The Baby Bird in My House

by Ashley on March 12, 2014

Baby birdI have become a closet eater.

Not because I’m embarrassed about my snack habits. (Yes, I’ll own up to eating half a bag of M&Ms on occasion.)

It’s just that I cannot eat anything in peace anymore. Other mothers can attest to this.

My wee one can’t talk yet, but her mouth can already ask, “Can I have some?”

No, scratch that. It’s not even a question; it’s a statement. “I’ll have some.”

By far the funniest time was when she was about 10 months old. She was playing with Grandpa on the other side of the room. With a few fleeting moments to myself, I grabbed the leftover half-banana that she didn’t eat at breakfast.

Children apparently come with a built-in banana-homing device. From the middle of play, she zeroed in on that banana and saw me take the first bite.

Big smile.

Drops everything.

Then crawling my way at top speed.

“I’m coming! I’m coming!”

So much for my snack.

And now I frequently get the baby bird look. This one time she’s playing in the pantry, and I grab a chocolate from one of those boxes of assorted chocolates (in which half of them have been bitten into and put back in the box because it was gross and you moved on to the next one, trying to find the truffle kind. You know what I’m talking about.)

I finally found a good one. I’m trying to enjoy it, but I’m dangerously close to the little beggar. She sees me eating it, but has no idea what it is. She had never had chocolate before.

Never hesitating to try something new (this child nearly ate a stinkbug once), she opened her mouth and leaned in, waiting for a taste.

It was not a request. Simply an expectation. “I’ll have some.”

(Thankfully, she has developed some patience. Not much, but I’ll take what I can get. There was a stage when, if I showed her a banana and it wasn’t in her mouth within five seconds, she screamed as if I were poking out her eyes. I don’t miss that stage.)

So she leaned in for a bite of chocolate, which I couldn’t deny her (she’s a girl for goodness sake). She tasted it, wasn’t impressed, and went back to destroying my pantry.

I would have appreciated that chocolate a lot more than she did, but isn’t it a mother’s joyful obligation to offer anything, everything to her child?

This is how I know: I don’t share chocolate. With anyone. Ever. Don’t even ask.

But she asked, and I gave with pleasure. Even when they don’t ask, we give. We never hesitate to give to these tiny people who just demand more and more and more (and more). Without a word or sign of thanks.

Who else is worth that effort? Surely not friends, likely not family, maybe not even a spouse. But this demanding, emotional, selfish, delightful, amazing little person simply looks at me with a smile or that sweet baby bird mouth and I cave.

Ugh. I thought I was tougher than this. But no.

Oh well. I’ll just scarf these M&Ms while she naps. They aren’t safe for her anyway…

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