Sunday, March 15, 2015

How to Make Toast for Toddlers (In 14 “Easy” Steps)

Anyone who’s attempted to properly toast bread for someone under the age of three will tell you it can be tricky. If you don’t get it exactly right, the ravenous tot in front of you will have a meltdown faster than that pat of butter you incorrectly spread on his breakfast. (You know, the one that elicited a temper tantrum because it wasn't swiped over the toast in a meticulously executed counterclockwise motion?)

Here are some tips for first-timers, or infinity²-timers, just hoping to finally throw down a toddler-approved breakfast:

1. Select the proper bread. It should be of a soft wheat variety, but it can’t have any seeds or visible “dirt” (grains) on it. Also, make sure it is closer to the burnt-sienna end of the brown spectrum than it is to sepia. Kids are all about colors. Plus, if the bread is too dark, they will assume that it’s burnt when it comes out of the toaster: And then there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Don’t even think about touching that butt piece. You thought about it, didn't you? Great, now look what you—(thought interrupted by wailing toddler and shrieks of “Yuck-bread! Yuck-bread!”)

And now we must go on hunger strike until
we get M&Ms as compensation for the trauma
we just endured.
[via Giphy]

2. Carefully place bread in the toaster and position the toasting nob. Make sure you don’t accidentally “squish” the bread as you’re positioning it. Squished bread will lead to tears; you might as well squish their tiny toddler hearts while you’re at it. Turn the nob so that the little arrow is pointing precisely ¾ of the way between “light” and “dark.” Or between “1” and “5.” Or whatever the hell scale of toastiness your appliance utilizes. Just point it somewhere in a direction between here (↗) and here (↘).

3. Go change a poopy diaper. Because surely one of them has shit his pants by now. After all, it’s been, like, three and a half minutes since you changed their diapers.

4. Once toast has “popped,” remove it carefully. Again, NO SQUISHING. If it’s been a really rough morning, use a metal fork. Make sure the toaster is still plugged in.

5. Remove crusts. It should go without saying that crusts are unacceptable. 

[via Giphy]
You’ll need to use a knife, preferably a sharp one. Butter knives tend to leave little ridges on the toast, and you can’t have irregular edges tainting their breakfast plates. Do not attempt to merely rip off the crusts with your hands. This will detract from the toast’s symmetry. Symmetry is vital. Without symmetry, their toddler world goes to shit. Feet will be kicked. Fists will be pounded. Ear drums will be brutally assaulted.

Whatever you do, do NOT, I repeat, do NOT eat the crust off the toast. Even if your kids aren't in the room, THEY WILL KNOW. And the second they find out that you ate it, they’ll decide that toast crust is their “Fay-rit Food” and proceed to throw a massive fit.

6. Go change a poopy diaper. If you’re feeling particularly irritated, don’t wash your hands before resuming toast preparation.

7. Determine the least despised toast spread for your tot. Here’s where things get a little tricky. In my experience, there are two camps of toddlers: (1) The Plain Janes, and (2) The Helly Jellies.

The Plain Janes have a particular affinity for things that taste like cardboard. PUT NOTHING ON THEIR TOAST. Don’t even breathe on it. In fact, if these steps fail you, and you are a parent to a Plain Jane, you could probably get by with just providing an old Cheerios box to gnaw on.

The Helly Jellies tend to be of the artistic variety, and enjoy any colorful, sticky substance that they can smear on the walls, a sibling, or your pants. I generally get the best response from my own Helly Jelly if I opt for honey, grape jelly, or peanut butter. BUT OH GOD DON’T USE CRUNCHY PEANUT BUTTER.

OMG, it has da crunchies in it! I must now
have an irrational freak out!
[via Giphy]
If your kid wants vegemite or seeded strawberry jam, then you have a true toddler anomaly on your hands, and I can be of no further help to you.

8. Cut toast into approximately 45,390,285 identical pieces. For suitable cutting tool options, see #5, above. If you accidentally cut it into 45,390,286 pieces, toss it and start back at step #1.

9. Place toast on shatterproof toddler plate. Make sure you use the green one. No, the blue one. No, the one with cars on it. Actually, put it in a bowl. But not the red bowl. The orange bowl. Is there such thing as a sparkle bowl? Use the sparkle bowl. You don’t have a sparkle bowl? GO GET A SPARKLE BOWL.

10. Go change a poopy diaper. And then ask the universe how so much shit can fit inside such a small person. Seriously. It’s like your kid is a clown car for the Poop Parade.

11. Let down the baby gate. And discover what Mufasa felt like when he met his demise at the feet of that wildebeest stampede. A fair (as if any of this is fair) warning: You’ll likely suffer PTSD symptoms every time you watch The Lion King from here on out.

12. Watch your child scrupulously inspect your masterpiece before finally taking a bite. Remember to breathe while all of this (including—fingers crossed—the toast) is going down.

13. . . .

14. Pick toast up off the floor and give your kid a damn Oreo. And then go change a poopy diaper.


Speaking of poopy diapers, if you've not yet checked out my shitty guest post over at BLUNTmoms, please do so! 

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