Wednesday, May 23, 2007

If all of the raindrops were lemon drops and gum drops

So here's a weird thing I've discovered:

You know how when you're feeding somebody a bite of food with your utensil, you tend to open your mouth along with them? I've noticed this when feeding Nolan, or watching KB feed Nolan - KB'll hold the spoon out to him, and when Nolan opens his mouth to take the bite of food, KB will open his mouth, too. (It doesn't happen much anymore now that Nolan mostly feeds himself.)

I used to think that this was some sort of biological adaptation evolved to encourage your offspring to eat - to visually show them that it was safe, healthy food that you're giving them. "Open wide, Junior! See? Like me!" Or something.

It seems pretty unconscious when we do it, which is what makes it sort of funny - you don't realize you're opening your mouth along with Nolan until someone watching you points it out.

Then yesterday, I popped a bowl of popcorn for Nolan and I to share, and he was feeding me some pieces of popcorn (we're "working" on sharing as a concept right now - can't say that it's going too swimmingly, but then, he's not even two) and HE was opening his mouth right along with me as he shoved popcorn in my mouth. It looked exactly the same as when KB does it - a sort of distracted, unconscious opening of the mouth as he focuses on getting the food into my mouth.

So what does that mean? Are we genetically inclined to open our mouths when giving someone else our food to show them that it's okay to eat? Or did Nolan learn to do it by watching KB and I open our mouths while feeding him?

Investigate, and report back to me.

Thanks for reading.

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