The Texture Of Things

And Then She Was Three

July 17th, 2007

On Monday, our Food Friend came for our weekly visit and we had homemade apple juice popsicles. Tot had never seen nor touched nor tasted a popsicle before, and I was dubious because she is not real keen on the extreme temperatures. In fact, she has been known to freak out when presented with an ice cube to play with.

But, apparently Three is the first age of shocking one’s mother (followed in time by every other age, I suppose) because she licked the popsicle for some time, worrying over drips and melting-ness, but recovering nicely from those worries and licking said popsicle some more.

A popsicle. I cannot even believe it.

Then we did some finger painting, at the tot’s request (Wah?!), and then we had a second snack: sugar cones. We did not put anything in them – we treated the ice cream cones as a food. And it’s a lovely, crunchy food, too. Usually when I get an ice cream cone, I’m wrapped up in the ice cream experience, and I neglect the cone experience. Eating the cone on its own was a lot like eating a conical (surprise) fortune cookie, and that’s enough to make me happy.

It turned out to make the tot happy, too, after some hesitation, some play (bite the bottom and make a telescope), some more hesitation, and finally crushing it to bits.

Food Friend S. said, “Maybe her three-year-old appetite will be an improvement over her two-year-old appetite.” I think maybe it will.

So now it seems we have in place the two components to eating an ice cream cone.

Why is eating an ice cream a goal? Fine question, if you’re crazy. Why wouldn’t it be a goal?

Oh, wait. There I go getting defensive again. Let me approach this from another standpoint, the “What it Means to be a Kid” perspective.

I realize the tot doesn’t have expectations about what experiences are necessary to her childhood, but there are some that I would like her to have. One of them is eating birthday cake. Another is playing in the snow. Another is running through a sprinkler, or sleeping over at a friend’s house, or eating ice cream on a hot, hot day. I want her to go to preschool some day and make a mess with the paint because she’s so engrossed in finding the perfect shade of blue for her picture that the mess becomes inconsequential.

I want her to feel more carefree about these things or to at least be able to shrug off the worries long enough to simply be a kid. To fit in, to be average, if only for a few moments.

On the therapy side of things, ice cream will be a great bridge to other things. It could lead us to melty foods, like cheese or dips. It could lead us to self-spoon-feeding of liquidy foods (which could lead to her eating breakfast cereal with milk, rather than dry with a cup of milk on the side – this is important to the sleepover experience), which could include yogurt (oh holy protein, we long for your presence in our diet). It could lead us to – is it too much to hope? – the mixed textures of ice cream and cone.

But she’s three, so it’s probably all a tease.

3 Comments »

  1. Summer says

    As someone who has had to give up ice cream (darn dairy intolerance!), I completely understand how important it is to be able to enjoy the simple pleasure of an ice cream cone.

    Maybe try some soft-serve, first? You don’t have to bite into it so much, it might be an easier texture to deal with while she’s getting used to the cold, sweet deliciousness of it.

    Mmmm, soft-serve. Sniff. I miss ice cream.

    July 18th, 2007 | #

  2. admin says

    Summer, I agree – we’re going to try soft-serve first for just those reasons.

    I was reading your blog when you gave up the dairy, and I am still so sad for you. I’m happy, of course, that being off dairy helps you feel better, but I completely get why you’d miss it.

    July 18th, 2007 | #

  3. KLee says

    I’m so proud of her progress! I don’t think her ‘about-face’ is so much the mercurial nature of Being Three as it that she’s growing older. Maybe, for her, a bit of maturity (and I don’t mean that in an ugly way, of course) is what was needed. As a baby, she did not have the communication skills to let you know that she didn’t like somethings, or was not ready to move on to a new food or texture. Maybe with time, she’ll shed a lot of these inhibitions. This looks promising for her to be expanding her sensation database.

    I think it’s wonderful news, in any case.

    July 18th, 2007 | #

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