Let's be honest though, I'm the kind of person that if THEY say anything, I will probably do the exact opposite until I feel THEY have proven themselves to me. Oppositional defiant? No, just frightfully independent. And I feel it's a good thing. I feel I live a more authentic life because of it.
Peggy O'Mara, editor of my favourite magazine in the world, Mothering, has said:
We are accustomed in our society to giving up our authority to experts, to assuming that powerful individuals know more than we do. We live in a culture in which we expect that authoritative knowledge lies outside ourselves, instead of believing that authority rests within ourselves, and that knowledge is everywhere.
By being completely unable to take THEIR word for it, at the least I spend a ridiculous amount of time deliberating over most decisions I make, and often spend an even greater amount of time researching, comparing and studying before I do anything. But, most of the time I can then go out knowing that I have made the very best decision for me and my family, the most important people in the world to me, and people that THEY don't know a thing about. There are few people who I will take their word for it, and THEY certainly aren't on my short list.
When Eli was a baby I wasn't quite as good at this as I feel I am now. For example, when he turned six-months old, I became stressed out about starting him on solid foods. I mean THEY say you should start feeding solids at six months, right? Well, I tried, and for well over eight months I struggled. Eli gagged on and puked up almost everything I fed him until he was fifteen-months old. At that point he began eating a little, but it wasn't until he was twenty months that he really was getting most of his nourishment from food. (It's a good thing I didn't listen to THEM when they said you only need to nurse for one year!) I have since learned that babies who are caught up in the cord in utero often have a very strong gag reflex because with their cord wrapped around their necks for so long, they are in a constant flight or fight response and when food goes down their throats it puts them back into that response. When I was struggling with it I was informed that by not feeding him he would not be a good eater when he was older because all he would want was breastmilk.... forever??? Well, he still isn't adverse to breastmilk, but he happens to eat better than most almost three-year olds I know, and I don't think the daily ration of sweet potatoes when he was a baby had anything to do with that.
Anyway, when Silas was six months, I decided I would not care what THEY say, and I would feed him solids just as soon as I felt he was ready. He is eight and a half months, and I have felt so much less stress than I did with Eli. The past few weeks, however, I have been unable to ignore the signs: he's got teeth, he's got the pincer down, he drinks water from a cup... and he follows our food from plate to mouth and mimics chewing and cries when we don't let him grab our food. Really, the signs could not be ignored any longer.
We're staying at the Snells, so today we went through their fridge and found some applesauce that we figured he would not be able to get enough of. He thought something else: