Friday, April 17, 2009

Moveable Feast

Since we're big fans of waging wars here at Fussy Ninja HQ (a Ninja's gotta stay on his toes!), we've decided to wage a new one on eating. As previously mentioned, the little angel has decided that dinner time is his mortal enemy. Breakfast time? Big fan. Can't eat his oatmeal and bananas fast enough.

Dinner time? Not so much

It's not that he hates everything. He totally digs toast, cheese, and Veggie Booty2. It's when we try to introduce something green that he breaks out one of his two signature moves:
  1. Gnash & Thrash: typically starts up about 4 bites in, right when you're feeling like dinner time is going pretty well. This is a wild ride, complete with screaming and head spinning of at least 270 degrees. We originally tried to take advantage of his screaming by slamming spoonfuls of food into his exposed cry-hole, but he quickly perfected the tongue-block. This one is tough to beat and quickly results in binky-insertion.

  2. Magic Mouth: this is a quiet resistance move where, like a baseball player magically separating a sunflower seed from its shell inside his mouth, Finn will deconstruct a bite of food to ingest the delicious pieces (e.g., cheese) and spit out the bad stuff (e.g., broccoli). He never cries or complains, just slowly pushes everything green out of his mouth and down the front of his shirt.
To compete with these, we've tried a variety of tactics, starting with an "elimination" feeding whereby we slowly introduce/remove a variety of factors to the dinner equation to determine how he will react. Toys work well as a distraction, but since they spend equal time in his mouth with the food, they quickly get a little gross. After much trial and error, we've found the best results with a good ol' fashioned floor dinner.

We sit on the floor with the food in our laps and let him run around. He will invariably do a couple of laps around the kitchen, then look back over his shoulder at us, turn around and while opening his mouth, run directly onto the spoon with a big smile. It's kind of like feeding a dolphin at Sea World. You just have to be sure not to stab him in the back of the throat with the spoon.

We're also experimenting with meditation and yoga to help calm the dinner beast.

Behold, Downward-facing Ninja.


1 Lunch time? No idea. That's Jena's problem.
2 Because the only good pirate is a chewed-up pirate.

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