A Toasty Tale of Love and Reality


In the tapestry of family life, it’s the little moments that often bring the biggest smiles and, sometimes, the best life lessons. Recently, a simple toast-making experience turned into a tale of love, a dose of reality, and, admittedly, a little humor for the adults.

It all started when our kind and thoughtful granddaughter, Ella, decided to make herself a simple piece of toast.  Her little brother, Asher (aged 2), was sitting in his high chair, just finishing his breakfast. Because Ella is always thinking of others and knows that Asher loves toast just as much as she does, she asked, “Hey, Asher, would you like a piece of toast?”

Asher responded with a great big smile and a loud “yes.” So Ella popped a piece of bread into the toaster for him and set about to make him a snack too. Now, mind you, this wasn’t just any piece of toast. It was Asher-approved toast, perfectly buttered, and divided into quarters with the crust cut off. Ella worked hard to get it just the way he liked it.

When Ella handed the toast to Asher, she fully expected him to be delighted. Instead, he pushed the toast away and said, “No!”

Ella’s confusion and disappointment were clearly written on her face. She didn’t understand. She looked at her dad and said, “He asked for it, and now he doesn’t want it!”

Her dad, Brian, always great with validating the kids feelings, replied, “Wow, it sounds like you are really frustrated. ”

Ella: “YES!  I even buttered it just like he likes!”

Brian: “You worked hard to make Asher toast, and now he doesn’t want it.”

Ella: “Yes,” she said with a mixture of disappointment, confusion, and sadness.

Brian: “Do you know anybody else that that might happen to?”

Brian definitely knew how Ella was feeling. He is the cook in the household and was reflecting on how many times he had prepared meals and heard the kids say they didn’t like what he fixed, or they weren’t hungry, or they changed their minds about what they wanted.

Ella took a minute to process her dad’s question, then smiled rather coyly. No verbal response was necessary. She knew the answer.

Melissa, Ella’s mom, called out to her from the other room, “Ella, just because Asher didn’t eat your toast, it doesn’t mean he loves you any less.”  (And under her breath, she chuckled and added, “That’s what I tell your dad all the time.”

So that day, Ella learned that you can be kind and helpful, you can be thoughtful and caring, but you just can’t make a 2-year-old eat when he decides not to do so.

And Brian? He was wondering if this lesson would make any difference when Ella sat down to a meal he prepared that she didn’t particularly like or want to eat that day. Would she eat it anyway, with this day in mind?

I don’t know. Time will tell.

(This picture was taken the day next day, when he decided he wanted toast, I see there is crust on the bread, so my guess is he smiled for the picture and then told his Dad “No crust!”







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