“Love your spirited child for who she is. Because she is more, she will make you more.”
― Mary Sheedy Kurcinka, Raising Your Spirited Child: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptice, Persistent and Energetic
My baby girl loved lemon wedges. Why as parents do we find it hysterical to feed our babies things that taste sour? I am all for giving them new things to taste and experience but why the preoccupation with tasting the sourness of something? Like a pickle, lemon, lime, or grapefruit. Meggie was what you would call a spirited child. She ran on all cylinders. And if she got a five minute nap during the day, she was up for the duration. I seriously think she was trying to kill me. Now back to the lemon story…..
The look on Meggie’s face the first time she tasted a lemon wedge was priceless. She was only eight months old. She sat in a high chair at a small restaurant. Roger and I were trying to eat. But she made the task extremely difficult. She was needy, fussy, cranky. One of us usually had to hold her during dinner to let the other one eat. Then we’d hand her off so the other one of us could finish our meal.
I remember one time eating at this Chinese restaurant that we loved, in downtown Ann Arbor. Meg cried throughout most of the meal. The hostess came up to us, grabbed Meg out of my arms and told us to relax, she’d take care of her. She walked with Meg all over that restaurant. She bounced her and patted her butt. She sang to her. Rog and I were a little freaked out but it was so damn nice just to have a quiet meal together. Once our plates were cleared, the hostess brought Meg back to me. She of course started crying as soon as she was back in my arms. That girl of mine. What a beauty. But what a cranky ass baby.
Okay now about the lemon wedge… She was only 8 months old. I placed the lemon wedge from my water glass in her mouth. Her immediate reaction was to squinch her face up as tightly as possible. She had such a cute little face, with a tiny, tiny nose. Her nose all but disappeared, she had tightened her face up so much. All of a sudden she smiled. She held her hand out. She wanted to taste it again. I placed the yellow crescent on her lips. She gummed it. She was finally happy. Finally content. She then held it on her own and continued tasting it. She still squinched up her face, but I could tell she liked the flavor. It was so nice to finish a meal with a peaceful, happy baby.
She still loves the taste of lemon. I like to tell her all the time what a rotten baby she was. I like to tell her that I’ve cursed her. That I hope every one of her children are like her. She was a really cranky child; she’s still cranky. But her beauty, and her good heart surpass any kind of crankiness she dishes out to me. I love her so.