Monday, March 13, 2006

Notes from the Nonlinear Lab

Ada likes most food. I know that one day she may refuse everything but potato chips, chicken and rice, but for now she loves pretty much everything Chris and I feed her. Bananas, yes, applesauce, sure, but she also devours squash and can't seem to get enough beets.

Even though she loves a lot of foods, Ada must have preferences. If I could get a reply to the question I currently only ask her rhetorically, "what should I get you to eat?", what would she say? Actually, I kind of know the answer. Even though she can't speak, Ada does express her love for certain foods through her continued interest in a given food at a single meal. Things she merely likes she'll get bored of after a while. Foods she loves she'll continue to cram into her mouth until the supply runs out. Even then she sometimes indicates she wants more by theatrically swiveling her head all around to suggest that she knows I've hidden banana behind her or under the highchair and if she could just find it . . . Using this metric, two of her current favorites are yam and avocado, cut into small cubes for her to pick up and pop in her mouth.

Knowing that she is crazy for both yams and avocado, I started to wonder which one she loves more. Again I face the question, how to "ask" Ada. If I put a piece of avocado on one side of her tray and some yam on the other, she'll go for the one that is on her right side. If I put them both in the middle of the tray with one in front of the other, she'll likely take the closer one. I hit on the idea of holding both chunks in my palm, not touching but close to one another.

Seeing my outstretched, treat-laden hand in front of her, Ada expressed her preference. She took both.

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