Thursday, July 7, 2011

Well, Thank You, Joey Chestnut

You may be thinking, "Joey, who???" Or you may know exactly who I'm talking about. Think 62 hot dogs in 10 minutes on July 4th for a fifth consecutive hot dog eating competition title and you've got your man. So what could I possibly have to thank Joey Chestnut for??? Well, you see, Brogan had settled into the annoying habit of taking FOR....EV....ER to eat every meal. It didn't matter if he loved what he was eating or hated it. (But, to be fair, he hardly ever hates anything he can ingest.) And it wasn't that he was playing with his food--we strongly discourage that. It was the talking. He would talk to me, or to his sister, or to Canyon (our dog), or to no one in particular and forget to eat. He might start out eating like a champ but by mid-meal he was a jabber box and needed constant reminders to take another bite. Since we also strongly discourage speaking with food in one's mouth: Talking = Not Eating. I had actually started to set a timer. When the timer beeped, I took his food away. Which was inevitably followed by tears and complaints of "I'm still hungy, Mommy." We, of course, would use that as a teachable moment and tell him that he needs to eat a bit faster the next time around so that he won't be hungry. He would agree, wipe his tears and go about his day. Only to follow up his performance with the same, snail's-pace behavior at the very next meal. Ugh.

Well, that all changed on July 4th thanks to my man, Joey. We were cooped up in the house due to Potty Training Boot Camp and there was little else on TV so we opted for the Nathan's annual hot dog eating contest. While I tend not to enjoy watching grown men shove food into their mouths at a nauseating pace, Brogan was enthralled by the fan fare and the red liquid that one of the competitors was using to soak his hot dog buns in. It was running down his arms and dripping off of his elbows, which made him look like some sort of wild animal devouring a fresh kill. Lovely. But for whatever reason, Brogan was hooked. Now when Brogan sits down at the table--a.k.a competition stand--he is excited to show us just how fast he can eat. Thankfully for him (and for us), his turbo speed is just about the pace of a normal human being. He does overload his mouth from time to time, just like the "pros" did at the contest, but that has been an easy enough thing to correct. After all, if his mouth is too full, how will he speak?

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