The last few days Cecilia's eating of solids decreased and decreased until it was nil. I would put her in her high chair like usual with her bib and tray and offer her small pieces of peaches, small Gerber Puffs, and spoonfuls of pureed food. I might get a couple of pieces of fruit and a couple of spoonfuls of food in and then nothing. She would begin whining and crying and fussing until the tears began flowing.
So yesterday I took the day off from solids and gave her a break thinking maybe the problem was teething. She does after all have two teeth working their way skyward.
But this evening I decided to try again and I think I figured out the real problem. I started with some pureed sweet potatoes and she would only eat them if I handed her the spoon and let her put it in her mouth. If I insisted on doing it, she got upset. Eventually she got upset she couldn't have the container of food itself as well though. Once again I got a couple of peaches in her but then she got upset. So I figured, well, let's try something else and gave her a handful of cheerios. She tried with both hands grasping and grabbing at the small pile of Cheerios in the end knocking several onto her seat and the floor and getting a couple in the center of her fist. Then when she tried to get them into her mouth she couldn't figure out how to do it. She just put her fist up to her mouth with her mouth wide and her tongue hanging out and couldn't figure out how to move them from her fist to her tongue. Fist after fist she tried and, of course, eventually wound up crying. I almost started crying watching her. How frustrating and upsetting it must be to have a tray full of food and be just dying to put it in your mouth yourself but every time you try you can't do it and can't figure out how to do it.
At that point I wiped clean her tray so she didn't have so much in front of her and gave her a Gerber WagonWheel, which are larger for her to hold with her fist and still get in her mouth, and her cup of juice and she ate and drank away.
So now my mission is twofold: 1) find more foods like the Gerber WagonWheels that she can hold in a fist and eat until that grasping ability with her forefinger kicks in and 2) find a way to secure the pureed food where she can use a spoon to get it herself without knocking the whole thing over.