How do bananas evolve for our kids? If you are a parent, I’m sure you’ve become a master banana preparer by now. If you haven’t yet, you’ll be there soon. Bananas evolve in several ways. Typically, we start by presenting our kids with banana-mush and we work up to the goal of having them eat bananas whole. Along the way, however, there are many struggles over the various forms that bananas take. These struggles help shape our kids into fine, young, outstanding, banana-connoisseurs, and they help shape us into gray-haired, banana-hating ogres. The evolution of the banana is as follows:
Mmm… nothing like the sweet taste of a banana mush. Often one of the 1st foods kids eat, banana mush sets the stage for all other forms of banana. Mush is best enjoyed when rubbed vigorously into the face, nose, hair (if there is any yet), and ears.
Once kids can handle mush, they look for a new challenge. They want to jam anything nearby into their mouths and num num num with their gum gum gums. As parents, especially 1st time parents, we struggle knowing what to challenge our kids with. Bananas, yes, again bananas, are the answer. Cut that long yellow saviour into manageable slices and watch your little one mow down like a champ, without a major risk of aspiration.
Let’s face it, there comes a point when you get banana-lazy as a parent. Unfortunately, this is where everything starts to go wrong in the evolution of the bananas according to kids. You decide your 4th cup of coffee isn’t enough to energize you to a level in which you can adequately slice a banana for your little banana monster. Instead, you peel that bad-boy back and break it off whole or break it in half. You hand the banana to your kid and watch him freak out as he throws it directly on the ground in protest. It’s different. It’s not sliced. It’s a complete disaster and there’s tears to prove it. You quickly pick it up and try to break it into smaller pieces, but your kid knows the details of a perfect slice – the straight edge, the smooth side, and they are having none of your banana-laziness.
You acknowledge your laziness, but also take pride in your superior wit and psychological know-how. You decide to “trick” your kid into accepting your laziness by simply peeling back half of the skin, handing the banana over, and then saying, “Look! Eeee, eeee, aaaaah, aaaaah! This is how real monkeys eat bananas!” Your kid giggles and gives it a try. You pat yourself on the back for successfully rebranding the whole/half banana.
All good things must come to an end and the same goes for the “eat-it-like-a-monkey” banana. Eventually, inevitably, surely, your little monkey’s banana will break in their hands and fall to the floor. “Fix it! Fix it, daddy! Fix my monkey banana!!” For a moment, you run through all sorts of potential solutions:
- maybe I could just stick it back together and it will balance properly when he holds it?
- maybe I could use a toothpick to hold both parts together then quickly remove the toothpick when he gets close to choking on it?
- maybe I could stick it together with floride-free toothpaste?
I’ll let you in on a secret – there’s no solution. At this point, you go into some sort of story about how the banana is going to be broken up once it gets into his tummy anyway.
After a while you start reading parenting books to see what they say about bananas. Unfortunately, banana strategies are few and far between. You do notice, however, a lot of talk about giving your child choice, so you try to apply this strategy to bananas. You calmly ask, “Would you like your banana cut into slices, cut in half, whole, or like a monkey?” Your child chooses. He’s pleased. You’re pleased. Then something disastrous happens – THAT @#!% BANANA STILL FINDS A WAY TO BREAK REGARDLESS OF WHAT FORM YOUR CHILD CHOOSES! He protests wildly. You throw your hands in the air in defeat. And that banana, that shape-shifting-child-antagonizing-yellow-demon-fruit, sits on the floor smiling starchily up at you.
You take the remaining bananas in your house, mash them up, drown them in sugar, and make banana bread. You become a hero again and you make peace with banankind.