Friday, July 24, 2009

Bait and switch

Last night, we tried giving Kate formula for the first time in her life. It reminded me of another experience I had several years ago with my dog Jackson.

When Ben and I were still just a hot young couple in love (not the current semi-hot late 20s couple in love with a mortgage and a baby) we often took walks in our neighborhood with my dog Jackson. He always knew that likely the walk would end in his favorite park, where we would throw the tennis ball for him until our arms got tired. Because, he never EVER tired of chasing the tennis ball.

So one Saturday morning, after my annual pumpkin carving party (I've mentioned how I totally geek out for Halloween haven't I? If not, you now know my dirty little secret) Ben and I took Jack to the park. Being the responsible early 20s version of my current self, I a) was hungover and b)couldn't find a tennis ball, so instead of actually MAKING AN EFFORT and going to buy one, Ben and I grabbed a small mini-pumpkin about the size and heft of a ball. Genius right?

As soon as we got to the park, Ben let that pumpkin fly. Jack caught up with it just as it was hitting the ground and when he pounced and closed his mouth around the foreign pumpkin instead of the familiar tennis ball, he reacted like he had been soaked with a hose and then attached to a car battery. In one fluid OH SHIT moment, all four paws left the ground as he leaped straight into the air like he had pogo sticks for legs. The look on his face was priceless. I laughed my ass off.

It was a classic case of bait and switch. And it just shocked the hell out of Jack.

Last night, Kate experienced our bait and switch tactics, and she was none to pleased. Finally at rest with the idea of supplementing with formula, we decided to try her first bottle before she went to bed. Ben bathed her, read her a book, got her all snuggly in her footy pajamas and settled down in the rocker where I normally nurse her. When I handed Ben the bottle she looked a little nonplussed that she wasn't getting the boob, but since she is a greedy little thing she lunged for the nipple and began boisterously sucking away.

You could see in her face the exact moment she got a mouthful of formula. If she had the required muscle control she would have leaped straight of Ben's lap, grabbed the bottle and possibly bitch slapped him for putting that CRAP in her MOUTH.

I guess you could say it didn't go well.

She jerked with shock when she first tasted the formula instead of the milk she expected. Her eyes widened, her mouth opened, she spit out everything she could and began crying. I had to leave the room. This continued for maybe three minutes while I sat on the sofa in the living room in the fetal position and rocked myself. When I couldn't stand it any more, I went into the nursery, scooped Kate of a miserable Ben's lap and popped her on the boob. She began to eat furiously, making grunting, snuffling noises and if she could have talked I swear it would have sounded something like, "Oh, hm, yeah, oh yeah, um, this is good, snarf, this is really good, this is what I wanted, what is that other crap, keep that other crap away from me, bullshit I say, oh, God, yum, yes, this is the ticket, hmmmmmmmm, miiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiilk."

So I'm a formula failure. In my defense, Kate had a rough day with her shots and wasn't feeling great, so I decided that it wasn't the time to insist on formula. She needed both food AND comfort and I knew I could give them to her. I plan on trying again today though. Jackson ended up playing a nice long game of catch with the pumpkin once he recovered from the shock of it all, and I have high hopes for Kate too.


Amy said...

Well if she hates it, maybe another brand would taste better?

You could also try mixing small amounts of formula in with breastmilk in a bottle and get her used to the taste.

The Andersons said...

OMG, I just about peed in my pants laughing at this post. You're too funny! I did the same thing Amy did. Pump and mix, baby! Start with 3/4 breast milk, 1/4 formula, and reduce by a quarter over four weeks. At week four, you're golden. I call it the delayed bait and switch. AND, you ween yourself along the way. It's so heartbreaking when they start "growing up." Formula is the first real big step... aren't you just thrilled to see what else you have in store?! :-)

Amy said...

Oh lulz, I don't have kids. I'm only 24. BUT, I do have a dad and brother who won't eat vegetables, not to mention a very persnickety cat.

Hiding stuff is the only way I've found that works!

Nikki said...

I'd do what the other suggested and mix it with your breastmilk. Lily never had a problem switching to it. We used pretty infrequently since I was pretty much just nursing her, but she seemed to like it when we gave it to her. Make sure you don't get to engorged from not nursing as frequently. You don't want to end up with infection so you need to ween her slowly from nursing.

Anonymous said...

girl, mix the milk and formula, but also remember to pump frequently so you'll continue to store up the milk. When you're ready to completely quit, let me know and I'll email you to tell you how to do it without the painful engourgement.

Anonymous said...

the anonymous comment is from me, Jessie!