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(Nothing Is Safe From) The Long Arm of Cora

Being on vacation means everything gets
done a bit differently; you’re not exactly in your comfort
zone surrounded by all your parental aids (read: distractions and
toys). For example, most meals we eat as a family at our dining
table, with Maddie in her booster seat and Cora happily flailing in
her bouncy seat on the floor next to me. The bouncy seat is a great
place for Cora, since it affords her a bit more of a vertical view
than sprawling on the floor while not over-taxing her
“sitting upright” muscles.

While on vacation, though we’ve brought the bouncy seat with
us, we don’t cart it around everywhere we go and so often end
up at a meal without it. Which means that Cora now spends meal
times surfing laps, sitting at the “big girl” table.

All of this to say that I am getting plenty of chances to witness
Cora’s lethal arm “thing”.

I’m sure your kids have all been at
that stage: you prop them in your lap and they proceed to
mindlessly reach for everything within (or just beyond) their
grasp. Cora is astonishingly good at this; her single-mindedness is
truly impressive. When my fourteen pounds of sweetness sits in my
lap, her arms move back and forth continuously like a mine-sweeper
over the table, blowing up and destroying everything in her path.
It’s quite dazzling.

For my child is not simply looking for something to play with;
she’s looking for something to eat. Whatever she grasps she
will put in her mouth. Guaranteed. Which means that I have seen
napkins, salt shakers, hair bows, and diapers (don’t ask) all
go into that mini maw.

Just push everything back out of her arm’s reach, you say?
Gee, thanks. Great idea. Have you ever tried to eat a waffle off a
plate that’s two feet away?

Do you know how hard it is to get syrup out of a
six-month-old’s hair? Or answer your two-year-old’s
question, “Why did Mommy drip syrup in Cora’s

I know it’s just a phase, but it seems way worse than Maddie
ever was so I have little patience for it. I try turning her around
to face me, but if her entire goal in life is to put something to
eat in her mouth, having her face my chest is not the best idea.
Cora unbuttoned two buttons on my sweater one morning at a
restaurant while I tried such an idea.

So I think I’ll stick to making sure the salt shakers have
been sanitized.


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