Written By: Ben Cosgrove

As any parent knows, the only certainty about children is that they’ll constantly surprise you. For instance: a child given the choice between, say, a sweet treat and a notoriously sour, wince-inducing fruit will always, always choose the sweet treat. Right? It stands to reason. After all, what kid doesn’t love candy or chocolate or (better yet) ice cream?

What kid, indeed! Meet young Michael Thomas Roesle. As LIFE told its readers in a Feb. 1948 Miscellany feature in the magazine:

One day when he was 9 months old Michael Thomas Roesle was squirming on his mother’s lap while she tried to serve tea to a neighbor. Inevitably Michael Thomas got his hands on a slice of lemon and popped it into his mouth. A gargantuan pucker swept across his face, wrinkling it like an old prune. But Michael Thomas manfully continued to chew. Then he reached eagerly for another slice. Now his parents, who live in Richmond, Calif., have to keep a bag of lemons handy all the time . . . and Michael Thomas eats them by the dozen. In fact, he picks them over chocolate ice-cream cones 10 times out of 10.

So — here’s to Michael Thomas, and the countless other kids everywhere who manage, simply by being themselves, to confound all expectations and make life so perfectly, marvelously unpredictable.

Eleven-month-old Michael Thomas Roesle crawls toward his choice of two treats -- an ice cream cone or a lemon.

00524642.JPG

Francis Miller The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Eleven-month-old Michael Thomas Roesle crawls toward his choice of two treats -- an ice cream cone or a lemon.

00524638.JPG

Francis Miller The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

00524640.JPG

00524640.JPG

Francis Miller The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

00524639.JPG

00524639.JPG

Francis Miller The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

More Like This

lifestyle

A Baseball Photographer With a Wandering Eye

lifestyle

“Fluttery in the Stomach”: Capturing The First Weeks of College

lifestyle

All Together Now: The Highs and Lows of A One-Room Schoolhouse

lifestyle

New Jersey Turnpike: The Building of a “Superroad”

Route 30 Nebraska, USA, 1948. lifestyle

This Land is Your Land: LIFE Photos From All 50 States

lifestyle

“Baldy and the Long Hairs”: A Very 1950s Casting Call