Thursday, March 12, 2009

Walk This Way

Anywhere is walking distance, if you have enough time and patience. That is why I am working as hard as I can to master the basics. So far I've been able to get myself up, walk several paces at a frantic pace and then look for somewhere to hold on to until I’m ready to take off again. In time I will learn to walk, run, stumble, drive and fly, but I will never lose sight of the reason for my journey, or miss a chance to see a rainbow on the way.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

A Nut Case

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) November 7, 2008 - Contrary to widespread recommendations, the consumption of peanuts in infancy is associated with a low prevalence of peanut allergy, the results of a new study suggest.

"Our study findings raise the question of whether early introduction rather than avoidance of peanut in infancy is the better strategy for the prevention of peanut allergy," write researchers in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology… (read more here)

Over the last couple of months my parents have slowly introduced me to all kinds of new types of foods. I’ve had everything from cactus leaves to lobster and even an occasional peanut product. So when my parents gave me a small piece of bread with peanut butter for lunch today, they didn’t think much of it. Personally, I was delighted - so much so that I ended up with my face covered in yummy peanut butter.

About 15 minutes later, after my Dad drove like a madman to drug store to get a bottle of Benadryl, we were headed to the local emergency room. About an hour later, after the hospital staff had run a bunch of test and given me a steroid to suppress immune functions, we heading back home. About a couple hours later, I'm calmed down, feeling better and headed to bed for the night.

My sensitivity doesn’t seem to be too serious and Dad’s promised me that when I’m a little older I can go to an allergist to see if and how I’m allergic to peanuts. Until then, it’s probably best that I don’t eat or wear them.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Sharing Bread

Man evolved as a pack animal, living together in tight groups, knowing that his strength is greater when those around him are strong. Capuchin monkeys are inclined to share food with almost any individual who helped them obtain the food. Gorillas share food in return for grooming. Wolves share food at carcass locations based on a complex variety of ecological and social factors. Even ants share food, but probably based on quite different urges and motives than those that make chimpanzees or people share food.

It was with this in mind that, as soon as I learned the basics of feeding myself, I have tried to share whatever I am eating with whoever in my extended pack happens to be around me - most of the time they accept, even if just to thank me for my offer. In return, I have learned much about the fine art of sharing and the cultural norms associated with offering food. In order to help those who come behind me, I offer the following list of acceptable vs. not acceptable sharing.

AcceptableNot Acceptable
Giving someone something off of my own plateGiving someone something off of someone else's plate
Offering someone the first biteOffering someone my pre-chewed first bite
Trying to help someone drink from my cupTrying to help someone drink all of their own cup at one time
Dropping an occasional piece to the dogAttempting to retrieve that piece from the dog

I hope that my short list helps those of you still trying to understand the proper sharing Do's and Don'ts. Good luck and happy sharing.