Life Lessons: Teaching Mr. T About Sharing

I’m trying to teach my daughter to share.

Yeah, yeah. You think she’s too young to understand the concept. But I think she’s a genius and can understand much more than might seem possible for an 8-month-old.

So, as I was saying, I’m trying to teach Baby Bird to share. I share my yogurt with her, she shares her banana-orange puree with me. I share some of my water with her, she shares her banana-orange puree with me. I share overripe pears with her, she shares her banana-orange puree with me.

Our arrangement has, thus far, worked well. She’s even started offering me her toys and teething crackers. I usually refuse the crackers and sub in some banana-orange puree. (I swear that stuff is laced with drugs. So is the mango puree. O.M.G. is it good.)

But I’m afraid her father is going to derail our progress.

Mr. T has the biggest heart of any person I know. He’d give me or Baby Bird his last dollar, even his last breath.

But he won’t share his food with her.

We’ve been discussing it since before she was born. He, like Rita Templeton of Scary Mommy, has this thing about germs and backwash. They have this aversion to eating food covered in baby slobber or drinking water with floating bits and pieces in it.

Really silly stuff, you know?

This was the last conversation the hubs and I had on the subject:

Me: “You really won’t share your food with Baby Bird?”

Mr. T: “It’s a mental thing. There’s just something about slobber.”

Me. “Drinking after your daughter would be the grossest thing you’ve done with your mouth? You’ve never eaten something off the floor or off the kitchen counter?”

Mr. T: “Yeah, off the counter …”

Me: “The cat walks on the kitchen counters. You know that, right? Every night. I know she does. You’ll eat what was on the cat’s feet, but you won’t drink behind your daughter?”

Mr. T: “I mean, I didn’t really think about that. But like I said, it’s a mental thing …”

Me: “You think the cat’s feet are cleaner than your daughter’s mouth? She’s probably the least-germy thing in this house.”

Mr. T: “No. Look, it’s about the slobber …”

Me: “Well, you kiss me. There’s slobber there.”

Mr. T: “But that’s different …”

Me. “You think my spit is cleaner than hers? It’s not. Hell, it’s my spit and I’ll admit it’s not.”

Mr. T: “But that’s different. … (Sigh) It’s just a mental thing.”

I totally agree. It’s mental.

But don’t worry, Mr. T. We’ll get your mind right. And it’ll be sooner rather than later.