Friday, June 25, 2004

Chronic Masticators

I was going to write about taking Allie and Julia shopping today. The problem is I just finished reading Lilek's Bleat where he described a day at the mall with his daughter. My post would have been pretty much the same stuff, right down to the kid friendly staff at Bath & Body Works, only you'll find much better writing in The Bleat.

I will tell you we went to Noodles for lunch. If we're going shopping you can pretty much bet Allie will want to get Macaroni & Cheese at Noodles & Company. I suppose it's understandable. Noodles was the first restaurant we were brave enough to take Allie to right after she was born. Typing that makes me think back to what cautious parents Deb and I were. The contrast between how we handle our second child compared to our first is staggering. Where once we practically encased Allie in a hypoallergenic, antibacterial, Nerf cocoon we now allow Julia to scoop food out of strangers' mouths and juggle steak knives.

Lunch with my daughters takes about an hour and a half to two hours. You'd think it'd be the baby that slows every thing down. It's not. Allie eats slowly. She chews each morsel until she breaks it down to its most rudimentary elements. In fact, Fermilab considered abandoning accelerators and bringing in my daughter to isolate a few sub atomic particles for them. When they found out how long it would take they went back to old technology.

I should be happy she's a good chewer. However Allie's at the age when I need to remind her to eat with her mouth closed. This means most of the time she's not only chewing each bite a bazillion times, but she's doing it loudly. Watching her eat a single macaroni noodle can be maddening. A piece of meat would push anyone over the edge. Taffy could very well mean death for even the most patient and hardy among us.

I'm guessing the little teeth in her head are like diamonds.

Speaking of chewing, Allie's not the only one in the family who was using her teeth today. This afternoon, at the sporting goods store, I was trying on a pair of shoes. Julia and Allie sat on the floor while I looked for the right-sized Nikes. You see, I had given up on putting Julia in her umbrella stroller. Julia discovered she could corkscrew her way out of the stroller's straps. So I decided I'd just carry her from place-to-place. That's why they were on the floor. That's why Julia decided to go exploring. That's why you'll probably hear Deb and I refer to our daughter as Magellan from time-to-time.

Julia's fast. The first time she took off Julia got a good twenty feet away from Allie and me. On her third escape attempt I asked Allie to corral her. Allie did her best. In fact, she threw her body in front of Julia to try to get her to stay put. Julia just kept crawling over her sister until they looked like they were wrestling. Then I heard Allie scream, "SHE BIT ME! DADDY SHE BIT ME!"

Allie ran over to me looking absolutely shocked. I didn't think it could have been too bad and, in fact, I was giggling a little at both kids. Then I saw tears roll down Allie's face. She pulled up her sleeve and showed me how Julia had left four little indentations where she sank her four little fangs into her sister.

I kept giggling.

I know it wasn't the right response but Julia's willingness to use any means possible to get by her sister stuck me as funny. The more I laughed, the more Allie tried not to laugh. Allie wanted retribution. I saw Allie look at her sister, then back at me. She decided it was funny started to laugh. "BAD GIRL! YOU'RE A BAD GIRL!" Allie said.

Now, I'm sure you're wondering why I think this kid-bites-kid story is blog-worthy.

I don't.

But now I'm tired of typing and that means I won't write much about how I scared the shit out of a lady today. This was after she mouthed the word asshole at me as I happen to glance at her in my rearview mirror. I'll just say:

I didn't deserve the nasty comment.

She was driving like a maniac.

I hope I made her crap her pants.

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