If you’re a squeamish person, or you just got done eating yourself (no humor intended), I recommend stopping here and not reading any further.
I understand from reading several sources that it’s common for young children to eat dirt. I don’t agree with any of the reasons, the most prominent being the children lacking some nutrient or another. I wonder who came up with that useless bit of information. I think they eat dirt because they’re hungry and they’re not getting enough to eat through “conventional” means.
My younger sister ate dirt before she could talk. She always denied it around friends and relatives, but my late parents had slides to prove it. Several slides showed the events during a camping trip. They showed her reaching through the rungs of a playpen and scooping up dirt and the last picture showed wet dirt dripping from her mouth.
My son, Jonathan, was an amusing child. My family (me, my wife and our two sons) was on a trip to the San Diego zoo once and Jon was sitting in his stroller, sucking on his baby bottle — he could walk, but it was recent and he tired easily — not caring for anything in the world. Our other son, Joseph (who’s five years older), had just bought a hot dog from a hot dog stand. I just happened to turn around at the exact moment when Jon threw the bottle to the ground and snatched the hot dog out of Joseph’s hand. Before Joseph could even react, Jon had shoved most of it into his mouth. It was at that very instant I knew he would never be satisfied with a baby bottle ever again.
If you’re familiar with the Gerber brand baby food for young children, you know it’s too much for a baby and should be enough for a young child. Not so with Jonathan. He wasn’t satisfied unless he ate two of them at every meal. History repeated itself when my second grandson, who my wife says looks like Jon did as a baby, started demanding two jars as well. In both cases, it wasn’t the two-jar thing that was amusing (and a bit expensive if you think about it), it was that they cried if their mouths weren’t constantly full during the feeding process. I can still mentally picture the chipmunk cheeks with Jonathan.
Everything I’ve mentioned is somewhat normal, right? Try this on for size:
One of my nieces in the Philippines would eat anything when she was young. We once caught her scrounging around under a chicken coup and eating chicken poop. It was disgusting and her mother spent some time cleaning her up and having her drink a lot of water to… help it leave her body as quickly as possible.
Her name is Honey Lynn, but everyone just calls her Honey. Honey was caught eating dead flies on the cement outside of my mother-in-laws house, just after she learned to talk. She thought they were raisins. More internal cleansing was required. She was caught again, later in the same month, trying to eat the moss growing on one side of cement wall. She only managed to turn the skin around her mouth green on that attempt. I’m sure she tried to eat other things, but I wasn’t around to hear about it or see it.
I’m curious if other people have had similar experiences with young children. Oops, I almost forgot to mention that of my nieces refused to eat anything chocolate until she was more than three-years old. She thought it was something else we know to be brown and that’s all I’ll say about it.
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