We took Freya to Ikea for dinner and, knowing how much of our food we normally have to give her, gave her a plate of her own. Five meatballs and two big boiled potatoes sat staring up at her next to her own dollop of lingonberry sauce.
The first thing she did was to take a large handful of sauce and eat it. Even I would be hesitant to eat that sauce on its own, but that is what she did. As expected, it was a little much for her and she did not like it. She tried a meatball, but could not find the pruchase to open it. I cut one open, she tried to swallow it whole. She chewed half-balls quite well, but ended up spitting them out quite soon.
By now, the floor was looking like a meatball battleground; chip-spears (stolen from our plates) lay discarded by the gravely-wounded meatballs, who lay dying in little pools of lingonberry blood. Some were barely wounded, others were torn asunder. One or two had almost made it away from the carnage, only to lie inert in the path beside which this awful tragedy had taken place.
Freya herself looked like she had been in an accident of some kind; her face, hands and sleeves were red with sauce and red fingerprints decorated every pale surface within range.
She was brought home, bathed and put to bed eventually.
This morning, we discovered evidence of the event that we had been awaiting so eagerly. This morning, we saw the first tooth to break free of its gummy captivity. This morning, we brushed the sharp implement of destruction and nipple-mutilation. And it is sharp. I was not sure what I expected, but it hurt to run my finger along it, like a knife or prepared flint. This thing, this incisor, could easily break skin and excise flesh.
My daughter is now armed, a warrior in the fight against the edible invaders… She will find them in the dining room, she will eat them in the bedroom and she will nibble them in her buggy. Never have so many foodstuffs had so much to fear from one small child…