Flighty Flings

Rollo has a high, arched palate and only got his first tooth at about fifteen months. This made feeding him solids a tad difficult. Although he liked to suck on biscuits for a little while, they would always get tossed after a few minutes. We’d tried easy things like fingers of toast and bits of squishy fruit, but he’d gag or choke.

This would terrify the life out of Emma and me. Especially since Em would yell, “Mom! He’s choking, quick!” And my heart would leap into my throat, and I’d feel that her child’s life rested solely in my hands. I didn’t remember either of my own kids ever having a choking fit, but I’m sure they must have.

The one thing Rollo had no difficulty with, ever, was crunching away on Chicken Flings. He’d snarf those things down in the wink of an eye.

He could have happily devoured the entire packet in one sitting, but we only allowed three flings after every meal.

Yes, even breakfast.

In the beginning, we’d break them into two or three pieces and hand them to him. Then, in order to increase his motor skills, we’d scatter them around on the highchair tray and watch as he carefully manipulated his little fingers into tweezers. The dogs scored a lot of junk food — until he became more proficient.

Fast forward to a mouth full of teeth.

Rollo can eat pretty much anything he fancies, yet flings remain his favourite. Although his breakfast fix has been replaced with a tiny biscuit (he gets to choose which one he wants), lunch and supper are still followed by the regulation three flings.

Now they get broken in half to make them last longer.

Rollo and I have a game. I steal two bits of fling and hide them in my fists. He has fun finding them. Now he often checks my hands at random times during the day and looks vastly disappointed to find them empty. Clearly, he seems to think I can magic up flings out of the air.

A packet of chicken flings contains at least ten to twelve flings.  By my calculations, that is at least two days’ worth of flings. Yet somehow, the packets were disappearing at an alarming rate.

Now, while I am the granny and do cheat on occasion, I felt that it was morally wrong for Emma to be cheating too.

So, I tackled her on it.

But…Mom, it’s not me. I only ever give him three,” she glared at me balefully with her flinty blue eyes.

Yet the packet I’d opened the day before was missing. Some dastardly family member was either sneakily feeding Rollo extra flings or nicking them.

But who? The usual fling-filching culprit was no longer around.

This carried on for a few days. Then I found an empty fling bag flung on the grass. Without giving it too much thought, I picked it up and tossed it into Em’s outside bin.

The next day it was back. Tsk tsking angrily as I snatched it off the ground, I vowed to have words with Em. Obviously, she and Rollo were picnicking on the grass and leaving debris lying around.

Next, I found a little Marie biscuit packet. That was odd. I’d only opened it the day before.

I started to wonder. Perhaps I’d been a bit hasty.

Slowly, a dim light flickered on, and the dots magically joined themselves.


Stormi, the little weasel of a brown dog that came to live with Leila, was quite fond of brazenly sauntering around on the dining room table to nibble on any crumbs. I’d caught her a couple of times and remonstrated. Once, she even went so far as to hop up and steal Rollo’s dinner.  Some serious yelling occurred after that episode, and I thought she’d stopped.

But she still often sat on the dining room chair, staring out of the front window. She was also partial to getting up on my office chair to see if there was anything worthwhile pinching on my desk.

But…maybe Stormi was being less brazen and had taken to sneakily strolling when I wasn’t around.

The flings, along with the morning biscuits, were stored in the Circle of Friends on the dining room table — for easy access, you know. Clearly, not only our easy access.

I relocated both the flings and the biscuits to the bookshelf behind the table.

Problem solved, for the moment.

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