Lest anyone thought our experience of parenthood was all sunshine and roses, it would only be fair to report that sometimes there is a lot of chewing involved.
Elizabeth's pretty suspicious of new food (often won't even try it) so we eventually caved and started using "yurt" or dessert as an incentive to at least give some of it a chance. But it's not good enough to just get in the mouth. Dear daughter is apparently an expert at shoving undesired food into her cheek and continuing to eat normally. Like a "quirrel, Momma". After a few too many supper-in-the-cheek discoveries an hour later at tooth brushing time, we started to check for a "clean mouth".
Only trouble is that then she'd sit there for upwards of forty-five minutes, chewing and chewing and chewing and chewing. At first we thought she might be having trouble with swallowing. When my brother was small I remember similar epic chewing sessions that we all had to sit through whenever we had stew for dinner. But Elizabeth did the same thing with mashed potato. Do not ask me how.
It was hard to know what she'd eat normally and what would prompt a chewing sessions. For instance, some days she'd eat nearly an entire head of broccoli. And then the next day she'd look at it like it's an alien lifeform and how *could* we be so horrible as to serve it for dinner.
After a week or so of squirrel cheeks, we started stopping dinner once we were finished our own dessert. Then there was the dilemma of what to do with Elizabeth's mouthful. A few days of spitting out that last mouthful and Mommy was nearly pulling out her hair. "Eek - we're actively encouraging toddler bulimia!"
Then suddenly the problem went away...