We try not to discourage Ash from trying anything, so when he asks to dip his chicken yakitori (fancy name for chicken skewers at Japanese restaurants) in our wasabi, we let him. When he's convinced that he'll enjoy our lamb vindaloo (fancy name for an Indian dish of stewed lamb but REALLY spicy), again, we let him. Sometimes these moments result in his eyes watering up and cheeks turning bright pink followed by a whimpering little look at mommy wondering why on Earth I let him put XXX spiced smoke-will-come-out-of-your-ears deliciousness in his mouth, but then other times he just does this cute little tip of the head and waits a moment as he sucks off the last sip of spicy sauce from his fingers, and then very adamantly requests "MORE PLEASE!" What can I say, the boy likes his spice. Well, most of the time.
One (of many) not so thought out repercussions to introducing and constantly exposing Ash to varying ethnicities of food is an ingrained confusion about how to eat it based on which type of restaurant he's in. He doesn't understand why there aren't any chopsticks at his favorite BBQ joint, or why he can't use injera to eat pasta (would be SO much easier than learning to twirl his spoon/fork!), or even why there isn't any naan served with his sweet potato sushi when CLEARLY this would be a more efficient way to eat it. And who are we to disagree? So, we travel with chopsticks. We let him use whatever bread is on the table to pick up whatever entree it is meant to accompany. And, to explain the picture above and finally get to the point of this very long winded post, we don't dare not let him "drink" his soup just because he's not in a Japanese restaurant where "drinking" your miso soup is just how it's always done. Hey, you try and explain to a 2 year old why he can drink his soup in one restaurant but not in another.
So, tonight while we enjoyed a fabulous new discovery nearby in the form of delicious Latin American cuisine we didn't even think twice when Ash picked up his chicken orzo soup and drank from the bowl. Every last drop. And he didn't spill a drip, not even one. Although I am a little worried about one day discovering he has no idea what a spoon is... I suppose eventually we'll need to to review the "this is how its done here vs there vs over there vs etc..." but for now I'm just digging the fact that my 2 year old can down a cup of soup (chalk full of veggies!) without leaving half of it spilled on the table (or mommy). Cheers to that.