23 July 2007

Sweet Potato Poo

The sweet potato experiment was a success, if you define "success" as "a mess was made and some small portion of sweet potato made its way into each child's mouth." Which is, of course, how I define "success."

I peeled one large-ish, organically farmed, garnet yam and cut it into wedges that were about an inch at their widest, a quarter-inch to a half-inch thick, and four to six inches long. Said wedges were boiled in plain water for about seven and a half minutes (until soft) and then removed with a slotted spoon and placed on a plate to cool to room temperature. A little while later, Julian and his parents and I sat down to our bagels and cream cheese (and stuff, always stuff), and Rafi and Rita joined us at the table in their high chairs, with a couple of sweet potato wedges on each tray. There was a bit of assistance involved to get the sweet potato into their hands (the trays are a wee bit high for my short children to reach up and over them), but we didn't place any into their mouths. (At least...I didn't. Julian may have snuck something in.)

Rafi's method: Hold wedge gently at one end. Bring hand near mouth. If opposite end of wedge does not flop over and fall into lap, place it into mouth and bite off a chuck with gums. Mush it just the barest amount, and attempt to swallow. Gag, cough, scare Grandma, and spit out chunk. Repeat until this whole high chair thing gets boring, and then insist on being transfered to Mommy's lap, where one may rub the sweet potato chunks into a placemat.

Rita's method: Grab wedge, mush through fingers. Suck thumb. Discover that thumb tastes interesting. Suck other fingers. Discover that they also taste interesting. Mush more sweet potato through fingers and suck thumb again. Alternately, grab wedge with two hands, bring wedge to mouth, and lick it. Experiment once with biting off a good-sized chunk. Puree said chunk with gums and spit it out slowly, but not quite slowly enough for Mommy to get a good picture.

And did they swallow anything? The proof is in the poo, and the answer is yes! A mere six hours after our adventure, I found some bright orange bits of undigested sweet potato in Rafi's dirty diaper. I excitedly called Julian over to investigate, and he acted appropriately pleased. Rita did not grace us with a dirty diaper at all Sunday afternoon, but this morning there was some sweet potato in her diaper as well. They swallowed! They swallowed!

This morning, after their first nap, the experiment was repeated, but with only one wedge of sweet potato each. Nothing was dropped onto the floor (maybe they just haven't figured out that game yet), and while I doubt much was actually eaten, they seemed to have figured out that they should at least be attempting that. Nifty.

Next on the list is parsnip, I think, mainly because I have some in my fridge.

Oh dear, I just wrote an entire post about boiled potatoes and poo. I promise, I'll get back to political rants one day.

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