By TMoM Team Member Kelly Hines, author of Southern Fried Children

There are moments in your life where time stands still. When it seems you are a disembodied spirit, floating above, peering down at your corporeal self doing something incredibly stupid. From the ether, your spirit-self opens its mouth in a vain attempt to communicate, but all that escapes is awhoooosh of air. In your head, you scream- that is not chocolate!

It is too late.

I seem to lack that spilt second decision making skill. Somewhere between the thought (what is that?) and the action (placing mystery object in my mouth), there should be a moment of hesitation. A moment where my brain kicks in and says, hey, wait a minute.

I have put an embarrassing number of things into my mouth without first determining their origin, or considering their current state. All of my children have gone through the Cheerio stage, where their primary snack has been the ubiquitous “O”. As a result, Cheerios were often found in the deepest, darkest corners of bags and cars and bras. Channeling my Depression-era ancestors, I was loathe to toss them out, and often, too often, ate them instead. I remember very clearly one instance where, taking off my bra after a long day, I discovered a Cheerio clinging with desperation to my right breast. It had, no doubt, been there most of the day; it had imprinted a tiny circle into my skin and had long lost any crunch it may have had.

Naturally, I ate it. And as I chewed the stale, slightly soft morsel, I thought to myself – am I really eating cereal off my boob?

Toddlers love to share their food. Preferably after they’ve mashed it and smashed it, rolled it around in their chubby fists until it can only be described as grimy, and – if they really love you – they’ll even pre-chew it. The Husband will say, ‘No, thank you!’ over and over until even my very persistent children give up. I, on the other hand, will smile and pop the piece in my mouth and eat it with relish, even if my brain is yelling what the hell are you dooooooing???

I like to think it’s because I love them more.