Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Nature or nurture?

Upholstery eater (photo by Aunt Nicola)
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Terry and Traer tell me they found big chunks of upholstery gone from the back seat of the car, only to discover that their 16-month-old daughter, Nya, had been eating it. Interestingly, when they told Terry’s mum, she said that Terry and his twin brother also used to eat car upholstery. Then the other day I had a conversation with Sherry, the mother of a 17-month old who CANNOT STAND to eat two foods of different textures together. It turns out that Sherry’s in-laws are almost phobic about not eating sauces or condiments, separating the food on their plates so that it doesn’t touch, and making sure they consume each serving fully before going on to the next. No spaghetti and meatballs for them, or pizza, or....It makes me wonder if there's anything to the nurture part, if we're as original as we think we are, or just walking bundles of endlessly reshuffled genetic traits--and if Nya would tolerate a little ketchup with her upholstery.

2 comments:

Joan said...

When I was a toddler I used to eat dirt...get a spoon from the kitchen drawer and waddle outside to eat some delicious (I remember loving it) dirt. My mother later said the doctor told her I was doing that because my diet was missing certain minerals. Makes sense. The mystery is what could be in the car upholstery that these babies need?

Martha Miller said...

When my son Eben was crawling around at age 7 - 8 months, before I could catch him, he would pick the fibers out of the carpet and eat them! It literally did provide fiber for his system, as it ultimately made its way out the other end...
My grandmother always said that we eat a peck of dirt before we die...
Then remember the paste eaters in grade school? That huge communal jar of paste that smelled like mint?? (I never tried it but I did like how it smelled!)
I read in one of his biographies that Van Gogh (in his dementia) ate his oil paints...