I am sure I am not the only one to announce to the world “I WILL NEVER CUT OFF THE CRUST” when my child was born. I can’t be the only one. I managed very well with this decree for a very long time! I figured if she didn’t know that not eating the crust was an option, she would eat it right? Well, she did! I was right! Oh so right, and let me tell you it felt good to be right. I am very lucky that my kid is a voracious eater. I rarely made her something different from what we were eating for dinner, and if it was different then she wanted to try it! Even demanding to try our Louisiana Hot Wings at age three. She took a bite, calmly waited a moment, then grabbed her milk and chugged. Her exact words were “that is kinda hot” said with mild surprise. No tears, no fussing, no complaints. I was totally impressed! I will admit, I was a bit smug about it. I was doing it right and seeing as I rarely feel like that, I may have enjoyed it a bit too much. If anyone within ear shot of my child announced that they did not like a certain food, I smacked them in the back of the head. Yes literally! I forbid the words “I don’t like (insert food choice here)” in our home. You know what? It worked, I couldn’t believe my good fortune, in the words of Charlie Sheen “I was winning” while my friends fretted, and begged their children to eat something that wasn’t in the shape of a nugget. My plan was working. Well, for awhile anyway.
I should have known it couldn’t last. The whole crust cutting decree was derailed by my well meaning, sweet and loving partner in life. One of the first times he was left responsible for making her lunch, he cut off the crusts of her bread and made a big too-do about how special it was, how it meant that he loved her and blah blah blah blah blah blah. Yes, just like that, my anti crust cutting days were over. Suddenly, she wouldn’t eat the crust. She would eat the center of her sandwich leaving 80% of the sandwich attached to the crust. The more I insisted she eat it, the more she refused while looking at me like she thought I didn’t love her anymore because I refused to cut off her crusts. So guess what? I caved. Sometimes I make a feeble stand and refuse to cut them off, but I always regret it when the sandwich is left on the table with a small hole eaten out of the middle.
What is more, the “I don’t like (insert food choice here)” ban has gone the wayside too. I knew that she has never really cared for eggs. No matter how I made them, she would take a few bites announce that they were good, but that she was full. I never made a big deal but did continue to serve them occasionally and in very small portions. She clearly didn’t care for them, but would always have a few bites and I was perfectly happy with this being the extent of her food refusal. I know now that I was lucky and I should have known that it could not continue, that I was living a fantasy, a dream that could not be imagined by other parents. Don’t be jealous, because this too has ended. My carefully crafted bubble has been popped at school where she watches other students refusing this or that. Lately, she has been toying with the idea of disliking foods by suddenly refusing to eat meals that she has previously eaten with unabashed abandonment not to mention plenty of nom nom sounds to boot.
So now, here I stand making lunch and dutifully, if resentfully, cutting off the tiniest sliver of crust, painfully attempting to create as little waste as I can manage. While my daughter suddenly does not like what yesterday was her favorite meal. I tried keeping the crusts and then drying them to make bread crumbs, but let’s face it. My name is not Martha. I smile to myself as I imagine the reaction I would get if I served a giant pile of these saved up slivers of bread for dinner to the two people that I love most in this world. It seemed that I was doing it right for awhile. I was so proud of myself for the way I handled the topic of food with my child, but now I am paying for my hubris as I announce to the world “I WILL ALWAYS CUT OFF THE CRUSTS!”
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