I remember reading an article when Jabber was a toddler about how some ridiculous number of parents of ten-month-olds stated that french fries were their child's main source of "vegetables." My jaw dropped. My precious baby's palate had never been even briefly exposed to such an abomination, of course! He ate finely minced bits of organic produce, drank juice that was watered within an inch of being, well...water, and all members of the extended family were given extensive instructions in the art of nurtitional label-reading.
There was a reason for this, beyond just new parent paranoia. Jabber came to us allergic to a plethora of foods, with his first reaction scaring the pants off us at 11 weeks. We already had to scour the labels for hints of dairy, soy, egg, and peanuts, so why not check for things like artificial coloring and partially hydrogenated anything? He was a healthy little bugger, that Jabberwock.
Fast forward to last night. Monkey came waltzing in to the living room with something in his mouth. "Whatcha got in your mouth, buddy?" I asked. He opened up his mouth happily but stayed out of my reach. I tried unsuccessfully to identify the odd white shapes in his mouth.
Monkey is known for not always having the ability or desire to differentiate between food and non-food items when putting things in his mouth, so I of course acted real casual and stealthily pounced on him, pinching his cheeks together to force these little white pebbles out of his mouth.
One popped out, and the fragrant smell of artificial orange flavoring wafted up. The baby was chewing on a mouthful of Runts candy. Yeah, like an entire mouthful of sugar and colorings and wax and whatever...all condensed into these hard little spheres that make me so nervous about choking that I make the four-year-old eat them sitting perfectly still next to me. So what did I do? Well, I got the poor sugar-starved child a box of Nerds, of course. Much safer, you see.
Oops, gotta go. Monkey wants another piece of frozen pizza.