For the past month or so, C’s eating patterns have gone out the window. Ever since she was four months old and tried cooked apples, she has never refused food. There have been short periods of pickiness – like the few days she refused to eat green vegetables or the time she used to spit out apricot yoghurt. But they were brief hiccups in her otherwise very healthy appetite.
Suddenly she’s done a U-turn. I can easily count the number of times she has had lunch or dinner willingly without A and myself having to hold and restrain her like we’re enacting a scene out of One Flew Out Of The Cuckoo’s Nest. The amazing thing is that I know she’s hungry yet she refuses to eat anything except her favourites – yoghurt, crackerbread and crackers, fruit and milk. So I’ve tried reducing her breakfast, giving her a late brunch instead, omitting snacks altogether, but nothing seems to make that much of a difference.
On lunches like yesterday’s I feel heartened that all is back to normal. I welcomed the sight of her open mouth when seeing her fork with a quasi-ecstatic yelp of joy! She ate her whole plate of pasta, plus a whole tangerine and four slices of crackerbread plus a small chocolate from her Minnie Mouse Advent Calendar (they were 90% off so I thought I’d make a treat out of it for her)! I was feeding her and she was eating, she was happy and I was over the moon! Then she popped my balloon and skipped dinner altogether, bar the obligatory crackerbread she seems to LOVE.
So at the moment I’m living lunch by lunch, dinner by dinner. I have no idea whether her cutlery will be met with a shut or open mouth, whether the food will be spit or swallowed, whether she will scream or smile. Do I worry? Yes I do. Lots and lots. Deep down I know that she would eat if she was hungry but I can’t help compare her current bird’s appetite with her previous devouring of food. But when I see her running around (did I tell you? She now
walks runs flashes past us!), laughing and chatting away, my worried mind rests a bit and I’m hoping that it’s a sign that she’s okay, that it is just a phase and that like many others she has gone through during her eighteen months amongst us, it will pass and of course a new one will start. And my worrying will too.