Thursday, December 23, 2010

Eating with a toddler

Those with a weak stomach should not eat with a toddler.

This is what was going through my mind while eating breakfast with Claire this morning and, unfortunately, is a regularly occurring thought. I must admit that I love her enthusiasm and zeal for life in general, but especially for food - if anybody enjoys her food, it's Claire. And maybe we adults could learn something from her and her fellow experimenting peers.

One of her favorite things to do is mix things together. If she has a bowl of berries and a glass of milk, the berries are sure to wind up in the milk and her fingers are guaranteed to be covered in milk (as are the table, her chair, and her shirt.) That's not so bad - it's reminiscent of berries and cream, and milk is easy enough to clean up. A more borderline experiment is crackers and olives in her kombucha. But maybe the worst combination to date was this morning.

It started with an innocent glass of milk. She mastered drinking from a glass months, if not a year or two, ago. But she got a huge cheek-filling gulp and had to spit some back into the glass. It happened again so Mark said "watch mama drink from her glass, see how she does it." I slowly brought my glass to my lips and demonstrated a nice, slow sip for her. No drips, no filled cheeks. No spitting. I gently set my glass down on the table again.

"Oh, with ONE hand," she said in all seriousness. Yes, that was the takeaway; that all of her problems would be solved by using only one hand instead of two to hold her glass of milk. Way to nail that lesson, mom and dad!

She went on eating her breakfast of 2 eggs over easy with a piece of toast cut into little pieces so she can get the perfect egg/toast ratio on the fork each time. One of the next bites were apparently too big, so naturally she spit it out. Into her glass of milk. Mark started to say "OK, that's enough," when Claire proceeded to drink the milk, without spilling or filling her cheeks. She followed it up with an emphatic "Mmmm-Mmm!"

I was taking my supplements and had a mouth full of milk myself, and was trying not to laugh when she leaned over as if to tell me a secret. "I have toast in my milk!" And then she took another sip with closed eyes, as if to say "this is divine!" I would have taken and shared pictures of this, as I normally do, but won't for two reasons. 1. it looked pretty gross, and 2. I try not to encourage this sort of behavior and it's already hard enough to hide my smiles and laughter - whipping out the camera would almost certainly make her want do it bigger and better next time.

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