Have you ever watched a toddler eat? Well, of course you have. But have you looked closely at what they are doing? What to the adult is pointless messiness, to the toddler is a glorious creation. Noelle tap, tap, taps her spoon into her food, creating odd shapes. She uses her fingers to construct strange piles. I ask if she is "all done?" and begin to take her plate (all the books say that this is a sure sign the child is full and ready to get down), but she frowns and protests and makes the sign for "more." She continues to sculpt her masterpiece, all the while snatching a bite here and there, and shoving it into her mouth.
Well, at dinner today, I stood for a few minutes just out of her range of vision to observe her eating a bowl of vegetable beef stew. Half way through her bowl, she began dividing out the peas, carrots, and potatoes onto her tray and the table. She wasn't playing; she was organizing, and still eating. Then I observed her giving great attention to the peas. She was taking her spoon and deftly slicing them open one at a time...then squishing out the guts. Immediately I thought of an autopsy - a vegetable autopsy. We've got our own little Miss Slice N Dice. With such breathtaking manual dexterity, do I see an "MD" in her future?