Friday, March 30, 2012

The kids made me do it.

Earlier this week, you may have come across various news outlets (and I use the term loosely) reporting on Alicia Silverstone's feeding habits.  Not how she feeds herself, we don't care about that, but how she feeds her baby. 

If you are a mother (or father), you are likely already aware that the second you become a parent, your parenting habits will become a popular conversation.  With your friends.  Your co-workers.  Your parents.  Your in-laws.  The lady who bags your groceries.  Your mailman... you get the idea.  When you're a celebrity like Alicia Silverstone, this 'perk' of parenthood is amplified to the nth degree. 

Silverstone posted a home video a couple of days ago that shows her feeding her 10-month old son mama bird style -- she puts some food in her mouth, chews it a little to make it more malleable, then she passes it from her mouth into her son's.  Hardly an earth-shattering concept: the kid can't chew the food she's feeding  him, so she's pre-chewing it for him; no biggie.   Of course, it didn't take long for the Internet to stop what it was doing and deliver various opinions on Silverstone approach to feeding her son.  Regardless of the source of the 'reporting', the general census among authors and commentors alike was 'Ew. Gross.'

While I never took this approach to feeding our children, I can certainly appreciate the convenience of what she is doing. No extra plates or dishes.  No second meal to make.  And as a staunch vegan, I would hazard that what Silverstone was passing to her baby with her mouth was far healthier than anything you could ever spoon-feed your baby out of a jar.  But whatever, quite frankly, it's none of my business.  I do, however, find it interesting that people would seize on something so seemingly benign as feeding a baby as an opportunity to let us know how gross they think it is.  

I mean really, of all the things a parent can do that might be considered gross, that's what they're going to tweet, blog, and vlog about?  When I think about the various gross habits I have picked up as a parent over the years, I'm quite relieved I don't live under the same microscope as Silverstone:

  • you know those first 4-6 weeks when your newborn is still pooping at night?  When I wasn't sure if the baby had pooped, rather than take off her diaper for nothing, I would gently stick my finger inside her diaper.  Poopy finger?  Change!  No poopy finger? No change!  Obviously, I washed my hands after.  Really well.  
  • you know how sometimes your kid has a runny nose, and you don't have a kleenex?  Thank God for sleeves!  And dress hems!
  • you know how kids lick the icing off a cupcake, then toss it away?  We all know that cupcake is still perfectly edible.  Don't judge.
I have to assume that most of the people passing judgement on Silverstone's feeding habits are people that aren't exposed to small children on a regular basis.  If you're around small children for any length of time, you'll quickly realize that sometimes you just do what you've got to do.  I like to joke that the more kids you have, the lower your standards are (my standards of 'gross' now are certainly different than they were ten years ago!).

Clearly, Silverstone holds her baby's best interests at heart, and in the grand scheme of things, who really cares anyway?  I appreciate Silverstone's enthusiasm as a first-time parent, she clearly wants to do the best for her son.   I can't even claim that the gross things I've done were in my kids' best interests, most of my gross habits were born of our laziness.  And a love of cupcakes.


  1. Ha! I thought the same thing regarding the nutrition of what baby bear was getting. It had to be healthier than most of the 'baby food' people feed their kids nowadays. It was crazy how people jumped on her for this!

  2. Yeah, I don't really get why Teh Internetz were all crazy about this either. Meat was one of the first foods for my younger two boys and I can tell you that it was pre-chewed by me (though offered by hand).