Introducing Maggie to solid foods has been a slow process. We have tried five or six different kinds of baby food so far, and Maggie has outright rejected at least four of them. Even sweet potatoes, which were a favorite of Max's, and which I pureed by hand despite the fact that they ick me out, were categorically refused. Even the things that Maggie has liked (apples, pears, cherries) have mostly ended up on her chin rather than in her digestive tract. During dinner last night, Max watched me poke food at Maggie's stubbornly closed maw for awhile, and then asked if he could try feeding her. Hoping to capitalize on Maggie's adoration of Max, I agreed.
It may have been the cutest moment I have ever witnessed between Max and Maggie. Max kept tenderly offering Maggie the spoon, crooning, "Here you go, Maggie. Is it yummy? More, Maggie?" He even made the baby sign for 'more', which we have been working with Maggie on lately. (She has never made the sign for 'more', by the way. She has, however, mastered the sign for 'milk'.) Oh, man, it was cute.
Sadly, Maggie's love of all things Max did not yield him noticable success in the feeding department. Maggie giggled at Max, wriggled with glee, and she and Max together managed to smear pears and cherries on the majority of the western hemisphere, but I would be surprised if she actually consumed even a teaspoonful.
According to Max, however, the experiment was an unqualified triumph. When we praised him for his stellar big-brotherliness, he wholeheartedly joined in the cheering. Self-esteem is not something I worry about too much in regards to Max.
And, of course, we rounded out the evening with a giant scrub-down. Maggie had food in her ears, up her nose, in the folds of her neck, in her armpits, in the webbing of her fingers and toes, and in her hair, eyelashes, and eyebrows. Maybe, instead of getting her to chew and swallow, we should just coat her with food and let her absorb it through the skin. It's worth experimenting with.