Hello! Don't think I've forgotten about this little series. It's just that for a while there, well, Hugo sort of went on a food strike. (In addition to the nap strike! I know.) And it was so strange and so frustrating that I sort of couldn't bring myself to write about it while I was in it. You know? He stopped wanting to eat my lovingly prepared vegetable purées, he stopped being interested in the food I made for myself and he threw everything I put in front of him to feed himself on the floor. A few times, he even reached inside his mouth after I put a spoonful of food in it and sort of clawed out the food, shrieking all the while in disgust. It was awful.
In retrospect, I think it was an unholy combination of teething and too many bottles and textural issues and also just plain babyhood and I'm very, very glad to say we seem to have worked things out. Now Hugo gets a big bottle first thing in the morning and another big one before bed, but the rest of the day, he eats three proper meals at the table. It's so satisfying and wonderful to see him digging in to whatever I put in front of him. Phew.
But some of my behavior while this was going on was giving me pause. When Hugo refused to eat something, I'd quickly prepare something else and offer to him instead. When that got thrown on the floor too, I'd look for yet another thing to give him, often resorting to buttered bread or pasta. After all, I couldn't very well let my almost 11-month old go hungry, could I? Those rules about not cooking things to order for your kids obviously were only meant for older kids, right?
Except then I was hanging out with my French girlfriend Marguerite and when I told her about what was going on and how I was dealing with it, she did one of those half double-takes backwards and shook her head gently. "Oh, no, Luisa. He refuses to eat? Then that's it. Don't make anything else for him." But, but, I protested. He's just a baby! Won't he be hungry? Won't he wake up in the middle of the night? Aren't I sort of then sending him to bed with no supper and won't I be judged cruelly for that and sent packing straight to Hades? "No! He has his evening bottle, right? He's almost 11 months old. He'll be fine." And, um, she was right.
So today, folks, I want to write about French rules for feeding children.