Lovin’ spoonful

She’s been aching for it. Yearning for it. Grabbing for it whenever it’s within reach. And finally, after more than a month of pursuit, Maddi has finally gotten her heart’s desire — a big bowl of real food!

Technically, of course, her first meal was half of the price tag on a fuzzy new plaything, which she devoured in the span of about 30 seconds as we were strolling through Toys ‘R’ Us about three weeks ago with that new toy foolishly placed in her grasp. She of course ate only the UPC number, rendering her Tiny Love peach unscannable.

And we must confess there have been moments of weakness when Chris and I have offered her “tastes” of table food in response to her agitation over not being fed like the rest of us, but nothing actually got in her mouth.

But tonight, new spoon in the diaper bag, we headed over to Nana’s for a delicious turkey dinner. Maddi, seated in her high chair, seemed oblivious to the fact that today was the day when, rather than being taunted by people noisily eating tantalizing treats (followed by loud expressions of “Mmmmm!” by us and frantic lip-licking by our hilarious daughter), she would finally be eating along with everyone else. And it’s about time, as she recently quit sleeping through the night in favor of eating every two hours.

Big sister Kaija got to do the honors first. She dipped the spoon into Maddi’s little dessert cup of homemade applesauce and brought it toward Maddi’s mouth. Our little girl, even though many spoons have been brought experimentally toward her mouth only to be snatched away when folks realize she’s actually going to go for the ice cream (what can we say, we’re mean!), optimistically opened her eager little jaws — and this time, she was rewarded with delicious REAL FOOD! The novelty wore off quickly. Instead of tasting it and ruminating over the flavor, she gulped her food down and quickly opened wide for seconds. And thirds. And fourths. And twenty-fifths.

All told, we dispensed about a half-cup of applesauce, and by my estimates, at least two-thirds of it ended up in the baby. Quite the first meal!

As we suspected based on Maddi’s feelings about food since the day she arrived on this Earth, she was quite taken with the new gastronomic experience. Maddi’s not a picky baby. She doesn’t care whether she gets Mommy or the bottle, a sippy cup or a sip from a big cup — as long as she’s fed, she’s fine. Still, it was quite amusing and a little surprising to see how excited she was about the food.

As if to say “More, more! Faster, faster!” our wee one squealed, panted and gesticulated wildly, flapping her outstretched arms toward the applesauce with her mouth open like a starving baby bird. At one point, people were paying too much attention to their own food and not enough to hers, and Maddi somehow got a hand on her bowl and came within a half-inch of burying her face in the dish like a little doggie.

As her meal drew to a close, her tummy no doubt full to bursting after ingesting that unholy amount of food, Maddi’s mood waned. The excitement of FINALLY getting that long-awaited first meal had stimulated our wee baby beyond her breaking point, and she was done for the day.

But tomorrow is a new day — a day with more applesauce and more flapping. I hope it will also be a day preceded by a night spent sleeping soundly with a full tummy, although, as I type this, Maddi has been talking to herself in bed for half an hour (probably practicing the words “More applesauce, please”).

It’s sad to think that our sweet little daughter, whose birth seems as if it happened just yesterday, is starting solid food. Pretty soon, she’ll be crawling and next thing we know, she’ll be getting on the bus to go to kindergarten.

For now, though, she’s still our little baby, just 25 weeks old and still a messy eater.

And here’s our little flapper all dolled up for Halloween:

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