Ellie has become a good eater.  A really good eater.  You put any food in front of her face and she opens her mouth and takes a big bite.  It’s usually followed by her giving me a scrunchy nose smile and then opening for more.  Fruit, vegetable, meat, cereal, whatever, she’ll eat anything.  Until…

It had been a particular frustrating day for me.  I was beat down and frustrated.  Aya was going to be home late so I was doing the entire dinner and bedtime routine completely solo.  Ellie was needy and pulling on my pant leg adding to my frustration.  Luckily it was time to feed her and I can always count on her to eat well and sit still.  Things had started like normal, but then all of a sudden she started pushing away the spoon.  What!?  We weren’t even half-way through.  She couldn’t have been full.  Don’t do this, not today.  She kept whining for more food but when I tried to put the spoon by her mouth she just pushed me away.  Again and again I tried and she pushed me away every time, but still kept whining like, “I’m hungry!  Idiot, do you not get what I’m telling you!?”  No!  I don’t get what you’re telling me kid!

Finally, she pried the spoon from my fingers and confidently put it in her mouth by herself.  After she had licked it clean, she held the spoon out for me to refill it.  “See!  All by myself!  More please!”  Even though I was extremely irritated up to that point, I couldn’t help but smile and give a little chuckle as I watched her lick her spoon clean like a chicken bone.  She continued this until all the food was gone.  A lot of it didn’t make it into her mouth, but we got through it all.

Afterwards, she sat there, a clump of green peas on her chin, cereal smeared on her face and all over her hands, and with a look of “What just happened?  Did I really just do that?  All by myself?”

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