Floor Finds

Last May, my 5-year-old niece shared with me an observation she had made about my then-14-month-old niece.

“Sydney doesn’t eat off the floor anymore,” she said, beaming with pride at her younger cousin.

“Well, that’s good! She’s learning, isn’t she?” I chuckled, amused that my niece had found that newsworthy, yet looking forward to the day when my daughter also stops eating off of the floor. Mentally, I filed away the data: If Sydney stops eating off the floor by 14 months, then my daughter should stop by then, too.

Fast forward to New Year’s Eve. My husband and I were both feeling under the weather, so rather than cook, we went out to eat. I ordered mini corndogs for my daughter. Even though they were minis, they were still a little big for her to eat in just one bite, so my husband and I cut them up into smaller bites. Throughout the course of the meal, as often happens, my daughter dropped a few bits from her plate onto the floor. I typically will pick up what I can see at the end of the meal, so I did nothing right away.

My husband and I finished eating, but as the dining room we were seated in started to fill up, our daughter became less concerned with her corndogs and more interested in people watching. After spending several minutes trying to get her to turn around and finish eating, my husband and I declared her done and started getting her ready to go.

Her interest in her corndogs returned as soon as we took them from her to put them in a to-go box. We figured we’d give them to her later if she was still acting hungry, so despite my daughter’s temper tantrum, we took her out of the high chair and got her coat on her. I stood her on the floor so that I could put on my own coat. At this point, she bent down, picked up one of her errant corndogs and put it in her mouth.

As I witnessed some rather strong evidence that my now 16-month-old daughter still considers items on the floor to be edible, I instantly flashed back to the conversation I had with my niece and how I was so certain my daughter would stop eating from the floor by 14 months too.

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