Nothing gets past Maddie’s notice. Just like her older brother, she is super observant. So, if you are doing something, or more importantly, eating something that interests her, she will ask you about it.
“You have gum?” she asks as soon as I’ve attempted to discreetly pop the piece in my mouth and quietly dispose of the wrapper. She’ll even pull down my chin to inspect my mouth, if I’m close enough. “Let me see,” she demands, in apparent envy.
Since she’s not yet three, I’ve been holding out letting her chew gum for as long as possible. You can’t be sure that she’s really going to grasp the concept of only chewing something tasty and not swallowing it. Warren was closer to four before we gave in to his cravings.
But this day she asked and I decided to let her try. Not without some serious pre-chew coaching, however.
“Now, where does the gum stay, Maddie?”
“In my mouth!” she quickly stated.
“And do you swallow it and put it in your belly?” I quizzed.
“No! We put it in the garbage! Not in our bellies!” she said with her big brown eyes wide with sincerity.
Satisfied that we were all on board with the chewing rules, I gave her her first piece of gum.
She was so proud. It was like a right of passage for her where suddenly chomping on that gum made her a big girl.
She spent the next hour telling everyone that would listen that she had gum. As soon as Colin came home from work she reported the good news.
“I have gum, Dada!!!!” she ran up to tell him.
Pleased as punch. She couldn’t be happier. And at the end of her chewing experience, she dropped it in garbage can without being prompted. She seemed well on her way to gum chewing expertise.
That is until the next time she chewed a piece and not five minutes later had swallowed it. Alas.