I miss the gravel eating days

Ever since Brynn turned 1, she’s shifted her priorities from crawling to walking, and from playing with toys to eating them. We’ve officially entered the choking hazard phase. And it’s new territory for us.

Cayden never did this. He was the only kid who appreciated a good pacifier. The one kid who stuck to foodstuff only intended for human consumption.

enthusiastic cheerio consumer

Hadley, on the other hand, ate everything and anything. Acceptable menu entrees: stink bugs, sand, dog food and kitty litter. She even ate poison ivy. To this day she’s got an iron gut.  She’s a shoe-in for the next generation of Survivor Island.

Hadley at 13 months: so much to eat, so little time…

Then there’s Brynn. Her motto: “When in doubt, insert it in your mouth.” She’s the choking hazard queen, blessed with two siblings who continually feed her addiction by repopulating the floor with hundreds of small, shiny toys.

As if that’s not stressful enough, she comes with one more thrill factor:

She has a hair-trigger vomit reflex.

Medical experts call it a gag reflex, but these people have never been soaked in semi-digested baby squash, yogurt and formula, prompted by a half-swallowed sticker off the floor.

The other night, while Martin gathered up toys and gardening tools before a scary, war-of-the-worlds summer storm threatened to rip the roof off, I tailed Brynn demanding, “What’s in your mouth? Open your mouth!”

She gave me this blank look as if to say, “I’d tell you, but my mouth is full right now….”

I pinched her cheeks, popped her lips open and fished around. She lobbed a threatening gag and I retreated. But that night I successfully recovered from her jaws:

A bright green bead (origins unknown)

A gray and red lego, snapped together

A bright yellow bullet from a nerf gun.

“Brynn, why can’t you eat gravel like your sister did?” I yelled, pulling a Chuck E. Cheese token from her mouth. That’s the moment when I turned my back and she upended the dog dish on herself and the floor.

Thank god, it was just water.

Post script: Tonight Brynn broadened her palate to sample the all-natural. During the short walk from the pool to the gator she managed to pluck up a wasps’ nest and pop it in her mouth.

Fortunately, the nest had been vacated.

A handy, bite-sized snack….