L’il Ainjil, like many autie kids, has pica – meaning that he eats almost anything inedible. Bits of paper found on the floor and fluff picked off my clothes are favourites, but basically everything goes in his mouth – as long as it’s something you can’t actually eat. Offer him a slice of cake and he’ll shout, ‘NO! I want to say NO CAKE!’, but fishing carpet fluff and rubber bands out of his little maw is apparently a lifelong project.
Hence this last-thing-at-night conversation:
Beardie: Could you put my chewing gum on the table, please? I don’t want L’il Ainjil getting into it.
Beardie: Actually, you know what would work better? I should let him see me chewing the gum so he realised it was food.
… And you know what? Beardie is absolutely right. Let L’il Ainjil see that the chewing gum is food, and his urge to put it in his mouth will instantly evaporate.
I feel the temptation to start offering L’il Ainjil bits of paper and plastic on a plate, but I should probably resist.