The time is 7:27 a.m. Friday. I awake to the distinct shuffling movements and faint gasping sounds coming from my daughter's bassinet. Don't be alarmed, she was perfectly fine. She does this every morning when she wakes up. I often find it difficult to drag myself out of bed - after all, I remember drifting off to sleep sometime around 3 a.m.
What was I thinking? I'm not sure exactly. I tend to think I'm a night owl; definitely not a morning person. And then I remember, "Oh yes, I have a child now. I'm not in college anymore." Oh, well. I lay there for a few more moments, staring at the ceiling.
Emma grows a little impatient now, so she begins to talk to herself. I say hello to her from the bed. She can't see me of course, but I know she can hear me. The shuffling momentarily subsides, only to resume full speed a few seconds later.
"Emma Grace," I coo from the bed. Again, the movements stop and then she picks up right where she left off. She's on a mission, I tell you, especially in the mornings.
After what seems like an eternity to her -it's probably closer to 3 minutes of much needed rest for me - I yank my body out of bed and pop my head over to her wobbling bassinet.
"Hi, pretty girl!" I say to her. She responds with a great big smile - as she does every morning. "Wanna' go get some breakfast?"
Of course she can't yet answer me or give a big thumbs up signaling that she does in fact want to eat. That would be amazing, but highly unlikely - she's only five months old. However, these last few weeks Emma has worked up quite the appetite eating delicious pureed vegetables.
Some are sweet, some are golden, some are green, and some are tender. One thing is for sure - they are all messy! Baby food is a new adventure Emma and I have embarked upon these last few weeks, and it sure is fun.
Every morning when Emma wakes up, I take her downstairs and put her in her baby high chair while I warm up her food. She usually has Stage 1 Butternut Squash mixed with a little rice, or Stage 1 Golden Sweet Potatoes. My mom said she was very surprised Emma loved the squash as much as she did. Arms outstretched with her mouth wide open begging and pleading, "Can I have some more, Mom?"
Then, after her second or third feeding, Emma caught on. She is a smart baby. She knew she wasn't eating "good" food. Of course it's nutritious, full of vitamins and all that good stuff, but Emma wasn't buying it.
When she eats her food, it's almost as if she likes the taste, but knows it is baby food and expects something better. She always has this look on her face like, "Mom, why do I have to eat this? Why can't I have a taco?" She's a trooper, though, and in the end, she swallows all of her pureed food with disgust. Poor little girl.
Have you ever heard of the expression, "You may have won the battle, but you have lost the war?" Well I consider myself lucky because, so far, I have won the battle with her when it comes to eating her baby food. I have successfully mastered a routine, for now. Who knows how I will fare, say, 3 months from now? I'll be the first to let you know.
Sentinel Reporter Tara Maguire can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.