I was very tired on that day. Well, both my husband and I would become exhausted by the end of the day as new father and mother. Honyako really likes to sleep and the first three months was very easy for us for the months I hear everyone finds very tiring. But in the fourth and fifth months… when we began to worry about her neck control… Being worried made me feel tired. What made me even more tired was that Honyako kept refusing drinking from a bottle even though my breast milk didn’t seem to be enough. (For the bottled milk problem, we managed to solve it after two weeks’ trial and error.)

On one of those days, my husband and I argued over what kind of food we should first give to Honyako. My husband insisted that his friend gave spinach first. “You shouldn’t give rice to her first! She can’t digest it.” “I can’t accept the idea of giving her food that causes upset stomach. You can’t make her eat and suffer from diarrhea. Babies can’t digest carbohydrates. You should give vegetables first.”

Being very tired, I shouted back at him. “As far as I know, rice should be the first thing to give to babies!” “I’ve read many books and they all say so. How many books do I have to read?” – I just read a couple but things get exaggerated when we argue. I usually don’t want to make him feel that I’m forcing him into “my” version of “the Japanese way” and so I try not to use “in Japan, we do…” But, as I was just so tired, I even said “Everyone gives rice first to babies in Japan!”

Since Honyako was there, our argument was over very quickly after a big eruption (mostly by me). (My husband simply didn’t talk back – great, he is the mature one.)

I searched for information in the Internet next day. I found on the WHO web that one of the first things that you give to babies to eat was rice. (I now can’t locate the website.)

After all this argument, I gave rice porridge first to Honyako, believing that rice wouldn’t make her sick so much that I’d have to bring her to hospital.

Few weeks later, my husband was talking with his mom on the phone. When I heard them talking about baby food, I got a bit nervous thinking that I might have made his mom a bit upset because I insisted on giving rice first.

I then talked with my mother-in-law, too. When we began to talk about baby food, I immediately started to explain, “I looked at the WHO website. They say rice is okay!” My mother-in-law said “Sure, the first food I gave to Tsurusuke was rice cereal!” Oh… so, Tsurusuke also ate rice first as a baby, okay…. My mother-in-law: “Don’t worry, you don’t have to take Tsurusuke’s advice.” How generous of her! (*)

>> Later << I bought an English book titled “Cooking for Baby” for Tsurusuke’s Christmas gift. The first dish in the book was rice cereal. My husband also read a book about child care that he borrowed from a friend and got relieved to find that rice was first on the list of least allergenic food for babies.

(*) I do listen to my husband’s advice. I try anyways. He’s the eldest of ten kids and was always with a baby or two in his childhood. I’m always grateful for him. He bathes Honyako and does other house choirs every day. So, I gave spinach to Honyako after rice. I had to strain it. It was time-consuming, but I wanted to respect what my husband said.









【さらに後日談】クリスマスにツル介さんにCooking for Babyという離乳食の料理本(英語の本)を買いました。その最初のメニューもライス・シリアルでしたよ。旦那も友達に借りた育児書を読んで、アレルギーの最も起こりにくい食べ物の一番に「米」を見つけ、安心してました。

(*)ツル介さんのいうことは正しいことも多いので(10人兄弟の一番上で、常に赤ちゃんと育ってきてますから)、話は聞くようにしてますよ(できるだけ!)。ほにゃ子をお風呂にいれたり、育児も家事もいっぱいしてくれて、感謝してるんですよー♪ 一応夫に気を使い、米の次にホウレンソウをあげました。最初だったから裏ごしして面倒くさかったけど。;-)

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