Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Weanie, Whiny, Whoa!


Weanie, Whiny, Whoa: The Weaning Table Bites Back!
So, when I started this, there were dichotomous responses to my decision that Nuvy would have a weaning table instead of a high chair at home.
Column "A" included those who asked probing questions, such as "How is that going to affect your family mealtimes?" or, "How are you going to keep her sitting at the table?" or perhaps, "Isn't that going to be kind of hard?" To these, I responded confidently that I saw these kids in an infant program using the weaning table and they were all quite successful and I was sure we would be quite successful, too.
Column "B" included those who looked, blinked slowly, smiled knowingly, and said something like, "Oh, how interesting. Let me know how that works out for you." To these I say I'd like to order a good single malt, neat, to wash down my crow.
Yes, neighbors, we have had some challenges with the weaning table. Nuvy does come to the table when I put food on it, but she WILL NOT stay seated there. A typical meal goes like this:
-I say, "Lunch is ready! Come to the table, Nuvy!"
-Nuvy comes barrelling across the room saying "MMM! MMM!" and slapping her little hands along the floor the whole way.
-Nuvy sits down and digs in.
-Nuvy has one bite of whatever she's having--two if she's very hungry--then gets up from the table and takes off.
-She looks behind her. I'm still sitting at the table.
-She comes back. "MMM! MMM!"
-She stands up beside the table and takes a few carrots off her plate.
-I say, "We sit down to eat, Nuvy." and guide her over to her chair to sit, but if she sits on the floor next to the table, I pull the table in front of her and consider this good enough.
-She takes another bite, maybe two, then throws the plate onto the floor and takes off.
-I clean up the table and race her to reach the pieces on the floor. End of meal.
I am grateful to both my mother and my mother-in-law for never, EVER suggesting to me that I just get a high chair like other people do. They have both been respectfully, supportively silent on the matter.
So, I bought a high chair. It's a lovely high chair. Now we can all sit together at the table, and Nuvy can enjoy family meals like the rest of us. And I can put her in the chair, and I can take her out. She's fine with this in restaurants. In fact, she seems to love sitting at the table with everyone. She does not squirm or cry to get out. She seems quite happy, and I take her out immediately if she isn't.
But it still bothers me.
So, as luck would have it, IMMEDIATELY after I bought the lovely high chair that grows into a teenager's desk chair looks great with the dining room furniture, here is what Nuvy did.
Dinner time came around, I went to the kitchen to prepare her food. She crawled over to the table, sat down in the little chair, put both her hands on the table and said "YUM! YUM! YUM!". Then proceeded to eat an entire plate of spinach with raisins, green peas, sweet potato, about 15 cheerios, and half a pint of blueberries. Then she drank a glass of water, pushed the chair back from the table, and crawled off to the living room to play.
What do you think of that?

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Interesting! Well, I guess choosing to be in the high chair is the same theory as choosing to be at the weaning table, maybe the setting of being in the high chair and being included in the same mealtime as you helps her stick with eating and not get distracted by other things.

Did you get the Tripp Trapp (used to be Kinderzeat)? That's what my mom just bought us for the new babe. I figure, especially when he/she is older, it's easy for them to climb up on or off of it- if I want them to be able to do that!

Thanks for posting, I check back often!

~C~
(emailed you previously about how I'm learning so much from your blog for our upcoming arrival!)

testdriver said...

Yep, we got the Tripp Trapp. I'm using it for when she eats with the rest of us, say dinner time. During the rest of the day, if she's the only one eating, she uses the weaning table. So far it's going OK.

And when's the new baby coming?

testdriver said...

One more thing about the Tripp Trapp. Go ahead and get the high-chair adapter (whatever they call it) that you pay extra for. The five point harness is--well--useless, as far as I can tell.

Nice idea for a car seat, not so much for a high chair.

Anonymous said...

Baby's due in March, so we won't be putting the chair together for a while! We did get the rail and a cushion. Does it come with a harness? I didn't even know. Glad to see it's working for you!

~C~

Amy said...

how is it that we live in such a parallel universe? Funny how I just gave up on the high chair, 'cause baby Houdini thinks it's fun to wiggle to freedom and stand up and yell " I am king of the mountain!!! ARGGGG!!!" whilst beating his chest. Okay I am exaggerating. I also digress~ I ordered an infant table today. I'm not planning on a "true" weaning table... just maybe a safer solution to meal times. Are you seeing a trend here? See: We learned a lot from Holden...Hence~ Angus' floor bed.

Marnie said...

thanks for the update. we just assembled our infant table and chsir. we bought caviar spoons, two tiny wooden sushi plates and a 1 oz. shot glass for her 1st meal. this week we are giving her the first taste of solids -- a boiiled egg yolk.

testdriver said...

Good luck with that egg! Nuvy wouldn't eat an egg yolk unless it was salted and doused with olive oil--Or maybe that was me!

:)

First food is so fun.

mimi said...

I actually use a weaning table, but not the floor bed and I always thought the bed would be much more difficult. I've often wondered how the baby goes to sleep? My son would run around like a mad person...does Montessori believe this is okay, just follow the child until 3 AM? I never got that and any info would be appreciated. I broke down and bought a crib and haven't looked back. The weaning table is a different story because my son loves to eat. He gets three chances and if he continues to get up then the meal ends...and he knows it. I don't yell or get upset, I just take the food away and we continue..Sorry for the long essay, just very curious about the floor bed and Montessori stance on schedules. Thanks!

testdriver said...

While the floor bed does present some challenges, and the gurus have differing opinions on it, It's working pretty well for us.

At this point, I do have to lie down with Nuvy until she gets pretty close to being asleep. She will typically just get up and crawl out of her room after a nap, but cries for us to come to her if she wakes up in the dark. She doesn't yet just go to bed when she's tired. We do have to say "time for bed" and read a story, and sing a lullabye, and do all the other things people have to do to establish bedtime routines.

We also have a rule that, once she goes to bed at night, she does not get up until morning. If she wakes, I go in and help her go back to sleep, but staying in bed is non-negotiable, even if she ultimately comes into the big bed with us.

The goal, however, is that the child goes to bed on her own and wakes up on her own, and moves freely about her bedroom if she chooses to get up. The Montessori people seem to be all about this, but within the confines of a very predictable sequence of events during the day--basically you help the child set a schedule and stick to it by keeping the events of the day predictable and routine.

The gurus are also careful to point out that following the child is different from being enslaved to the child. They don't get to randomly choose anything--but learn to make choices within the framework of family life and live with the results, just like ending the meal when the child gets up from the table. No problem, but you don't eat again until the next meal.

mimi said...

Interesting, thanks for clarifying, I've always wondered how that worked out in real life and I'm glad to hear from you that it is not as dreamy as some Montessorians would have me believe. Also, wondering you can reccomend some reading materials. I really feel that my practical knowledge of Montessori for this age (now 14 months) is lagging. I have read the Birth to 3 book by Polk (can't think of the full title right now), the Michael Olaf catalogs, and original works by Maria Montessori, but I feel that I need much more practical advice for daily living. What should I be teaching or not teaching, etc...Please share anything that you think would be helpful. And keep on blogging, love to see real life applications!

Anonymous said...

hi i happened upon your site when searching about montessori and love what you have done! its great to see it in practice wth whats working and whats not. now i have a 21 mth old and a 4 mth old and my question is how does the floor bed work when you also have a toddler? i have been trying to find out what the montessori view is with this... i am just concerned about safety since both kids are in the same room and currently i have the youngun in the crib and the older in a toddler bed...also it seems from what you posted that montessori is ok with childre sleeping the parents' bed but not parent sleeping in child bed? woud love to hear your thoughts!

Anonymous said...

hi i happened upon your site when searching about montessori and love what you have done! its great to see it in practice wth whats working and whats not. now i have a 21 mth old and a 4 mth old and my question is how does the floor bed work when you also have a toddler? i have been trying to find out what the montessori view is with this... i am just concerned about safety since both kids are in the same room and currently i have the youngun in the crib and the older in a toddler bed...also it seems from what you posted that montessori is ok with childre sleeping the parents' bed but not parent sleeping in child bed? woud love to hear your thoughts!

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Blago said...
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