The Baby is 11 Months Old Today, or, How I’ve Learned to Let my Baby eat Poop


Baby Leone, who is 11 months old today, with James

Baby Leone, who is 11 months old today, with James

Last Friday’s post about Jen Starks, the 29-year-old breastfeeding mom who was ushered off an airplane by armed Memphis police officers, has generated a lot of discussion. Thank you to everyone who has weighed in.

Baby Leone is eleven months old today. So instead of bare breasts and child safety, we’re talking milestones and cognitive development.

Even though I have three older children, all of whom learned to crawl, walk, and talk on a unique timetable, I still worry about this baby’s development.

I ask James “Is it normal that the baby is doing X? Is it normal that the baby isn’t doing Y?” about fifteen times a day.

As annoying as I am to my husband, I was a much bigger worrier and much more neurotic as a first-time mom.

We were the parents who took our infant to the emergency room for crying.

The difference is that the first time around James was right there with me, freaking out as much as I was. Now James is much more Zen about parenting.

I do have my moments of Zen.

Like the other day when Leone and I were outside in the front yard. I was talking on the phone to my oldest daughter’s kindergarten teacher who’s a good friend and an expert on All Things Education in Ashland. Leone was crawling around, pulling herself up on me, and generally being happy. Then I noticed she was drooling like a leaky faucet.

There was something in her mouth that she wasn’t swallowing.

It was dessicated deer poop, which must have looked like a chocolate chip when she popped it in her mouth.

“Michele, hold on a sec. The baby’s got deer poop in her mouth.”

“That’s disgusting,” Michele said (her youngest is a freshman in college). “That’s really disgusting.”

I fished out the nugget. We kept talking.

If my firstborn had eaten deer poop, I would have spent the rest of the night on the phone with poison control or in the ER.

Take that Jennifer’s neuroses! I vanquish you! I beat you back!

And Leone?

She didn’t even have a stomach ache.

My friend Eve’s firstborn once toddled over to her with a dead cockroach in his mouth. I once discovered one of my children in the act of smearing the contents of a diaper over self and furniture like finger paint. Has your baby ever eaten anything really gross or done anything truly disgusting? Please share your stories in the comment section below.

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