Little Miss Flinger

(In the spirit of full disclosure, I want to say that I got the idea for the name “Flinger” from the “Mrs. Flinger” blog.  I like her writing style and her perspective on life.  I really enjoyed her post to her husband on their anniversary.  Read it here.)

JJ and I are reminded every day how our second daughter, Curious J, 14 months old tomorrow, is very different from her older sister.

Case in point: her attitude towards food.

We are having new difficulties with food.  A month ago my worry was that J wasn’t eating enough.  It seems I was right, and increasing her solid food intake has made a good difference.  However, we have new difficulties.  Now she only wants to feed herself, and she really dislikes when I feed her something (ie. oatmeal, yogurt, our supper that’s too chewing-intensive for her so I’ve put throught the baby food grinder, sometimes jarred baby food if I’m desperate).  She wants to feed herself, thank you very much.

I try to give as much finger foods as possible.  She loves feeding herself, but even when she likes the food, she has this habit of flinging food off of her tray.  It’s not that she doesn’t like the food that she’s eating; sometimes she will drop a piece of something on the floor, watch it hit the ground, then grab another piece of it and put it in her mouth.  When she does NOT like a certain food, she passionately flings it to the floor.  But why does she also fling food to the floor when she likes it?  JJ and I are puzzled.

She is a flinger.  Lyd was never a flinger.  Her food always (and I do mean that literally) stayed on her high chair tray.  She stayed neat and clean while she ate, and happily opened up for the spoon headed towards her mouth.  She was not a fussy eater; as long as someone else was feeding her, she ate whatever was put in her mouth.  In fact, we had to really WORK to get her to feed herself.  She was SO SLOW to feed herself (she still is, grrr), that it was much faster to just feed her ourselves so that we could be done with our meal.

But Curious J?  Not only is she a much pickier eater, she is a messy eater and a flinger while she eats.  I can’t give her a plate or a cup or spoon or anything as it will inevitably get flung away.  I tried to get one of those plates that suction-cups to the tray.  Yeah, whatever.  She had that thing off and on the floor in ten seconds flat.  And even if the plate had stayed on the tray, her food is always fair game to be flung – I can’t suction that on!

We’re not sure what to do about this.  We could just take the food away, but she does need to eat, and she’s still a little young to congitively understand cause and effect.  She hates to be spoon-fed, and if forced to eat that way will often cry and fuss and scream until distracted in some way from what’s happening (usually involving singing and/or games like peek-a-boo).  That’s not a pleasant way to have a meal, for her or for the rest of us.  (If I put on the TV in the kitchen while I’m trying to feed her, that usually distracts her so that I can feed her without her really paying much attention.  But I really don’t like to have the TV on when we eat.)

If you have any ideas, I’d be happy to hear them.  In the meantime, we’re just taking it one meal at a time.  We’re hoping that, like most things, this too shall pass.  Sooner or later.

But in the meantime, it is making mealtimes really rough.

Sigh.

(It’s a good thing we’re still a breastfeeding duo, at 14 months.  At least I know she’s getting good nutrition that way.)

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4 thoughts on “Little Miss Flinger

  1. My friends also have problem with their kids in their eating. I will tell them to read your post to know that they were not the only mom having that problem. Good luck.
    Thanks 🙂

  2. LOL She is SO MUCH like LBG it is uncanny! Except instead of being a flinger, she just gives it away to the dogs – one bite for you, one bite for me… 🙂

  3. Yeah, I’ve heard that dogs are pretty good for cleaning up food off the floors. It’s not enough to make me actually want to GET a dog, however. I’m just not a dog person, although JJ is. He prefers dogs over cats, but he doesn’t want the responsibility of taking care of a dog. So … a cat it is!

    Since I vented via this post, I’m really trying to give J more finger foods, and give her just a little bit at a time. Thanksgiving actually went pretty well. I gave her mashed potatoes, and she grabbed a chunk in her hand and ate them. She also liked the sweet potatoes and the turkey. She loves cranberries, but apparently only the canned kind.

    We’re making progress. Now I have to teach her how to hold her bottle by herself. It’s an unexpected consequence of having nursed her so long! Oh, well. Sooner or later, she’ll learn that skill, too.

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