Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Behold, The Power Of Cheese

After my son was born I always (half) jokingly said that I hoped to one day have a nice, quiet little girl who would sit once in a while to give me a break from my constantly on-the-go little boy. My daughter will be nine months old in a couple of days and it seems unlikely that her personality will develop into a child that sits still and watches what is going on around her.

Even though she is still doing the army crawl it only takes a blink of the eye for her to warp to a new location where she can find something to get into. We have no way to put a gate across the three bottom steps, so she is already playing on the bottom step and trying to climb them. In her little world the cat’s food and water dishes have become an all-you-can-eat self serve food bar for the hungry baby. Mom is a little late getting my lunch - no problem! I’ll just help myself to some of this dry stuff in the shape of a chicken leg. Tastes just like Cheerios! The trick is to swallow it before mommy can fetch it out of her mouth.

Of course there are times when she participates in relatively safe activities like chasing the cats or playing with her brother’s toys, although the safety of the latter activity is quickly being called into question. She has gotten to the point where she dislikes it when her brother takes a toy away from her: she has been observed swatting at his offending hand in frustration.

Regardless of the fact that she is very task oriented and likes to stay busy, her maternal instinct is sharpening. She delights in feeding her father and I Cheerios from her tray and often becomes insistent if we show disinterest toward eating them. I could quickly become fat by being handfed by the baby because she has such a wonderful giggle when I eat from her hand that I could let her feed me all day and not tire of it.

Food is a powerful thing. I almost wept at the beauty of a ham sandwich the other day. The cross-section of it was mind-blowing: a thick layer of green, crispy lettuce so fresh that it sparkled with water sat beneath thinly sliced white cheddar, extra sharp, decorated with yellow mustard and topped with ham betwixt two slices of soft potato bread. I tell you, it brought a tear to my eye.

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