Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Slave to the Pear

I'm going to start the baby on solid food this week. She'll be five-months-old (already!) in a couple of days and she is definitely, positively, absolutely ready. I know this because 1) I'm Mommy so I know everything and 2) I'm no dope- I can read body language pretty well.

I recently made the mistake of sharing a pear with the baby. One feels rather guilty, after a while, of eating in front of another person who stares, salivates, and makes somewhat uncontrolled motions toward grabbing said food; especially when the person doing the salivating acts as though their life depends on that chocolate chip cookie one is eating, and will suffer a slow and painful death if it is denied them. Of course the cuteness factor just helps to heap the guilt on all the more. The day I finally gave in I wasn't eating a chocolate chip cookie, I was eating a pear. A nice, fresh, healthy, good-for-you pear.

As I moved the pear toward the baby's mouth she stuck her tongue out and licked my pear. She seized the hand holding the pear with determination and force, and tried to shove both the fruit and my entire hand into her mouth. She sucked on the pear. When I removed the pear from her jaws of doom and much mashing, she kicked me. Okay, I exaggerate ever so slightly. But her eyes got really, really wide and she lunged for that pear like a lioness pouncing on a gazelle.

She may try to pull my plate off of the table if she happens to be sitting in my lap whilst I eat, she might mechanically watch as my fork goes from my plate to my mouth and back again, but she now knows a pear from all of the other foods in the galaxy and if she senses a pear in her general vicinity one had better just LOOK OUT!

So bring on the icky-food-faces, and the orange-and-green-colored stained bibs: this kid is ready for pureed sweet potatoes and squash! At this point I fear my only other choice is to start sacrificing my fingers to the little slave to the pear.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Crossing Gender Role Boundaries

I fear that it may be a long time before my two-and-a-half-year-old daughter becomes a lady. At times she reminds me strongly of my younger sister, Bethany, who could put a grown man to shame with her belching capabilities as a young girl. (Well, let’s be honest, my sister may be approaching her late twenties, but she can still burp with the best of them.) Some part of me, that no longer exists, was a bit disgusted by all that belching and burping.

I distinctly remember a time during my later teenage years, when the whole family was traveling I-don’t-recollect-where together, that I unintentionally let out a rancid belch of my own. My sister was impressed, my Dad was impressed, and quite frankly my entire family was impressed, or at the very least, amused. Perhaps that was when I lost some of my snobbery toward people blessed with the ability to express their backed up gasses in such a vocal and rumbling fashion. I do retain, however, an appreciation for politeness in these situations. A little “excuse me” goes a long way.

Anyway, back to my little girl. Against my wishes Daddy betook to amuse himself with teaching the whole “pull my finger” routine to the kiddos. He's a bit of a gasser, and the children think the whole thing is splendid. Especially my little Princess Meatball, as Daddy calls her. In fact, after many months of indoctrination into the cult of finger yanking, she will now instruct her brother and Daddy to pull her finger. Luck might be a Lady, but my daughter? Well…

The especially charming thing about all of this is that she can burp on command. Two-years-old though she may be, she has already walked away from numerous burping contests the victor, leaving the men of the house in her small, tiny little wake. Suffice it to say that upon pulling her finger she promptly lets out a curt belch.

Yep. That’s my girl. Hopefully, as time goes on she tempers her skill with an aptitude for cooking or sewing or something. At least for now her Daddy and her Auntie B are violently proud of her. I suppose something has to be said for that.