The other day we had a grandbaby crisis, lots of crying and general dissatisfaction with the way things were being run, in other words, “Where is mom?” and “I don’t wanna be babysat by grandpa and grandma,” and “Waaaaah!”
First you gotta check all the likely “Waaaaaah!” culprits, because at seven months there’s not a lot of verbalization going on, so we did the diaper sniff, and then we did the “Maybe he’s tired and will go to sleep with a bit of patting,” (Naaaaaaaa but dream on).
Then we moved to “Hungry” and mashed up some banana and that worked wonders for a few minutes until the “Waaaaaah!” started up again.
There is nothing on earth that will grate your nerves into a fine paste quicker than a squalling infant; evolution has that frequency dialed in to every human’s receiver. In desperation I went into the kitchen and reached into the bread box. All that remained was the heel of one of my sourdough loaves, which was more than a week old and hard as cement.
“Think he’ll eat this?” I wondered aloud. It was denser than a brick and the week of maturation had made the outside of the heel so hard that it would have dulled any but the sharpest chain saws.
I took it over and gave it to the baby, who jammed it into his mouth. Immediately a gusher of drool poured forth, sopping the bread and his shirt. He jammed it in harder and bit down. I kept waiting for him to throw it down or spit it out, but no. More drool, and I do mean enough drool to start a bird bath.
He had stopped crying and seemed satisfied so I went back to my book, looking up every few minutes to check. The outer edge of the heel was softened from the drool and he kept gumming it as hard as he could. “He’s probably teething,” I thought. “And I bet this feels lots better than a plastic toy, plus it tastes like food. Heck, it IS food.”
After another half hour the impermeable bread brick had begun to fall apart, turning into a gummy smeared paste that covered his face, hands, clothes, and the floor. He attacked it over and over with amazing strength and satisfaction until the former piece of asphalt was wholly dominated by his fingers and gums.
I guess sourdough is healthier than plastic, too.
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