experience the hunger that’s the result of this choice… she’ll eat.

I know she will, because she’s beginning to do it here. She now tries everything I serve. She doesn’t eat a lot. I don’t think she ever will be a big eater, but then, she’s not a big child.

She will eat a lot more if I let her hang around underfoot as I prepare meals. Those beans she point-blank refused while they were on her high chair tray gain dramatic new appeal when they’re pulled from the bowl on the counter and eaten off my fingertips…

Do I expect her to eventually ingest real meals without a fuss with the rest of us? Of course I do, and I’m confident she’ll get there. First I want her to become a little more experimental, and we’re achieving that. She eats far more now than she did when she started with me a couple of months back. Besides, it amuses me that standing in the kitchen, noshing off my spoon, she’ll eat the things that horrify her in her highchair.

Quirky, she is.

She is often one of the first to arrive. She greets subsequent arrivals as if they’re beloved relatives she hasn’t seen in YEARS!!! Cries of joy and open arms, hugs and kisses all round. And then she must race to their storage bin to fetch their slippers. All the while declaring her joy and intent in vigorous one- or two-word sentences.

“Tyler!”
“Tyler come!”
“Kiss, Tyler!!”
“Kiss! Hug!”
“S’ippuh! Tyler s-ippuh!”
“On! Sippuh on!”

Adorable. I think you’ll be hearing a lot more about Jazz.

Now that she has a name.

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April 5, 2011 - Posted by | food, individuality, Jazz

5 Comments »

  1. This is why I’m doing baby led weaning. Because I don’t want to turn into one of those parents who worries constantly about the child needing to eat more and turns dinner time into a battleground.

    I trust Babby to know how much breastmilk he needs. Why wouldn’t I trust him to know how much solid food he needs?

    Good questions. Rhetorical, I know, but good ones, nonetheless. In this family’s case, I’d say their inclination would be to let the child lead the way, but they’ve been freaked out by a worried doctor, and some bad patterns established as a result. Now we have to deal with those before we can effectively re-establish the parent’s responsibility to provide a range of healthy choices, and the child’s right to decide how much (even whether) she eats.

    Comment by IfByYes | April 5, 2011 | Reply

  2. Sounds adorable. How old is she? And how old is the new baby that’s on the way?

    She is almost two, in a couple of weeks. The new baby will be a year old this month.

    Comment by jwg | April 5, 2011 | Reply

    • A “baby on the way”! Hee, hee!

      Yes. I do my utmost to ensure that people have babies so I can stay in business. 😀

      Comment by rosie_kate | April 6, 2011 | Reply

  3. I lose patience with picky eaters. I was just told by a child (not mine) “I don’t like the taste of tomatoes in that shape.” They were diced and his mom uses crushed in her chili recipe. He picked them out… and she let him.

    At this age, I lose patience with the parents of picky eaters. (Though not this family, at least not yet. They had what seemed compelling reasons for the patterns and responses that led to this.) As the child becomes older, they assume more responsibility for their own habits, until, when they’re the age of my own children (teen and twenties), it’s solely on them to eat like adults, not toddlers, and, barring genuine mental/physical/medical issues, I have less than no patience with persnickety adult eaters.

    However, that’s not to say I tolerate the behaviour. Had a child at my table said that (and the parent not been around), I’d have cheerfully informed them that was all that was available. They could eat the meal — all of it — or be excused from the table. I used to mortify my children when I made the family eating expectations apply to school-age guests, too. (I recall how stunned one 8-year-old boy, friend of my son, was the first time I told him he would have to finish his vegetables before he could have seconds of the meat! And now this same young man is studying to be a chef! Should I be proud??) 🙂

    Comment by My Kids Mom | April 6, 2011 | Reply

  4. I’m really sorry but I read “I am starting a new baby in a couple of weeks.” and thought OMFG she’s pregnant what the hell? And then my brain caught up and I realised what you meant.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA…. “OMFG she’s pregnant what the hell” would be almost exactly my response to that situation. With more tears and trauma. Nope. Love babies, love being important in my families’ lives, and will love grand-babies as they start to arrive. Another of my own? Oh, please no.

    Comment by Sylvia | April 7, 2011 | Reply


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