Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Yummy Rice

Living with a growing 16-month-old son teaches a parent many things.
  1. Yes, they can do that (whatever "that" is, but it's probably destructive or involves contortionism).
  2. Yes, it apparently does look edible to him (and the more undesirable it is, the more edible it apparently looks).
  3. No, he has no sense of timing and is perfectly capable of dirtying a diaper immediately after changing.
  4. Just because he's small, cute, and a baby doesn't mean he's not sneaky, smart, and stealthy.
  5. Almost every new experience (unless it's immunizations or having teeth brushed) is an exciting (and possibly delicious) one.

The last item is the most fun for us, although it often causes the most work. Let's use rice as an example. Hesperos loves rice. When we say he "loves" rice, we don't mean that he just enjoys eating it. We mean he l-o-v-e-s rice. If it weren't bullying to tease a 16-month-old (and if he even understood what we were saying), we might ask him if he plans on marrying rice and having little rice grain babies...that's how much he loves it.

Rice, whether white, brown, pilaf, or covered in cheese, is a 3- or 4-times weekly affair in our home. And if we go out to eat, woe betide the person who has rice on their plate if Hesperos does not! He immediately stakes claim to it by stretching his chubby fingers out and whimpering "mo, mo, mo!"

When rice is on his serving dish, Hesperos immediately ham fists it into his mouth, generally taking the fist with him. Sometimes we wonder whether he's preparing himself for a life as circus freak act as his short limbs seem to be crammed impossibly further into his mouth (we often catch our breath waiting for the gag reflex to kick in and the dinner to come out), all in the name of getting that rice inside his gullet. When his hand emerges, Hesperos generally carefully examines his digits with a care surprising for one so young and, with the eyes of a hawk and the sticky tongue of a frog, proceeds to lick every grain of rice off his hand and fingers, no matter how small.

After dinner, there is a perfect circle around Hesperos with rice strewn everywhere (whatever escaped his meaty fists and landed on the floor) where it looks like the Great Rice Monster suffered an itchy dandruff attack. Hesperos lolls about looking a little like a satiated Jabba the Hut. Mommy or Daddy, before letting Hesperos off his chair, strip him down to a diaper (by the way, yes, there is often rice in the diaper, too) in order to capture as much of the sticky rice-iness as possible before it is littered throughout the house like Hansel's and Gretel's breadcrumbs.

Hesperos, ever courteous in spite of his feasting habits, always takes his dish to the sink. In spite of eating a cup or two of rice (yes, he can put away up to two cups of rice, net of spillage), he'll carry his dish into the kitchen, eyes bright, smile wide, still saying, "mo, mo, mo!"

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