We attended a beautiful celebration birthday party this weekend for one of Charlottes NICU graduate friends. Their first birthday is such a special moment, a celebration of their phenomenal achievements and how far they have come from their traumatic birth circumstances.
As they sat around, stealing each others toys, pacifiers and hearts they were spoilt by all the moms and guests, everyone knew this little group were just a little extra special.
It was fantastic to spend some time catching up with so many of her former roomies and seeing how they are thriving and growing, seeing their little personalities shining through, their determination to explore, their happy smiles.
Moms compared notes and anecdotes of their little ones unique characters and traits, we shared laughs, we shared memories, we shared cuddles with these little miracles.
Sooner or later the treats and snacks came out, and the Sanctimommies can shove it as this point, I offer everything that I eat to my daughter, and she got to munch on a much loved Fling or two, wasn’t a fan of the cupcake though. It was at this point that most tots were due for a bottle or a meal. Out came bottles of formula, EBM, squish sachets, biscuits, whatever our tots were due for at that point. C dutifully downed most of her bottle and I decided to try a dreaded solid feed of pureed sweet potato.
I’d shared my stories of C’s refusal to be fed with a spoon, in spite of dutifully giving it a bash daily, that session was no different, she gleefully sucked on the squish sachet, but the spoon was not going into her mouth. She also put on one of her best ever shows of ‘bubble blowing’. She’ll store her cheeks full of formula or puree for this epic show, purse those lips and start blowing bubbles until she turns into a mini sprinkler, spreading her food on everything in her path, and if she gets a reaction she’ll step things up and enter second, or even third gear. The looks on some of the mommies faces, priceless, the shock of what she was doing when their tots beg for more and more spoons of food.
It was at this point that I betrayed my daughter terribly. One of her friends crawled over, climbed onto my lap and opened her mouth wide, imploring her Aunty K for a bite or two of that yummy food being offered. I hauled out a clean spoon and offered up a bite, lo and behold if it wasn’t accepted with a smile and a demand for more.
And so began the ultimate betrayal, after i’d made sure with mommy that it was ok of course, and H and I shared a happy mealtime together, I offered, she accepted, no mess, no fuss, no drama. And you know what? I loved every single second of it.
The thrill of feeding a willing participant was totally exhilarating and while most moms might not understand this, I know that many of you with tots who have feeding issues will totally get this. I was sad when she decided she’d had enough to munch and went back to playing with the squished crumbs of cupcake on the carpet.
And so, for a fleeting moment I got to enjoy the experience of an easy feed, a joyous occassion and one which I haven’t felt one twinge of guilt for. It gives me hope that one day we’ll be able to experience the same with C. I cheated on my daughter for a meal time and I loved every second of it and I am not ashamed!!!!
For now we have daily messy meals with the human sprinkler, which while it is endearing in it’s own way, entails a lot of dirty clothing, clothes, copious amounts of wetwipes and a lot of wasted food. Until then I’ll take great glee in being able to feed any tot who is willing and keen!