Last week we started Lulu on solid food. While I felt really excited to begin this journey with her, I felt a little sad about it. She is growing so quickly and I feel like the start of solid food is the first real departure from it being just us two. Despite the challenges, I love breastfeeding, and I will defend my first six months of exclusive breastfeeding (to a fault) against anyone who recommends supplementing with formula (including my husband and our pediatrician). I struggled with milk supply issues, particularly between month 4-5, and I drove myself crazy with fenugreek and the breast pump. I told myself I’d just supplement this time around if I needed to, since I had the same experience when Gigi was a newborn, but when the time came I just couldn’t do it. It may seem silly but I so treasure those first six months. I love knowing that I created this little person and that I’m sustaining her. And, if I’m being totally honest, it makes me feel like she’s all mine, and I love that.
When the time came, starting her on solid foods was fun, and Lulu loved it. I didn’t feel as emotional about it as I thought I would. It was a family affair with Kyle taking photos, and even Gigi got involved, helping to feed her with a spoon. So we are officially on our way to introducing Lulu to the wonderful world of food. For my part, I spent the day yesterday whipping up a number of purées to freeze. One of the many reasons I love cooking is the way it helps me process my complex emotions.
One thing that has completely surprised me about this new step for Lulu is the way it’s effected Gigi. It’s strange but as soon as she started to eat solid food something changed between the girls. There has been a palpable shift in the way Gigi sees her baby sister. It’s like having her sit at the table with us for breakfast and lunch made her realize the playmate potential. While Lulu sits in her high chair G takes great pleasure playing peek-a-boo with her, and she’s started saying things like, “When we are done eating can she come play with me?” and she loves to have Lulu's highchair as close to her chair as possible. It’s been really wonderful because up until now G has sort of just accepted that she has a little sister but hasn’t really wanted to be too physically involved with her. She likes to make her smile and laugh, she loves when she “talks”, but she has been really sensitive about being touched by her. When Lulu’s leg bumps her she gets frustrated, and she’s never wanted to hold her. But suddenly that has all changed.
This new relationship has transferred away from the table. Gigi has been sharing her toys with Lu, requesting her presence in the bathtub, and telling her stories. The other evening, out of nowhere, Gigi asked if she could feed Lulu her 4pm bottle. YES! I positioned her on the couch with Lulu all propped up on pillows and let the two of them figure it out. Lu has not been the easiest bottle babe, in fact she still doesn’t like to take more than 1 measly ounce, unless I’m the one wielding the bottle. But she happily took quite a bit from Gigi. One of the most wonderful things about nursing or bottle feeding Lulu is that she waves her little hand all around until she finds yours to hold. She got a good grasp on Gigi’s and I half expected G to get frustrated but she just started laughing. This whole scenario lasted no more than six minutes but it made my heart burst with happiness.