For several months now I have been thinking that Alice will be left-handed. I know it is really too soon to tell but I have noticed she tends to do fine, small-skilled tasks with her left hand and broader, repetitive movements with her right. But those broad tasks only get delegated to her right after they pass 'the test'. On her left hand Alice has a thumb. Well, she has a thumb on her right hand as well, but her left hand has a Thumb. This left-hand Thumb has purpose, authority, and rigorous screening skills. This Thumb has a title, rank and name. He is The Inspector. Everything that Alice comes across passes inspection first, is then rated as needing close attention (and thus staying with the left hand) or more general attention (and is passed to the right). The Inspector takes responsibility for shielding the fingers on the left hand from potential danger by putting itself first, brazenly sticking out while the others duck for cover. It then attempts to draw attacks by confidently poking whatever has been introduced bluntly and repeatedly until it is certain the new object is safe for the left (and potentially the right) hand to further explore. Only then does the Inspector allow the fingers to come out and see for themselves what new thing mama has brought them.
The Inspector, while still a highly respected figure around here, has caused some complications during meal times. Alice loves purees and being fed tiny bits of whatever it is I am eating, but recently she has really wanted to grab those tiny bits of food for herself. But the Inspector-as is his duty- intervenes. Today the Inspector met with bits of mozzarella and really didn't know what to make of such an adversary. If you can imagine mozzarella as a potential threat (as The Inspector does) just lying there all passive and unassuming, delicious and waiting to be eaten but suddenly being thumbed to death! Mozzarella held up to The Inspector's questioning just long enough to become slightly grayed before crumbling into a million nearly invisible and completely non-threatening shards while Alice looked on in hungry sadness. She then looked at me as if it were my fault she was not eating, opened her baby bird mouth and silently begged me to just put the next piece directly in there instead of on the table as the Inspector is as much of a hindrance as he is a benefit upon occasions such as this.
Also, Alice is teething. While I am anxious to get this phase over with as soon as possible, I sure am going to miss this gummy smile.