Of course, the Oddnivore has a birthday. Of course. In fact, he is nearing his third of these traditional affairs–his day will probably be one of swirling leaves, crisp air and equally crisp apples. Fuji. Gala. Not falsely delicious Red Delicious–the lying apple. Apples, probably, because this is a food the Oddnivore can eat. Will eat, even gleefully most days, quickly gnawing away at one half of the sweet orb I hand him–no slicing allowed; the Oddnivore wants all aspects of this consumption task–until his teeth meet seeds. And then he needs me. He holds the apple aloft and says, “Not the seeds?”

No, not the seeds. Turn it around. See it another way, start again.

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The Oddnivore became himself when the limited medical test for allergens that we were offered by his pediatrician didn’t provide an answer to all of his skin problems. His eczema, a common indication of an allergic reaction, didn’t go away even when we purged his diet of dairy, wheat, and eggs–those things we were told were to be blamed. My baby remained blotched; the allergen issue remained unsolved.

So the Oddnivore’s life, at age one, became one of undoing. Of starting over, of eating only oatmeal. Again. Eating his way back to four months old. This time with a new purpose. Protection from food, not investigation, not expansion. Slowly we added new things. Rice. Potatoes. Soy milk. Apples. As many apples as he wanted. No carrots, we learned. No grapes. Bananas only intermittently, if we wanted to spare his skin. But the Oddnivore does not see these foods anymore, does not concern himself with what isn’t. He’s looking toward the apple.

“I have that, Mommy?”

Yes. Just don’t eat the seeds.

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