Many who know me well will also know I rarely set foot in a supermarket. I order online and have my groceries delivered to my door. It is efficient and quick, I tend to spend less, and it's easy. The downside is that sometimes, an item I order is not in stock and I am offered a replacement.
A couple of weeks ago, it was two punnets of raspberries that were replaced. Strangely, there seemed to be no raspberries in stock at all, as it was cherries I was offered as a substitution.
I almost refused them.
Emily was having a particularly bad eating week. Her eating habits generally seemed to have been spiralling out of control for a few weeks really. I knew a change was on the horizon - when I feel that things are getting out of control, I am usually right in reading it as an impending change - but I had no idea what the change would be. I knew for a fact that she needed to eat better food. Her entire diet seemed to have come to a point where it revolved around toast and baby crackers. It would not do.
So that day, I had several different types of fruit being delivered. Which brings us to the raspberry/cherry situation. I almost refused the cherries because I wouldn't easily be able to offer them to Emily due to the stone. The blueberries and strawberries and kiwis weren't a problem, but cherries were.
Then I took a look at these cherries I had been sent. They looked so juicy, I couldn't resist them. I thought I'd enjoy them myself and maybe offer Emily some pitted ones while I was at it.
Strangely, that is what seemed to shift the balance. As of that day, my eating habits changed. Since we started weaning, our eating habits have changed for the better. But they've changed for Emily's benefit. Less salt, more veg, less frying. It's all good, but all because of her. There hadn't been much I'd eaten for me, because I wanted to (let's ignore the post-bedtime take-aways here).
And in turn, her newfound love of food seems to have reignited my love for cooking. Now that there is less pressure, I am able to cook for us all, not just with her in mind. I've spent evenings - my free time - cooking. Listening to music. Loving it. Knowing she'll enjoy the food with me the next day. It's now exciting, an adventure - what else will she try?
It won't last - I know. One wise friend once said to me, everything with babies is a phase. The bad is a phase but the good is too. It's a phase. She'll go off her food again for one reason or another. But I now know what it's like for her to love food. And I know she'll love food again. And through it all, I can enjoy my food too and she can learn.
This evening, we were eating a mushroom and courgette frittata that I'd made while she napped. I'd cut her portion into bite-size pieces and she was eating some with her hands and I was offering other pieces on a little fork. She was loving it, but pretty early on, she decided she'd had enough. I inwardly shrugged and handed her the fork to explore, as I always do at the end of a meal. She grabbed the fork - perfectly positioned in her hand - jabbed at the leftover food on her plastic plate, and then brought it to her mouth.
It wasn't that she didn't want more. Oh no, she wanted more alright. But she wanted to feed herself with the fork. She needed a little bit of help getting the food onto her fork but she did the rest herself.
I was flabbergasted and so proud and in awe of her. She picked up on the reaction she was getting from me and ate far more than she probably otherwise would have, simply because she wanted to keep getting that reaction out of me. The look of pride on her face was amazing. I don't think there's been such a massive moment yet. This was a really big one.
Boy, am I glad I accepted those cherries!
This blog is now closed. The story continues over on Flip Flops and Flying Carpets.
Thank you for reading.
Thank you for reading.