The Church of Weaning
In true TML style, I didn’t give that much thought to weaning until it was upon me. I supposed when the time came, I’d line up a few foods, give them to DT, and see what he thought. I’d given no thought to quantities, schedules, definite no no’s and all the rest of it. A friend of mine suggested we go to some weaning classes, so I went along, more for the social aspect than anything else. It was when the lady running the class asked ‘now who is trying baby led weaning?’ and most of the class raised their hands, that I thought ‘baby what the actual who???????’ laughed nervously, and semi raised my hand and avoided eye contact, in case I was questioned further on the topic I knew Jack buggery bollocks about. So I went home, and did a little research on the matter. I found that the God of weaning appeared to be an omnipresent entity called Annabel Karmel. However, there were also new, up and coming leaders of weaning, developing their faith. There were customs for each method of weaning, and some methods had more devotees than others. There appeared to be 4 main denominations in the church of weaning, and here they are:
The Baby Led Weaning Puritans:
- Main Customs: The weaning baby will be offered a variety of hand held foods to eat, usually whatever the parents are eating. Parents are not permitted to help the child in any way, shape, or form. Should they interfere, this is not purist baby led weaning, and you will be shunned by puritan weaners.
- Banned Items: Food processors, blenders (including hand held,) all cutlery.
- Motto: ‘ Spoon feeding in the long run teaches us nothing but the shape of the spoon.’ (EM Forster.)
- Patron Saint: Gill Rapley
The Spoon Feeders:
- Main Customs: The weaning baby will be offered pureed food, strictly given to them from a spoon, via the parent.
- Banned Items: Lumps-of any way, shape or form. Any food not strictly sieved, and hand checked for lumps is banned. Raw foods, and chunks of food are also banned. The spoon feeding holy book (Anything by Annabel Karmel) clearly states that all food should be washed, boiled, and pureed to a set consistency before being given to the weaning baby.
- Motto: ‘And on the seventh day, the spoon was created, so that all the weaning babies may be spoon fed.’
- Patron Saint: Annabel Karmel
The House of Mixed Feeders:
- Main Customs: The weaning baby will be fed a mixture of purees and solid chunks of food, depending on the parent’s nerve threshold when it comes to gag reflexes, or depending on the mood of the baby that day, and what it will decide is good enough for it to eat-some days it will demand food as smooth as its own ass, and sometimes will look at the parent like scum for not offering it something chunkier, that will hurt more when making impact with the parent’s face.
- Banned Items: This will depend on the mood of the parent/baby, and whatever research is current at the time.
- Motto: ‘True genius resides in the capacity for evaluation of uncertain, hazardous, and conflicting information.’ (Winston Churchill.)
- Patron Saint: Rana Conway
The ‘Second Child’ Philosophy of Anything Goes:
- Main Customs: The weaning baby will be fed mainly fish fingers with the breadcrumbs removed, or whatever else has been discarded by the older sibling. Crawling around on the floor, scavenging and foraging for days old food, is considered to be a decent meal by the parent. Pre prepared pouches play a huge part, and can either by spoon fed by the parent/older sibling, or baby led, where the child sucks at it, or licks the contents it spills, from its fingers, or other surroundings.
- Banned Items: Absolutely nothing.
- Motto: ‘Chocolate comes from cocoa, which is a tree, that makes it a plant. Chocolate is salad.’ (Unknown.)
- Patron Saint: Ella’s Kitchen.
These are the main four religions of baby weaning, but remember people, all roads lead to the same God, and all of us will end up in the same house of worship in the end…
The House of ‘The Only Food My Toddler Will Eat’:
- Main Customs: The toddlers are in charge here. Long gone are the days when the parents were in charge of what was eaten, and vegetables were an acceptable form of nourishment. Here, it is customary only to eat chicken nuggets, plain pasta and cake.
- Banned Items: ALL foods except chicken nuggets, plain pasta and cake.
- Motto: ‘If I have no concept of fruit and vegetables, they will not exist.’ (All Toddlers.)
- Patron Saint: Ronald McDonald.
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