I've Been Downsized

Posted by: , July 3, 2010 in 12:18 pm

downsized (2 documents)-1My job has been outsourced.

My position has been eliminated.

My services are no longer required.

I’ve had an involuntary separation…

…from the job of feeding my daughter.

It seems like only a few months ago (because it was only a few months ago) that my daughter started eating solid foods. My favorite thing about my daughter’s gastronomic milestone was the extra bonding time that we enjoyed while I scooped heaping spoonfuls of bland mush, and eventually chunky fruit or vegetable medleys, into her eager mouth.

But, those days are gone now.

Recently, my wife and I were excited to help our daughter start feeding herself. While she hasn’t quite mastered the fork and knife yet (or the spoon, for that matter) she has really taken to shoving pieces of whatever food we put in front of her into her mouth herself.

At first, we started with “puffs,” bite-size puffed fruit rings that make a great first finger food because they dissolve in your child’s mouth–meaning less choking hazards than can be associated with my generation’s first finger food–Cheerios. Eventually, we made it all the way up to banana chunks, whole peas and corn, and even little pastas.

Last week, we reached the Holy Grail of child-feeding: Having our daughter eat the same food as us. This milestone marked the day we could stop buying/making a separate meal for our daughter, and just feed her bite-sized versions of what we were having, resulting in a slight, but much appreciated, cost savings. She was even able to eat a deconstructed rice and bean burrito from Chipotle, and an all veggie roll from our favorite sushi restaurant!

Whatever finger food was placed in front of our daughter she would happily eat, smiling and laughing at herself. (And, making a huge mess!)

Unfortunately, there was an unexpected consequence from allowing our daughter to find the joy in feeding herself…now, she ONLY wants to feed herself. This would be fine with me if we were always in a place or situation that allowed me to sprawl out a place mat and let my daughter make a mess, feeding herself, for about an hour, but that isn’t always the case.

I first noticed the uprising a few weeks ago when, while feeding my daughter some applesauce for breakfast, she thought it would be a fun idea to blow a raspberry at me with a mouthful of food. I, however, didn’t find it as amusing. At the time, I assumed she was just playing around, so I blew it off as her being silly, cleaned the both of us up, and got into a raspberry war with her before leaving for work.

But, it didn’t stop.

As the days went by, she went from blowing mouthfuls of food at me, via raspberry distribution, to completely twisting herself around in her high chair to avoid a spoonful of food. At first, when she started avoiding her food so fervently, I assumed that she wasn’t hungry and let her down to play, only for her to be fussy a half hour later. Eventually, I figured out that she was still hungry, so instead of ending the meal when she was avoiding my spoon, I gave her some puffs, raisins, or banana pieces, which she greedily shoveled into her mouth.

Apparently, it was me. It wasn’t that she wasn’t hungry, she just didn’t want me to feed her anymore. How sad!

Over the last few days, I’ve come to terms with the fact that my daughter doesn’t need me to feed her anymore. I’m sure it won’t be the last time that she decides that she “doesn’t need me” to help her with something.

So, for now, I’ll take my pink slip, clean up my resume, and start looking for another job that I can help my daughter before my next “career change opportunity.”


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