Thursday, January 12, 2012

Food and its provenance

We bought formula for Maia a couple of weeks ago. We haven't quite run out of frozen milk yet, but I'm still not pumping enough, and losing too much sleep to the evening amount I do get, and supplementing a couple of ounces' shortage is annoying with the 8-oz. bags we're freezing to avoid losing more than necessary to the bag, and she has an overnight with the mothers planned that will use up our stock. Eric's given her a couple of half-and-half bottles and she didn't even blink. Traitor.

I'm a little disappointed I'm not able to supply her fully, but it's not like we're switching her over entirely--she's only had a couple of ounces this week--and I decided that the difference between exclusive breastfeeding (other than all those solids she's now consenting to eat, as long as they have texture) and almost-entirely-breastfeeding is not worth losing any more sleep over. Particularly since one of the benefits of breastmilk, the immunologic properties, is pretty much negated in her bottles by the scalding anyway. And it's not like she's been sick a lot. If I hadn't had to throw out the backstock when we discovered the lipase problem, or if I'd been able to stay home another couple of weeks to build up more, or if she'd been my first child so I'd had more time at home to pump, or if I could stay home instead of working--well, then she'd be getting a few ounces more breastmilk every week rather than a few ounces of perfectly nutritious formula. And it's only going to cost us a few dollars before she's old enough to get cow's milk instead. So that's that.

As for Chloë: I made rosemary-artichoke hummus the other day, because I mentioned hummus and she was in favor of it, and a couple of nights ago when Eric was gone for the evening we had the leftovers for dinner, with carrots for me and chips for her (really a chip, until it breaks, as she uses them as spoons rather than food), and grapes and some Morningstar Farms "chicken" nuggets to round it out.

"I like hummus," she told me. "But it's spicy."

"It is spicy," I agreed. "That's because it's made with garlic. But that's part of why I like it."

"What is it made of?" she said, and by now I recognize this to mean "Tell me more," not "I didn't hear you the first time," so I said, "Well, it's made with garlic and chickpeas, and rosemary, and artichokes, and oil, and lemon juice, and a little salt."

"What are grapes made of?" she said.

"Grapes are just made of grapes. They grow," I explained. "You know how we grew tomatoes to eat? They grow like that."

"What are chicken nuggets made of?" she said, pointing to the one on my plate.

I hesitated. "Well, there are two kinds of chicken nuggets. This kind is not really chicken; we just call it that. It's made of vegetables and flour. Then there are the real chicken nuggets, and they're just made of chickens." (I forgot the coating, I guess.)

She nodded knowledgeably and went on eating. I inquired, "Do you know what chicken is? Roosters and hens like in the Our Town book?"

She nodded again and said nothing, so I went back to eating myself. I guess it's not time for the "we eat animals" talk yet.

1 comment:

Ernie said...

I can remember answering a young girls questions as they were asked, waiting for the follow up question, sometimes getting them and sometimes not.

We tried to tell it like it is rather than a fairy tale coating or putting it off till you were older. It seemed to satisfy you at the time and you turned out just fine.