A small chunk of kiwi, speared on a fork, hovers in front of Alice's mouth. She closes her mouth and tips her chin down and away, in that totally adorable way she has. All I can see is the curve of one chubby cheek under that amazing nimbus of tight blond curls. But, cute or not, I decide I'm going to see this through. Because she is now completely comfortable here, and is almost a year and a half old, I decide the time has come to begin to initiate her into my Food Expectations. The first: "You can't decide you don't like something if you haven't tasted it." Note, they only have to taste it. This means it merely has to get into her mouth. She doesn't actually have to swallow, nor even chew it. If it sits on her tongue for a nano-second before she spits it out, that's acceptable to me. It's the principle of the thing. A first step. Of course, the initial challenge is, how to get it in? In this case, as often happens, Alice makes it easy for me. "Alice," I say slowly, in tones heavy with portent, "You need to take one bite. Open your mouth." Then I press gently on her lower jaw with my fingertip. Alice is highly offended at my presumption, and opens her mouth to express her displeasure. Perfect! That kiwi is in there! Alice is outraged. Her eyes widen, she takes a deep breath, she begins to roar. She is Not Happy with Me. At All. I commiserate with her. "That was a dirty trick, wasn't it? What a thing to do to a girl!" From here, it doesn't much matter to me what happens next. She has tasted the thing, that's all I ask. If she spits it out, I will praise her for tasting it. If she actually eats it, even better. I wait for a moment. It doesn't come out instantly, at any rate. What happens next is something that I've come to expect a goodly percentage of the time: Alice suddenly looks surprised, stops crying, and becomes aware of the taste of that thing in her mouth. "Not so bad, now, is it?" I lilt encouragingly, warmest of smiles on my face. "How about that?" It goes down. Success! And then... she voluntarily takes a second piece from her tray! Ha! Stage One of Food Expectations has gone like a charm.