Matthew, the baby, has recently discovered Cheerios. He does not yet understand that they are food particles to be eaten; rather, he thinks they are toys to be flung. On the floor. With great excitement and joy. When I spread a handful on his high chair, he will grab them and fling them wide, laughing his tiny baby head off in the process. He thinks Cheerios are the greatest thing since plastic teething rings.
A few days ago, I gave him a few Cheerios to experiment with, and on the floor they went, in a wide perimeter. Sighing, I had resigned myself to getting out the vacuum cleaner, when I heard a soft noise like that of a small dog. It was my daughter in her favorite make-believe mode, a character we like to call "Anna-dog" around her house.
To put it simply, Anna likes to pretend she is a dog. She's two, almost three, with a very vivid imagination. And this is one of her favorite pretends. She can fall into Anna-dog at any given moment - during dinner, during playtime, when she has been told to clean her room...any time she feels the moment grab her, she will fall down on all fours and start barking like a puppy, playing fetch with various toys and - you guessed it - eating food off the floor.
See where I'm going with this?
As I watched in a sort of arrested amusement, Anna wandered around the floor under Matthew's high chair eating up all the Cheerios, dog-style, off the floor with her mouth. No hands, just lips. In moments, the floor was clear of Cheerios.
Oh well, guess I don't need to get out the vacuum cleaner...