Aiden turns 17 months old today, and just like when he was first born – the kid can eat. It’s not just that he has big meals or “grazes” all day long… he does both. As long as there is food around, the kid will sniff it out and beg for it. He’ll walk right up to you and hold his hand up and say “More… more,” flashing those big blue doe eyes at you all the while. Even though he only has nine teeth (working on number ten, I believe) that has never stopped him. Or slowed him down, for that matter.
It’s actually become a running joke in the family. Much like his father (and his father’s father many years ago), he’s a walking garbage disposal. I’ve mentioned the fact that I still am cursed with the metabolism of an 8 year-old before and it’s not showing any signs of slowing down any time soon. And I’m sure the constant rigorous exercise only helps the situation. In any case, Aiden and I eat like we’re about to be shipped off for the next season of Survivor – at every meal. Can’t quite finish your plate? Send it Aiden’s way. Need some help polishing off those blueberries? Call Bubby over, he’ll gladly lend a hand… er, stomach.
This situation poses both a blessing and a curse. A blessing in that the kid isn’t a picky eater and we can basically throw anything in front of him and he’ll eat it. He never goes hungry, that’s for dang sure. Trust me, he lets us know when he is. However, this can also lead to the unintended ingestion of things he probably shouldn’t have eaten. I’m not talking about marbles or small toys – thank goodness. Here was the situation I found myself in this past weekend:
It was Sunday evening and the kids were sitting down for a lovely dinner that Mommy B had prepared for them. As with most children, our kids love applesauce. We even tried getting them the Cinnamon flavored kind a while back to change things up a bit. Much to our surprise, Alli didn’t care for this “new” flavor and promptly told us so. Aiden didn’t care either way – he ate it anyway (surprise, surprise). Ever since then, we’ve had two jars of applesauce in the refrigerator to appease them both. So while Mommy B ran upstairs to take a shower, I supervised the kiddos chowing down.
I turned around to see Alli take her first bite of applesauce… and the look on her face said it all. I could see that she hadn’t swallowed it and was just holding it in her mouth, much like anyone does when they eat something they don’t like. She gave me this look of disgust and I could tell she was deciding whether to tough it out and swallow it or spit it out. I asked, “Alli, do you not like the applesauce?” She nodded. Curiously I asked, “Is it yucky?” She nodded again. The look of desperation on her face was too much, so I walked over and said “It’s okay baby, you can spit it out.” I held out my hand and she immediately emptied the entire contents of her mouth. My initial thought was that she was just being really picky (which isn’t normally like her, either) and didn’t want cinnamon flavored applesauce that evening. However, she had never had that reaction to it before. To fulfill my curiosity, I leaned down to her plate and smelled her applesauce, just to see if it really was the cinnamon that turned her off.
NOPE, the applesauce had turned. It smelled like someone had mixed it with alcohol – it was horrendous. I said, “Well no wonder you didn’t like it, that smells terrible! You don’t have to eat that Alli.” The first thought that popped into my head was to turn to Aiden’s plate to see if I could prevent him from eating any so he wouldn’t get sick. But I was too late…
It was gone.
I mean gone gone. The little circle portion of the divided plate where his applesauce had been was empty, as if he had almost licked it clean. Wonderful, I thought… this kid is going to get sick after ingesting this bad applesauce. It had obviously started fermenting, and I couldn’t believe neither Mommy B nor I had caught it before serving it to our children. Chalk it up to another lesson learned being a parent – you try to serve your children healthy food and something like this happens. Luckily Aiden didn’t get sick from it. Maybe his fast metabolism worked in his favor in this case by pushing it through his system fast enough so that no damage could be done. I tried to rationalize it as much as I could, but I still felt bad for him. Our children just assume that everything we put in front of them is safe and edible, and in this case it was a little questionable.
I told this story to my parents when we sat down to our weekly Sunday night dinner after the kids were in bed, and they busted out laughing. I’m sure they could relate to it on probably more than one occasion. And as the meal was wrapping up and we noticed there were some leftovers, we all chimed in with the same conclusion – save it for Bubby.