I grew up in a margarine household. I am so Team Butter now it's not even funny but growing up, it was all margarine, all the time.
Opening up a new tub of margarine was a big deal to me and my siblings. My mom used to buy the big tub from Costco so even though we're a family of six, untouched margarine was a rare occurrence. The surface of a fresh tub of margarine is a sight to behold. Smooth, creamy, unsullied by crumbs, with the perfect little knob in the middle where the stream of margarine flowed into the tub. This little knob, or the margarine's "belly button" as we called it, was the highest prize amongst us kids.
We would eagerly anticipate the opening of a new tub of margarine. When we noticed the old tub running low, we would strategically time our margarine consumption to better our own odds of being present when the new tub was opened. When the day finally came that the old tub was scraped clean and the new tub ceremoniously took its place in the middle of our table, my siblings and I would campaign to be the lucky one who took the margarine's belly button. We couldn't tell you what we did in school that day but we could say, with certainty, which kid opened the last tub of margarine, even though it was months before.
The negotiations did not go smoothly. Feelings would be hurt, alliances would be forged, promises of future support would be made, and finally, my parents would tire of our bullshit and instruct one of us to just eat the damn margarine belly button already. My dad would physically cringe as the victor would scoop the little knob of margarine from the pristine surface. One does not scoop margarine, you see. We do not mar it with craters. We live in a society. We scrape the top of the margarine in a uniform fashion and we do not leave crumbs behind goddammit. We aren't animals.
But he gave it to us; despite his feelings on proper margarine management, my dad let us kids scoop the damn margarine belly button every time (but heaven help us if we left toast crumbs behind).
It seems insignificant, the defacing of a tub of margarine, but it's just one tiny example of how kids are literally the worst and grandkids are sent as some sort of retribution from the universe.
Grady is the light of my life. He is my heart and soul and my very favourite boy. He is also challenging me in ways I've never experienced. This morning I made chocolate banana muffins for breakfast. My stubborn picky eater attempted to "pick out" the banana because he didn't like how it looked. He couldn't taste the banana. The texture of the banana wasn't the problem. He just didn't like how it looked. There were no banana chunks or slices; I had mashed the bananas thoroughly before mixing the batter. But my mash job was obviously sub-par because he was able to discern a few banana bits. I sat and watched, in broken silence, as he crumbled an entire muffin in an attempt to remove the few offending bits of banana. And it made me think back on my childhood margarine belly button brawls and wonder: why don't we eat our young?