Sunday, August 19, 2007

Zoe Turns Five (Months) and Uses a Spoon

On August 7th, Zoe’s five-month birthday, we took the opportunity to re-open The Baby Book to make sure her development was on-track. We had pretty much stopped reading the handful of baby books we have because their advice wasn’t in line with our natural baby raising skills. For example, I still think putting the talcum powder and the baby in a pillowcase and shaking is a great way to make sure all the crevices are coated. Some of Zoe's advanced skills are gleefully pulling out handfuls of Alison’s hair and shoving her entire fist into her mouth. She is also a pro at grabbing her toes and standing unsupported for .5 seconds. (I hope soon to publish the dramatic videos of these events.) According to “The Book” she is performing these actions as well if not better than a six month old, and is on track to becoming either a doctor or a tattoo artist. She also clearly understands what we are saying. For example, she knows what, “Up? Up? Up? 1, 2, 3 Up!” means, although she seems less sure about, “Fetch Daddy another beer then go watch TV.”

We recently tried feeding Zoe her first solid food. The word solid should be used loosely, since it’s a 1 to 3 ratio of solid to liquid. But since it is “solid” food, we have to feed it to her with a spoon. This requires that Alison hold her steady while I try to get the spoon into her mouth, a moving target. Remember back in the 80’s those little cocaine spoons that seemed to be popular as jewelry? No? Well the point is the amount of food that I am putting into her mouth would fit in one of those spoons. However, the amount that comes out of her mouth is about double that. The quantity of food I prepare is about a tablespoon of milk to a teaspoon of cereal. After fifteen minutes you couldn’t tell that any of the food was missing from the bowl, yet her bib seemed to have about three-quarters of a cup of the mixture spread over it. Ultimately she didn’t like it, and not only did it not put her into a deep sleep, which was the whole reason we started her on solids, but it gave her constipation. I’m not sure how a quantity of cereal that would fit on the head of a pin could give her constipation, but we’ve decided to wait a couple more weeks before trying again.

Addendum: Since I wrote the above post (often a week or more before it’s published) we have again tried to feed her solids, and we’ve expanded our repertoire to include carrots. The carrots have not been a big hit. She actually makes a gagging face when we put them in her mouth. After three spoonfuls there were carrots across Alison’s shirt and pants, the bib was coated and I don’t think any actually went down her Zoe’s throat. The big success was a bowl (think very large thimble) or rice cereal that was completely gobbled up. Although there were no ill health effects, it still didn’t make her sleep through the night. I think the next bowl will be one part cereal, three parts brandy.

See photos of Zoe at

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