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The Incredible Edible Everything

I know I’ve mentioned before that
Cora is much more of an eat-anything-off-the-ground baby than
Maddie ever was. From the get-go, Cora would grab anything within
reach and shove it in her mouth, whereas Maddie really wasn’t
interested and didn’t have to be told twice that dirt is
icky. I did that whole spin-doctor thing parents do, looking at a
kid’s quirk in the best possible light: Oh, Cora eats
anything on the floor! That’s great – she’s just
practicing her pincer grasp! Way to go, girlie! I’m sure
she’ll stop when she can really feed herself!

Alas, that hope has not been realized.

Cora’s now officially a toddler and
still happily shovels old gum wrappers in her mouth. She’ll
chew furiously, aware I’m closing in fast for The Removal,
then look in surprise as she realizes it really doesn’t taste
good. The clincher is the look she gives me – that “Why
didn’t you stop me from putting this icky thing in my
mouth?” look.

It was bad enough when Cora was starting to crawl. Now that she
runs everywhere, I count what blessings I can – like the fact
that lead poisoning is much less common down here than in New York
because the buildings are all newer, so chances are that paint chip
she’s eating is lead-free and low-VOC to boot. Right? I mean,
I get it – Cheerios are awesome, and it’s hard to
resist one when you see it. Lying on the ground. The concrete
ground. In the park.

Covered with ants.

I think at least part of this fixation is due to her love of her
pacifier. Maddie went to her thumb around three months old and was
never lacking for comfort, and I notice that the more Cora wears
down and needs comfort the more insane objects (toilet scrubber,
anyone?) she’ll try to put in her mouth. She’ll walk
around with a plastic hamburger hanging between her lips, humming
happily as she plays some other game. I have a fear that her
willingness to consume ANYTHING means that twenty years from now,
she’s going to be the adopted little sister of some frat
house where they all stand around chanting “Eat it! Eat
it!” as my Cora stares gleefully at a plate of live grubs or
something, but I try not to look too far ahead.

On the down side, I can no longer put ANYTHING down within reach of
this kid: every day when I sit down with her to put sunscreen on
it’s a zany Keystone Kops episode as I squirt the sunscreen
in my arms, twist 180 degrees to put the bottle up on a high shelf
behind me, rub on some cream, twist to get the bottle, and repeat.
All the while, Cora’s sitting happily in my lap for her
“massage”, except when she sees the bottle leave my
hands – then she’s frantically twisting herself, trying
to put the stupid bottle in her mouth.

On the plus side, my floor’s a lot cleaner than it ever was
with just Maddie.


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