Would you consider board books an appetizer?

Is there some sort of vitamin or mineral missing from my son’s diet that causes him to want to eat every. single. paper product in sight?  Is this some form of Pica I’m unaware of?  Should I be supplementing his diet with fiber….tree pulp??  Maybe I missed the tree pulp section on WholesomeBabyFood.com.  I get the wanting to put things in his mouth out of curiosity.  I get wanting to bite on things to relieve teething pain.  I do not get him biting off chunks of board books and corners of junk mail daily in an all out attempt to chew and digest it.  I feed the kid – well.  Mangoes, squash, edamame, yogurt…it’s not a boring or bland diet.  Perhaps that’s what he’s craving, though.  Maybe his mouth waters at the thought of taking a big juicy bite out of a tasty Sandra Boynton book.  Snugglepuppy is thisclose to becoming unreadable.

A trip to the local mega evil mart today led us down the toy aisle.  I saw him glance over at one of the elentybillion types of creepy Elmo, and a big smile spread across his face.  I picked it up and pressed his tummy.  “Hug Elmo!”  it said (at really quite an alarming volume).  Kendall reached out for it while making this sort of noise of joy that sounds like he’s coughing up a hairball (but I assure you there is no hairball to come, it’s just his happy noise, oddly enough), his eyes got bigger and bigger.  For a second, it was adorable to see him light up that way.  I was even thinking to myself, “Damn.  He loves the thing.  I could get it and call it a Valentine’s gift, I guess.  I wonder if there is a volume control.”  As his sausage fingers drew near, I anticipated he would try to pet Elmo or squeeze him, or even draw him close and give him a kiss.  No.  The kid reached straight for the paper tag on Elmo’s hand that said “Squeeze my belly!” and tried to rip it off and shove it in his mouth.  “Well,” I thought, “that settles that.  I’m not paying $18 for a paper tag attached to a borderline annoying licensed character.”  He cried as I put Elmo back on the shelf, but stopped when I gave him the box of Mum Mums to chew on.

Kendall is 9 months, 1 week and 4 days old