The kids are in bed, I’ve voted on American Idol, and my husband is giving me the foreplay speech, “I’m tired too, but I’m just saying, I could have sex right now. You can just lay there and read your book. I don’t mind.” So you know what that means…time to clean out my jean pockets!
When you have an active 1-year-old who enjoys the taste of anything that’s not actual food, you discover they will put anything in their mouths that is not actual food. And it’s our jobs as parents to remove it and stuff it into our pockets. This doesn’t begin at 1, by the way. As soon as that kid can scoot her chubby butt across the floor, she’s picking stuff up and shoving it in her mouth. Doesn’t matter what it is; toys, fuzz balls, the plastic piece of a shoelace (which is called an aglet. Thank you Phineas and Ferb!) Basically, anything she can choke and die on she’ll put in her mouth. But try to feed her some graham crackers and strawberries? Hell no. Wants nothing to do with that.
They say babies do this to learn about the object. They’re exploring the world and we should allow them to do so. It’s only suppose to last a few years. And thank God for that. Could you imagine having to lick everything you might be interested in?
“Should I get the chihuahua or the cocker spaniel?”
It’s also suppose to teach them what to not put in their mouths. I’m gonna call bull shit on that one.
The article I read said something like, “Once they learn what a wool blanket tastes like, they’ll never put it in their mouths again.” Bull. Shit. My girl has a sick addiction to dog food. Whenever she hears me scoop up a cup of Dog Chow for the Beagle, she’s right there with him circling my legs and panting. (which is also a part of the foreplay speech my husband gives. well, minus the dog food.) God forbid I leave the dog bowl unattended while I make a quick dash to the bathroom because by the time I get back, she has a mouthful crushed in her cheeks. It’s bad, I’m telling you. I once watched her bitch-slap the dog when he interrupted her feeding time. And we all know dog food is nasty. How do we know? Because when we were 5-years-old our older sister force-fed it to us when we took all her maxi pads and created a fort for our Barbie. Okay well maybe that’s not everyone’s story, but I’m sure yours is similar! So if it’s not the taste, what teaches her to not eat such things? It’s me. Screaming “NO! YUCKY!” 15 times a day. Give credit where credit is due, people!
Anyways, back to the pockets. Just about everything that she puts in her mouth and isn’t crushed and/or consumed ends up in my pocket. This isn’t laziness, by the way, but rather time management. I’m taking clothes from the laundry room to the bedroom and look whose munching on a rock. (yeah, that’s another thing. When you have a 5-year-old boy you will have rocks just randomly show up in your house. Little FYI from me to you.) I dig the rock outta her mouth, stuff it in my pocket and continue with the laundry. Making the beds, I glance over, she’s hiding in the closet chewing on one of those non-skid pads usually on the bottom of my kitchen chairs. I swipe it and stick it in my pocket then finish the bed.
At bath time she’s somehow found a rubber band to nibble. In the pocket.
While I exercise she’s chomping on a bottle lid. In the pocket.
While writing this blog she’s gnawing at a pen cap. In the pocket.
By the end of the day, I have a nice little collection of goodies that I show to my husband before bed. We ooh and aah at the junk conglomeration. “I’ve been looking for that!” My husband gasps while gently hugging the “ON” button from the bedroom t.v. remote. It’s like Christmas every night before bed.
I think the eating phase runs out about 3. But then there’s new surprises.
At 5 it’s “SURPRISE! You have a Barbie shoe lodged in your bare foot!”
I’m guessing that lasts till 13 when it’s, “SURPRISE! Your daughter has cigarettes hiding under her bed!”
At 16 “SURPRISE! You found her stash of condoms”
18 “SURPRISE! I’m not going to college and Butch and I are moving in together!”
Oh Lord. Now that I’ve seen the future, I’m SO never complaining about digging anything out of anyone’s mouth ever again!