Last night, I gave Edith her first solid food — a banana cut into large chunks. I have decided to do baby-led weaning because…well, I don’t really know why. I guess because it’s now “the done thing” for moms in my social circle? I have some vague idea that this is the best way if I do not want Edith to inherit my many eating disorders. I mean, I didn’t breastfeed her, which depending on who you ask could mean I’ve already doomed her to a life of stupidity, insecurity, and diabetes, so this is really the least I can do.

I had been terrified to introduce solids because of choking, but that turned out not to be an issue. I guess I vastly overestimated her interest in eating. Edith got right down to business studiously moving the banana pieces all around her tray like a tiny businesswoman arranging her paperwork, or a three-card monte dealer, but although for months now she’s been sticking everything she encounters into her mouth, she had zero interest in trying it with the banana. This was frustrating for Mom and me, who were staring at her, vulture-like, anticipating the second she would take her first bite.

She made us wait for a ridiculously long time, and then she gummed at one of the pieces and grinned delightedly, but I think we responded with too much over the top enthusiasm, because she dropped the grin (and the banana) with a suspicious look, and then she could not be induced to repeat the experiment. She did, however, spend about an hour voraciously gnawing on the nylon strap of her high chair.

Although in the end she only managed a single lick of banana, she did generously coat her entire body, face, and all of her hair in banana mush (as well as every part of the high chair), so the cleanup job took the rest of the evening, and am I really expected to do this for every single meal? Because frankly even once a a day seems excessive. Will she still learn how to eat if I start off by only feeding her on the weekends? How much practice does it take, really?

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