One of the things we’ve been absolutely floored by with regards to Nugget is how good of an eater she is. While her milk intake has dropped off a bit since she was in daycare, this is being balanced out by the amount of “solid” food she’s eating (solid is in quotes, because, well, baby food has an interesting definition of solid… it’s really more like a plasma, balancing the middle ground between solid and liquid). She has made it clear that, during mealtime, she’s going to devour more than we thought she would. Consequently, we’ve started bringing more food with us for each of her meals, assuming that there’s no way we’ll need to jump into an unopened package. We’re consistently wrong, which assures us that Nugget is both a good eater, and is clearly showing off (although, who she’s showing off to, we’re still not sure).
Given that she’s been eating more and more solids, she’s also had an opportunity to find out how to turn mealtime into something of playtime. She’s got some pretty quick ninja reflexes, and surprisingly long arms, so if we aren’t paying close attention, she’ll get a grasp on her bowl of food, and proceed to tip it over, sending the goopy baby-formualted mess all over her high chair tray. She’ll try and grab the spoon, which would be fine if she had an understanding of how deep her mouth actually is, as opposed to her current method called, I believe, “jam the spoon straight towards my uvula and wonder why I’m choking”. It’s been an adventure.
However, even those games pale in frequency to one of the newest games she’s been playing. This one always occurs in the middle of a good stretch where she’s been getting spoonfuls of the same food. And it doesn’t really matter what the food is. Eventually, instead of propelling her face towards the spoon to get a mouthful of deliciousness (yes, a lot of her food actually tastes pretty good, and yes, I’ve tasted most of them), she’ll actually pull back, and look at the spoon full of food like it’s something she’s never seen before. Whether we pull the spoon away or simply talk to her, asking what she’s doing, she’ll pretty much invariably break out her huge baby smile, and then unhinge her jaw to engulf the food. The next spoonful? More of the same.
Now, given that we’ve had a couple of rough run-ins with some foods (either texture that she isn’t ready for, flavors that don’t quite work, or a bad batch that tastes, and looks, like colored, bland water) which get met with a pinched-up disgusted face, we could kind of understand if she was skeptical about what we’re feeding her. But the thing that clearly sets this apart is the fact that she won’t do this until she’s about halfway through her servings, and it’s for foods that she has made it clear that they are amongst her favorites. Clearly, what Nugget is working on is her manipulation.
I knew this was coming. I also knew that I would crumble like a house of cards every time she tries. After all, I’m pretty much head-over-heels for this tiny little person, which is how I know that I’ll sell my car, the stove, and probably our porch if she ever asks for a working lightsaber. So when she’s putting these faces on during mealtime, I immediately want to leap up, see if there’s something more friendly to her palate, and replace whatever is the offending food (that gets the scrutiny-face). Thankfully, HawtWife is more reasonable than I am, and she knows that Nugget is playing some sort of game that we aren’t quite comprehending, so she just loads up the spoon with more food.
Sure, there’s a chance that Nugget isn’t actually trying to manipulate us. Maybe the food really has piqued her interest at that particular moment, and she wants to just understand what it is that’s being put into her mouth. She might just be trying to gather information about the world she’s living in, and that means that she’s shooting some speculative glances at everything around her.
Nope. That can’t be it at all. She’s clearly figuring out how to position daddy into a scenario where he can’t help but say yes to her unrealistic requests. Which, truth be told, doesn’t take a lot of work. Because, yes, I’m a giant sucker. Heck, just ask HawtWife. She knows.