Monday, November 19, 2007

Barbarians, cavemen, and toddlers. Oh, my!

This is not the first time that I have discussed my son’s eating habits. He is a picky eater; he will eat cat litter and dirt; he will put his hands in his mouth when they are covered in sidewalk chalk; and he occasionally indulges in the delicacy of a Crayola crayon. If a particular food is considered healthy, chances are he won’t even try it.

There are only three safe bets when it comes to foods that he won’t refuse: carbohydrates (cereal, pancakes, bread, crackers, pretzels, cookies, chips, french fries, etc.), cucumbers, and Tyson brand chicken nuggets. The list of foods that he will usually eat is not much longer: hot dogs, ice cream, pb&j, grilled cheese, spaghetti, pizza, and watermelon. We can sit him down to dinner when he is starving and he will sit there for hours without touching his food if he decides he doesn’t want to eat it.

What I have yet to share is the way in which he eats the food he deems worthy enough to chew and swallow. Let’s start with pancakes. My son raises this breakfast staple to his mouth with his index finger and thumb; he then proceeds to crumble teeny tiny pieces of it into his mouth. These teeny tiny pieces go places other than his mouth as well: all over the floor, his bib, under his bib, his pants, on the booster seat, etc. :::deep breath:::

When it comes to cucumbers, the boy chews through to the seeds and eats them, leaving a “u” shaped ring of cucumber behind. No seedless cucumbers in our house, thank you very much.

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and grilled cheese also have their own special way of being devoured. First the two pieces of bread must be pulled apart. Once that has been accomplished my little boy impales the insides of the sandwich onto his index finger and eats it. After the bread is sufficiently deformed and disfigured he consumes that as well in a manner similar to pancakes.

One would think he could handle finger foods such as Cheerios and crackers. However, due to my son’s experimental eating habits (i.e. lifting the bowl to his mouth and darting out his tongue like a toad) it is not uncommon to find a dozen Cheerios or whole crackers underneath his rear end and also under the opposite end of the table.

So not only must I wipe his hands and face, his chair and between all of his fingers, I am also obliged to clean out his hair, brush off his clothes and vacuum the whole house. :::sigh::: The only reason I even bother to vacuum at all is that I don’t want to have to go to the hospital after stepping on a petrified crumb in order to have said crumb surgically removed from the bottom of my foot.

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