Compulsive Confession

All right. So as balanced and "do what works best for you" as I try to be, I must admit to my own freakish shortcomings. One of them hit home while at a playdate. As the moms got out our lunch items for our wee ones, one mom looked at my tupperware offering and as I lifted a spoonful for Boo, commented "I don't have the patience to cut fruit into tiny little pieces like you. That's impressive."

Hmmm. Impressive, perhaps. Compulsive is more like it. I admit it: I am a compulsive chopper when it comes to food for Boo.

We have a saying at my house: "Choking hazard." It's uttered often, by both myself and my mocking husband, who says it when he predicts I am about to say it and then attempts to beat me to it. Apparently, I talk about almost everything as a choking hazard. I have an overly worrysome fear about Boo choking. On everything. I mean, my god, the boy doesn't pass by anything without putting it in his mouth first. Dog hair. Crayons. Rocks. Grass. Cheerios from who-knows-when that he randomly finds underneath the couch while searching for the remote. And with all of the stories out there about choking being the #1 hazard for children, I give in to my fear and am freakish about doing everything I can to make sure he doesn't choke.

So when it comes to his food, I take extra precautions. He doesn't eat blueberries or grapes at all unless they are mashed into something like yogurt because I know those are two of the top things on which babies choke (along with hot dogs). Everything else I chop up into tiny, tiny, tiny pieces about a quarter of an inch around. I'm a bit fanatical about it, actually. I inspect every tiny little piece to make sure it's not too big, has a weird edge, etc. He hasn't like mashed baby food for a few months now, so this is no longer an option (except mashed potatoes and applesauce), and even the jars of diced toddler foods at the grocery store have pieces that don't pass my test for "under the choking hazard" size. So I just chop away. Fruits, veggies, meats. Tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny pieces.

The upside to all this is that I am pretty sure that unless he decides to down an entire tupperware full of food (not under my careful watch!), he won't choke on anything that I provide. The downside is that it takes forever. I bought a food chopper thinking this would help my cause, but it doesn't work nearly as evenly as my hands and a knife.

So with all of my "do what's best for your own baby" talk and "go with the flow" mumbo jumbo, this is my one big fanatical thing. As far as fanatical freaky Mom things I could do, I guess this isn't such a big deal.


betty said...

No, I wouldn't say that was a big deal at all. :) Now that my DS is nearly 2 3/4 years old, I STILL am cutting his grapes in half so that a whole grape doesn't ever present a choking hazard for him. But, it's less compulsive than what I was doing when I had my 1st child.

With my DD,I remember painfully removing the skins from the grape, and then ripping them apart into small mushy little pieces for her to eat! It took ages, but I did it for quite a while! LOL.

With my DS, I don't think I ever was that fearful about it. I just remember cutting them up into tiny little pieces for him, and skipped thre "de-skinning" process.

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