Earlier this evening, I opened the refrigerator door to get Philip some milk. He reached past me, grabbed a container of blackberries and ran into the living room in triumph. I knew without my intervention it wouldn’t be long before he had the lid off and blackberries would be everywhere. So, I picked him up and put him in his high chair. I gave him one of the blackberries. I figured that there were three possible outcomes. One-the berry would be on the floor in seconds. Two-Philip would completely mash the seedy object without tasting or ingesting any part of it. And then it would end up on the floor. Three-after sampling the fruit and not liking it, Philip would throw it on the floor. I have to admit that I didn’t expect the actual fourth outcome.
At first, I thought I was witnessing either option 2 or 3. The berry had been smushed, and Philip had an uncertain expression, along with lots of blackberry juice, on his face. Yet, I saw that he was actually eating the berry. So, I offered him more.
Philip began really getting into eating the fruit. Each one received similar treatment-a little mashing and then bit by bit into Philip’s mouth. The mashing generated a lot of juice that was soon soaking into the cuffs of Philip’s shirt. Off came the shirt and on came a more relaxed expression on my son’s face.
Philip continued to eat the berries as I rinsed his shirt in the sink. When I noticed that he was doing more playing than eating (after polishing off many more berries than I thought he would), I started preparing for bath time. Because there was no way that Philip could go anywhere next except the bathtub. In fact, I took my shirt off before picking him up and carrying him to the tub. By the time we arrive, my arms were as red as his. I ended up turning on the shower in order to best rinse us both off. I’m sad to report that Philip was no longer smiling like he was in this last photo. But at least his tummy was full and his body clean.