Wednesday, September 26, 2012
For the Love of Food
I started writing this blog when Lilly was the same age that Jack is now--right around 11 months old . I wanted a way to keep track of milestones and stories and pictures, and all the amazing scrapbook aspirations that I had were building up and looking less likely to take shape anytime in the near future. So I started writing and when I look back, I love the memories. I love the pictures and videos and I can't believe that there was a time in my life when Lilly did not talk! It's fun for me to see that Jack is just as "helpful" now as Lilly was when she was approaching one. He too follows around the vacuum cleaner and often pushes it across the room while he laughs, making my job all the more difficult. We currently can't find the cable card that belongs in our cable box. Unfortunately, without this card, our cable is completely useless and we know exactly who to blame for this. Lilly used to love pulling out the cable card and now Jack has taken over right where she left of a couple of years ago and we really have no idea where he put it. It's only been missing for a day so hopefully it will turn up soon. Lilly is helping us solve this mystery so we're in good hands.
We have stairs in our new house which Jack adores. He's taken a few falls but now cruises up them given any opportunity. Unfortunately, his idea of going back down them is to turn around and lean--a method that I know will not end well. So for the time being, Jack is heavily supervised on the stairs, despite his confidence in handling them. Jack wants to walk everywhere, which still requires two adult fingers to hold onto, so he'll often look around letting out some kind of noise indicating he would like some help. Jack is very similar to how Lilly was in so many ways that Jim and I have to consciously stop and notice these milestones, as they seem to fly by the second time around.
Jack, however, is making a name for himself when it comes to food. The boy can't get enough of it! I thought Lilly loved food but this blows Lilly's love of food right out of the water. I should have known early on. Everything you read or hear says that breastfed babies know how to cut themselves off and won't overeat. Well, that is a big fat lie. Or at least it was as far as Jack was concerned. He would never cut himself off. Apparently, babies "turn their head away" when they're full. I tested this many times and each time, Jack would eat to the point where he was so full and then he would spit up everything he had just eaten. He was upset because he'd just lost all his milk. I was upset because as any breastfeeding mum knows, that seems like such a waste! From the earliest weeks Jack did this. So I started cutting him off after about 20 minutes and we seemed to reach a mutual understanding and were both happy. Cue the introduction of solids at six months. Exactly the same thing happened! Even our pediatrician said that you can't give babies too many fruit or veggies, and that they'll stop eating when they're full. Again, that he would turn his head away or close his mouth. Not Jack. He would eat and eat and cry whenever he finished a bowl of veggies or a container of yogurt. He still does! Thankfully now you can keep his tray stocked with cheese or cheerios or other nibblers so he has those to turn to when the food I'm feeding him runs out, but you'll know when Jack has finished his yogurt and it's not pretty. If you happen to be eating something within eyesight of Jack, then he is convinced the food is for him. He starts flapping his arms and scooting himself up and down in the hope that you'll cave and give him some of whatever you're eating. I've never seen anything like it. His love of food reached a new extreme a couple of weeks ago when the egg reaction took place. He had a plate full of scrambled eggs and was loving every mouthful. As I watched his little eyes go red and puffy and blotches start to appear on his face, Jack was still shoveling eggs into his mouth as fast as he could. It didn't seem real! Mum said that when I had an allergic reaction to egg when I was little, I spit the egg right back out. It was as if I knew. Jack devoured every last bite of his, until I realized what was going on and we called the pediatrician and sprinted out to get Benadryl (which by the way he loved too. Whenever he has had any medicine--oral vaccines included--he cries when they're finished).
Jack definitely comes from some food loving genes. There's no shortage of food in either the Stephens or Clark families. We all love to eat and do it well. Edward eats Mum's shepherd's pie in one sitting, comprised of 2 pounds of meat and probably another 2 of potatoes. If there are any leftovers, the rest will be his breakfast. I've never seen anyone eat a hamburger or a bagel faster than Joseph (and I can picture the look of disgust on Mum's face when she realizes how fast Joseph has just eaten his meal). Jim's Dad, Pop, can eat more food over an extended period of time than I knew was humanly possible. I think his Thanksgiving dinner lasts approximately four hours. And then, of course, there's Jim. I will say that Jack gets some pretty strong food loving genes from his Dad. This is the point in any conversation when the story about Jim's first summer in Singapore comes up--the summer after he lost 20 pounds to row lightweight for the final regatta of the season. Jim and I went to Singapore to visit my family shortly after and spent the summer there. Jim came back 40 pounds heavier than he was in May. Now, in Jim's defense, I realize that he needed to gain at least 20 of those pounds back. He was gaunt and unhealthy at that regatta to the point where he couldn't even take off his own t-shirt to weigh in before the race. But he owes the other 20 pounds almost entirely to Singapore noodles and $1 ice cream sandwiches, fresh from the food hawkers. Jim can't turn down food. When we were dating in college, Jim would take me out to Fire and Ice--one of our favorite restaurants in Boston. It's a Mongolian Grill type place so you pile as much as you want into a bowl and take it up to the grill and they cook it for you so you end up with stir fries of your creation. I quickly caught on that Jim loved the place so much because you can eat as much as you want and you still pay the same. When we were going here, Jim would make sure I wouldn't eat all day so we could sit here for hours eating and talking and eating some more. So, with genes like these, it's not surprising to me that Jack can't turn down food either. I have yet to find food that Jack doesn't like. He's a true little boy.