The one sure-fire meal option that we have is toast - buttered, marmited or jammed - it is the only thing we serve that has a chance of being at least partially eaten.
As I was preparing the breakfast toast this morning it occurred to me that toast is not only the backbone of our kids' diet, it is also an important developmental yardstick.
Like the rings of a tree, toast tells a story to an informed observer. The cut, the spread, the crust all provide important insights into the recipient child - let me illustrate this further.....
Midget Cut: 4 way triangle cut, with crusts removed for safety - recipient is probably 6-14 months old - this could be the first non-blenderised 'solids' that the child has eaten.
Mobile Midget Cut: same as midget cut - except child is crawling or walking - mum & dad are sick of cutting off damned crusts and figure that if child is chewing on eukanuba stolen from the dog it is old enough to deal with a crust. Child is probably 12-18 months old.
The Freedom Fighter: child is now demanding more control of food (by rudimentary speech & Hitler-esque gesticulations) and wants same toast cut as mum or dad (typically none of that namby pamby triangle cut if copying Dad). Child is between 14-20 months.
The Big Boy/Girl: Don't be touching my toast - I want it as god intended - 'square' with no cuts. Parents rejoicing - can smell self service toasting just around the corner! Child 20 months - 3 years old.
The Curve Ball: Just when things are looking up - some buffoon (Saraaaahhhh!!!) makes round toast as a treat - this becomes de-facto toast format. Parents are broken, hollow visages of their former selves. Child is very demanding and probably over-pampered.
Toasted Train Wreck: the daily wastage - some things never change!