Of all the ridiculous things I’ve done as a parent, cutting a single blueberry in quarters has to be the most inane.
Recently, I was making my 17-month-old son an afternoon snack. I took some blueberries – organic, naturally – out of the fridge. I removed one blueberry from its signature plastic packaging and cut it in half, because in the back of my brain case, I remembered someone telling me a blueberry was the same size as a toddler’s throat and, consequently, could easily get lodged. That this generalization is entirely absurd and illogical did not stop me from slicing that blueberry right in half.
I studied the blueberry halves for a moment. Were they still too big? Maybe he would try to swallow them whole. The whole half, that is. What if my toddler’s throat was the size of half a blueberry.
So I cut the halves in half.
That’s when I started laughing. I laughed so hard even my son got the giggles from his highchair perch. Through my tears of laughter/insanity I regarded the fruit I had diligently sliced. The pieces were so small, my son could barely pick them up with his chubby fingers.
To preserve my pride, I decided to come up with reasons a sane person would cut a blueberry in quarters. Reasons that have nothing to do whatsoever with thinking half a blueberry might get lodged in the throat of a little maniac who regularly stuffs a quarter of a banana into his piehole (and survives).
1. It’s good practice for when you have to cut peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches in perfect fours.
2. All the other fruit gets cut up, and you don’t want the blueberry to feel left out or get bullied by the melon.
3. You need to expose the blueberry for what it really is inside: green.
4. Some day you will need to do major surgery on your child’s first goldfish to save its little life, and blueberries are a comparable size.
5. You don’t want the dog to choke on a half blueberry when your toddler summarily throws it overboard in a fit of spontaneous, inexplicable rage.
6. Some blueberries contain fortunes. (Truth.)
7. The Very Hungry Caterpillar might be in there eating its way through (he was still hungry), and I can think of nothing more tragic and therapy-inducing than my son biting the Very Hungry Caterpillar’s head off.
8. The tiny gnomes in your pantry would try to steal it to play soccer in the cereal box.
9. Blueberry juice has known knife-sharpening properties. (Truth, again.)
10. Two hands, two feet – you do the math.
Please feel free to refer to this list in perpetuity, royalty free. You’re welcome.