She used to be so clean while eating. Maybe, if she was tired, she'd go to rub her eyes and move the slightest dribble of sweet potatoes from her chin to her cheek. Not any more. I don't know if it's an assertion of independence or just some overtired reactions or if she just really, really doesn't like green beans, but Celeste has gotten quite messy while eating.
Some days, she'll start off okay, and she is pretty good if she really likes the food (or at least I think that's what's happening), but the rest of the time it's hands flailing in front of face, spoon grabbing and flinging, and gobs of food pretty much everywhere if her hands close over the bowl of the spoon before I can move it out of the way.
Evelin thought more finger foods might work for her, so I started off this evening with some bits of brown rice cakes and dices of cheddar cheese. The cheese is a semi-new introduction, but she seemed to go for it. I made sure to buy mild orange cheddar (the cheddars we usually get are white and on the seriously sharp side) so it would be visible against the highchair tray, and she did see it and grab it. The first piece did what the rice cakes were doing — a few bites and then back out onto the bib or into her lap. The second piece of cheese, however, stayed in and got some good chewing. A little dribbled back out, but the rest disappeared.
While she was working on cheese and rice cakes, I defrosted some mango for her. Evelin's been making pseudo mango lassis for her, mixing the puréed mango with some ΦΑΓΕ yoghurt. Since she was already getting a bit of dairy with her meal, I decided to forego the yoghurt and to give her the mango straight. Big hit. She did grab the spoon once (and ended up shoving it too far into her mouth), but she ate all of it without any problems.
I next tried mixing up some potato with a few smushed peas. That did not go nearly as well. Hands were flying, potatoes were flying, peas were flying. It got ugly. They were eventually scrapped in favor of a few Cheerios (which, like the rice cakes, for the most part went into the mouth for a few chews and then popped back out) and a little more cheddar while I loaded the mesh finger feeder bags with some peach slices. Those were received much more graciously; I guess she likes orange fruit.
Earlier in the day (and let me say, she was sooooooo sweet today — playing quietly by herself for a bit, playing nicely with me, big smiles for everybody, traveling well to Whole Foods and back), we harvested a bunch of peas from the garden. (It turns out one of the pea plants is producing snow peas instead of the Sugar Bons the rest of the bed is producing.) Celeste gnawed on a few pods on and off; I think some actually went down, but most of it was just gnawing to generate a lot of drool and scattered bits of peapod.