Eating Crap for a Healthy Immune System. Literally.

Eating Crap

This afternoon, I took JC for his 9 month check-up. When his pediatrician asked if I had any concerns, with tongue-in-cheek I replied, “I think he has Pica. He keeps trying to eat things that aren’t food.”


I’ve always liked this doctor; in addition to being a wonderful physician, she has a great sense of humor. Meaning, she generally laughs with me…I think…or maybe at me…in retrospect, I can’t be certain.

But she responded with a smile, “You don’t think that has anything to do with him being 9 months old!?”

And while a real case of Pica is not something to joke about (contact your doctor immediately if you think your child has Pica – ingesting things like paint chips can sometimes cause permanent damage), some levity is required when you know what I know about what’s been in this child’s mouth.

Need I even remind you of last week’s recap, where I imparted the tale of the doggy dingleberry discovery? Let me sum it up by sharing the 2 questions that I had at the time:

  1. How does the “5 second rule” factor in when you fish a suspected doggy dingleberry out of the baby’s mouth? and,
  2. I know it’s generally frowned upon to give the baby alcohol, but does Listerine count?

And that brings to mind another question: do you ever wonder if your kid’s’ tendency, as a toddler, to fixate on a particular food somehow roots back to regrettable mistakes he made as a baby? Because that would totally make sense to me. I can just imagine the thought process.

“Yeeeeaaahhhhh….I vaguely remember the last time I tried eating something in the brown family. Didn’t work out so well. Think I’ll stick to only orange foods for the foreseeable future.” Something has to explain how a kid can go from willingly eating poop, or dirt, or bits of paper to unwillingly eating anything in a matter of only months.

Things Your Child Will Eat

So,  today I took JC outside and set him free in the play area while AJ (3 year old) played in the sand table. I was never more than 4 feet away from either of them, but in the short time we were outside, JC managed to put the following things in his mouth – feel free to rate them on a scale from ‘Yuck” to ‘Eeeeeeeeewwwwwww!!!’:

  • A dead leaf
  • Sand
  • The dog’s tennis ball
  • An old rubber band
  • A bubble wand
  • A foam mat
  • Muddy fingers (his own)
  • A shoe (his own – he’s flexible)
  • A tail (the dog’s, not his own)

And yes, of course I was watching him!

The leaf blew over to him; the sand was distributed by his brother; the dog dropped the tennis ball on his head; his fingers got wet from his drool and the dog’s drool mingling on the tennis ball, leading to the inevitably muddy fingers; the bubble wand and rubber band were hidden under the mat, which he was on top of…who knew he’d lift the corner for a nibble and discover those treasures; his shoe was on his foot – he’s flexible for a baby in the 100th percentile for weight; and the dog’s tail…well that one I saw coming, but I figured it would resolve itself quickly enough.

So there’s no denying that the kid is resourceful. And I definitely don’t have to worry that he’s not getting enough exposure to build a healthy immune system.

But I think he’s used up his allotted pound of dirt.


Posted on April 24, 2013, in Family, Humor, Musings, Parenting, Toddlers. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Hey Stopping by from the TGIF hop.. Oh hun you are so not alone you should see what my kids put in their mouths.. all of them from the ages 4 down have eaten more then their share of the 2 lbs of dirt one east in a life time.

    Thanx for the laugh!

  2. Thanks! And I wonder who came up with that “1 lb.” thing in the first place…probably not a parent…

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