Monday, May 29, 2006

Notes from the Nonlinear Lab

Oat cereal experiment*

This afternoon we fed Ada cheerios (thanks for the good wishes, we've got our fingers crossed that this vomit-free day holds). You can't give her the whole container, or all the cheerios end up on the floor, in the cracks of the couch, squished between our toes, etc. Offering a few Os at a time slows things down and blunts the chaos a bit. In addition, it afforded us the opportunity to make a few notes:

When offered a single cheerio, Ada gobbles up.

When two cheerios are placed in a parent's hand, Ada works hard to pick up both cheerios at once, rather than eat one and then go after the other. This sometimes slows down Ada's eating, as the attempt to pick up a second cheerio sometimes leads to the loss of the first cheerio, which necessitates a small scramble to get back that first cheerio and retain the other O.

Four cheerios are placed in a parent's hand; Ada takes one cheerio, then a second, reverting to the grab-two maneuver only when there are only two left in the offerer's palm.

The pattern does not entirely hold when Ada is faced with an initial offering of three Os. Sometimes a single cheerio is chosen first, leaving the other two for next. But on other occasions, two cheerios are eaten first, leaving the other one for the second round.

*When did Cheerios become the default for round oat cereal? We have been buying Trader Joe's Os (otherwise known as Joey-Os, when we are feeling excitable) but we often call them Cheerios. I grew up with Cheerios(TM); in fact, my sister almost exclusively ate Cheerios, plain chicken and white rice for several years.


  1. If I give my 19 month old more than 3 cheerios at a time she swats them to the floor. Every time. Why? Who knows what goes on in that little head of hers...

  2. cheerios covers all things like cheerios. coke covers all brown sodas, where sprite covers all clear ones. comet is any scrubing cleanser. clorox is any bleach. it's easy that way. not having to differenciate or explain things - just refer to them by something similiar and save yourself time and energy. we all do it. and the little fingers grabbing circled oat cereal is a sweet image. with those two little bottom teeth crunching them. fun!

  3. Stepping on Cheerios unavoidable for us. The scrunch and oat powder makes me cringe but once enough of them are accidentally smushed, we turn it into a game and go after the rest.

    Ada has turned eating the tasty O's into a real science!

  4. Cheerios cover so many bases, breakfast, snack, something to keep the child occupied while you are waiting for your real meal at a restaurant. We used to spread out cheerios on a placemat so that they were too far away to pick up more than one at a time. Aly soon figured out the sweep move to put them in one big pile.

  5. Madeline is still entertained at restaurants when we spear her Cheerios on a cocktail straw and make her kebabs :)

  6. Awww...the move has left me without internet access for a few days, so I hadn't read about Ada's troubles until now...

    Hope the vomiting is long past now, and the carefully selected cheerioes are staying down!!