My son, Luke, is 15 months old and loves fruit.
When he was a few months old, we gave him oranges in a little mesh bag, way before the recommended age, and he loved sucking the juice out. Now when we give him oranges, if he’s really hungry he will eat the entire orange. Otherwise, he will just suck the juice out of each individual slice. I step on saggy orange slices all over the house.
He also loves a good kiwi. Usually they are slightly sour because we get our produce from Walmart, and it seems that the fruit was always either picked too early to ripen properly, or is soooo ripe that you don’t want to touch it as it sits like a soggy marshmallow on the grocery shelf.
I have to give him the kiwi as an “appetizer”, because after he eats or drinks something less sour than the kiwi, he gives a tremendous pucker when going back to the kiwi. He then refuses any more kiwi. So kiwi always comes first.
Today, I had a kiwi, 1 week post-grocery, that just wouldn’t ripen. We were just at the store yesterday and had a fresh lot of them, so I was desperate to get rid of this little guy. I cut half of it into chunks and presented it to Luke for his lunch starter.
He put a juicy piece into his mouth. Major puckering. He tried another chunk. Major puckering again, accompanied by lots of head shaking.
I really wanted him to eat this kiwi. I didn’t feel like peeling an orange, so I got a scoop of sugar, and lightly sprinkled his kiwi with sugar. With some encouraging, he tried another piece. I held my breath. No pucker. Phew!! He ate the lot and wanted more.
I gave him the rest of his lunch instead, and wrapped up the second half for dinner.
Dinner rolled around. I dumped Luke into his high chair, repeated the kiwi-plus-sugar process, and turned around to prepare the rest of his meal.
When I turned around again, he was looking at me like a hopeful, little owlet. “More?”, he signed. I was confused.
“Luke, you still have all the kiwi on your tray. What do you want more of?”
He stuck his finger into his mouth, pulled it out, and started using it to pick up all the little sugar granules sprinkled around the kiwi. He licked them off his finger and signed for “more” again, with the same look on his face as when he tried syrup for the first time.
There was no way he was finishing his kiwi at that point.
Drat. I should have figured. This kid thwarts my every smart move.
I sighed and reached for an orange.