Today is Jonathan's half-birthday. We didn't really do anything special - just said "yay, you're six months old!" and left it at that. I suppose that's ok, since he really doesn't know or care that today was any different than yesterday.
According to pediatricians and "how to raise happy, healthy, successful children" books, you're supposed to start babies on solid foods between 4 and 6 months. Since he's six months old now, I suppose that means that I oughtn't to put it off any longer. Only, I don't really want to start him on solids. And it's not just feeling ambivalent...I have a rather strong dislike for the idea. This is weird.
After all, I'm excited and pleased whenever he reaches fun milestones like sitting up or smiling or holding onto things with his hands...so why not be excited about being old enough for solids?
I think that my dislike stems from two things. One is that I really like nursing. In fact, I would really prefer that he nursed more than he does, rather than less. When he rejects nursing, as he has done more often lately, it makes me cry. And I'm afraid that by introducing solids he will not only reduce how much he's nursing, but decide to stop entirely. I'm definitely not ready for that.
The second is that I feel this incredible weight of incompetance every time I try to think about feeding him solids. The mental conversation with myself runs something like this:
"Jonathan is six months old, and he should be starting solids."
"Do I have to?"
"Everyone says you should."
"Well...ok...but what should he start with?"
"Rice cereal is standard and you already bought it."
"But how much? When? How often? What if he skips nursing? What if he stops entirely? What if he wants to nurse occasionally but my milk dries up?"
"Emily, it's just rice cereal. Try it once a day."
"But if I give him cereal, then in a few days I have to give him carrots, or peas, or bananas, or or or. How do I know how much to give him? What if I forget what I gave him yesterday and he ends up with a completely unbalanced diet? What if he develops some bizarre allergy to everything? What if he decides he likes bananas more than milk and stops nursing?"
At about this point I give up and go nurse him because it makes me feel better.
I have a feeling that this is a little bit dysfunctional. So I actually am making the attempt to start giving him rice cereal once a day. Maybe someday soon I'll get brave and give him bananas too.