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Starting solids

We did it! We did the thing! We started Bea on solids! Making that first bowl of cereal was a big deal in the McKinley household: washing the new baby dishes, precisely measuring the cereal, obsessively Googling “baby’s first feeding,” settling Bea into her high chair and getting the camera ready … It was a...

We did it! We did the thing! We started Bea on solids!McKinley_BeasBananas_10-8-14
Making that first bowl of cereal was a big deal in the McKinley household: washing the new baby dishes, precisely measuring the cereal, obsessively Googling “baby’s first feeding,” settling Bea into her high chair and getting the camera ready … It was a real production.
Even though we may have gone a bit overboard in the planning department, her first feeding was a success. Bea ate her cereal like a champ, Andy took enough videos and pictures to create a BBC documentary, and Georgia promptly took care of anything Bea was kind enough to dribble onto the floor.
Like every new stage so far, the hardest part of starting solids is figuring out the logistics. Where to put the high chair, finding time to make baby food, what order to introduce fruits and veggies and how to make mealtime part of her daily routine. I simply thought of Bea’s foray into solids as another piece I needed to fit into our family’s daily puzzle.
Apparently, Andy felt a little differently. As we were washing those first cereal crusties from Bea’s face, I shared my ideas for streamlining our future baby-feeding process.
The wet bib Andy was holding landed on the floor with an unappetizing splat.
“Wait, we have to do all of this again tomorrow?” he balked. “How long do we have to keep this up?!”
I hated to tell him that we’re kind-of responsible for feeding her forever. Or at least for the next couple of decades.
Then I stopped laughing at his sweet, panic-stricken face long enough to realize he’s right. Feeding her grown-up food every night from here on out is kind of a big deal.
Until this moment, I don’t think I appreciated the easier aspects of having an infant. Our mobility … her contentment with napping quietly in her car seat … the simplicity and cleanliness of breastfeeding … poop that didn’t smell like sulfur wrapped in rancid bacon.
Yes, our days with a newborn are dwindling. Before now, all I’ve really needed to ensure Bea’s contentment is a nursing cover and a few diapers, and the world was our proverbial oyster. Soon, though, my tidy diaper bag will turn into the fabled mom bag—littered with stale Cheerios, dirty spoons, bibs and enough snacks and clean underpants to survive off of for months.
I’m pretty sure this is how Cinderella felt at midnight. Except it’s my baby that turned into a pumpkin. Or started eating pumpkin. Whatever. Bad metaphors aside, there’s no going back. First it’s cereal, then bananas, then maybe sweet potatoes—and then crawling, potty training and college!
I know what you’re thinking: “Put down the potato masher, and step away from the ledge!” And you’re right; this is all a bit dramatic. It’s just that I had no idea that starting solids would be a bigger milestone for Andy and me than it would be for Bea.
We’re getting a grip, though—we’re taking it one night (and one mashed banana) at a time. And, most importantly, Bea is loving it!

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