Gene Pool Contribution: Meet Sydney
Now that you’ve all met Amani, prepare to be amazed by her younger sister Sydney. The goddaughter of fellow author Maney Fontaine (aka The Slacker) is a brilliant little lady who exceeds all standards in her preschool class and is starting her journey on Kindergarten coursework. An extensive vocabulary and an arsenal of witty quips makes her the center of attention in most settings. But as someone closest to her, I am introducing you to the dark side of Sydney – Miss Pica. For those of you who have no clue what pica is, it is the consumption of non-food material. And in case you are still confused, just continue reading.
The other day I was sitting on the couch when Sydney walked up and asked if I would cut her toenails. Doing my motherly duties, I obliged. So she sat down beside me on the couch and propped her little feet on my lap. As I began to clip away the long scraggly toenails, she daintily reaches over, picks up a clipping, and tosses it into her mouth with the exclamation of “yum”. The clippers came to a screeching halt and I said, “Did you just put a toenail in your mouth?” Without hesitation, she replied, “Yes. What?”
Perhaps, you need some more examples. Earlier that day I was having the kids do some reading and math workbooks. (Yes, I am the typical Asian mom. I make my children do curriculum during their breaks.) I was sitting there answering questions and I noticed that Sydney was chewing on something. I just assumed she was finishing up her lunch or maybe partaking in a piece of candy, so I didn’t question it. But after a few minutes, I noticed she was still chewing. When I asked her what she was chewing on, her sister Amani and brother Jr responded before she could: “The stuffing from the couch.” Sydney just smiled and nodded.
The winter always reminds me of yet another incident where Sydney’s pica made an appearance. Like most little kids, Sydney loved to eat snow. I think it is just a rite of passage. I have never met any person who did not eat snow as a child. This is probably where childhood comparison would end for Sydney because Sydney does not like clean snow. One day we hopped out of the car after returning to the house after school and as everyone exited the vehicle Sydney stooped down, snatched up some snow, and tossed it into her mouth. The particular batch of snow she grabbed had been trampled on by cars and the soles of shoes, so as a concerned parent I carefully explained the difference between clean snow and dirty snow. Sydney laughed and exclaimed, “But I like the dirty snow.” And proceeded to grab some more snow from the same spot in the driveway.
And since we are working backwards here, I’ll share with you the first time I can remember Sydney eating/chewing on inappropriate things. This incident involves us returning from school once again. I noticed that Sydney was lingering near the back of my car even though the other kids had moved on towards the house. I stopped near her and asked, “What are you doing?” But my eyes already told me. Here Sydney was taking her finger and rubbing the dirt off my bumper and placing it into her mouth.