Last week, one of the hot-and-bother fodder topics on the web was “kiss feeding,” as practiced by Alicia Silverstone and her 11-month-old son, Bear. If you haven’t seen the video of her chewing Bear’s food before passing it from her mouth to his, it’s hard to imagine why she’s suffered such tremendous scorn and derision. Because people who read the web are known for being open-minded and kind, and willing to butt out of something that is not their business in any way.
I’ve seen how the media have treated Alicia–the lazy “Clueless” jokes, the assertions of her utter superfluity in “Batman & Robin”–and I don’t think people are seeing the long-term value of pre-chewing your child’s food. I can’t stay silent and watch her twist in the wind, because … I do this with my boys as well. The difference is that, since my sons are in elementary school, we’ve added a crucial element to kiss feeding: distance.
We call it “French Kiss Feeding.”
Basically, when it’s time for dinner, my sons and I take positions at opposite ends of the kitchen, I take a bite out of whatever food I’ve cooked for them, chew it, and launch it over to them. The first volleys are directed at one son particularly, but toward the end, everything’s a jump ball. The boys leap and lunge spectacularly, until they’re mostly full.
And the great thing is, now that they’re old enough, they’re starting to use FKF on me and each other. We launch food at each other using all sorts of permutations. We’re even getting close to perfecting our two signature moves: the 2-on-1 Juggle and the 6-4-3 Double Play Relay.
I can feel the waves of your revulsion shaking the shingles off my roof, but please hear me out. Teaching your children to feed themselves in the traditional way, with their own utensils, teeth, and saliva, is perfectly fine. But French Kiss Feeding (or FKF, as it will one day appear in a medial journal near you) has a number of developmental advantages:
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I hope this piece has opened your eyes to the many virtues that FKF can help instill in your children. Perhaps using FKF will help your child grow up as strong and emotionally well adjusted as Bear Blu–who after all, is named after the world’s most famous wilderness bad-ass.
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