Today Helena refused to be spoonfed.
I give her "finger food" at least twice a day, and she always has her own cutlery on hand, to satisfy those self-feeding urges. But in the interest of expediency, and cleanliness, and maximal food intake, I usually do most of the work.
But this morning was different. As usual, Helena feeds herself the banana I cut up for her. We follow this up with oatmeal, with blueberries today. But she grabs first one spoon, then another, and another, from me, flinging them far away. And she pushes her fingers forward into the mush.
What a surprise for me! How deeply — disturbingly — sensual. Now, everyone in this household enjoys food, but I can't explain Helena's behaviour as learned. Were she an adolescent, or older, girl, I'd slap her â€” "Where'd you learn to do that? Who told you that was acceptable? Is it a boy?" But she's just a tiny little baby.
Don't get me wrong — this was by no means an erotically charged breakfast. I was simply unprepared for this level of primal sensuousness in my baby. It was mashing, and, kneading, and licking, and smearing, accompanied by giggling and moaning. And more smearing. Pure sensual enjoyment.
I forget that, from birth, and likely before any life of the mind or the spirit, there is nothing but the senses, and a whole world to explore with them.