Semantics – on determining a serving size

Thomas is almost six, which means he’s at the apex of the picky-eater curve that all of my kids have traveled. They start out as adventurous eaters that’ll try literally everything and then consume almost everything they try. Then they realize, around 18 months, that they have a choice in the matter, and why would one eat beans when lollipops exist?

Slowly, they move one food after another from the “acceptable” into the “detestable” column. By the time they’re six they’re living off their own stubbornness, and you can find me banging my head on the kitchen counter, wondering where I went wrong.

That’s where Thomas is. Doesn’t want to eat anything I make, very interested in any sort of processed carb that comes in a crinkly bag.

One thing Thomas does loves butter.
He loves a big slab of butter on pancakes, muffins, and especially crescent rolls.

I let him serve himself exactly however much butter he wants, partially because I’m just happy to see him consuming calories, ya know? Plus, didn’t I once hear that butter helps with brain development? But mostly, it’s because I can tell that when Thomas is wielding that butter knife, he’s darn near having a religious experience.

He is methodical. Thoughtful. He makes a mess and destroys the butter stick, but you can tell he really takes pride in his work. Buttering a crescent roll, I can tell, is one of Thomas’s joys in life.

The other day, Thomas had his butter knife in his hand and got up to get something from the kitchen. On his way back to the table, he accidentally dragged the butter knife across my shoulder.

“THOMAS!” I exclaimed. “You got butter on me! Were you trying to butter me so you can eat me?”

Thomas rolled his eyes and gave me a sly grin. “No, Mommy. If I was going to eat you I’d need a LOT more butter.


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