Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Sandwiches, and Other Things My Kids Don't Understand

During lunch the other day, a slow realization dawned on me: my kids don't know how sandwiches work.

That's right. Sandwiches. The most basic of midday meals.

Instead of eating the meat, cheese, and lettuce all neatly tucked inside the bread, they painstakingly pick apart every single element first. They even scraped off the mayo and ate it by itself.

By itself, people.

Once I started paying attention, I saw how many other everyday objects whose actual function entirely escapes my children.


My kids' understanding of the function of chairs seems hazy at best. After all, they spend 75% of dinner standing on, lying on, sliding across, or simply falling off of them.

Even though there are clearly designated areas for your butt and back, my children consistently find new ways to "sit" in their chairs so I can see more of their feet than I can of their faces.


My con artist preschooler will beg for an apple  not a cut-up apple but a whole one — swearing solemnly on his life he'll finish the entire thing this time. Approximately four bites later, he proclaims himself "full" and does a layup with it into the garbage can.

I'm not sure if that's better or worse than the 2-year-old, who has been known to take precisely one bite out of every single thing in the fruit basket before he puts it all back hoping no one will notice.

The Car

When you get in the car to go somewhere, you should sit down and buckle your seat belt. I've tried explaining this order of operations every way I know how, including begging, yelling, and holding a 5-minute Q&A session about the process before sending the kids out to the car with laminated flow charts.

But I may as well have said, "get in the car, play with the head rests, then start fighting over a plastic party favor you found under the seat. Then at least one of you should go play in the trunk and someone else, please run around giggling in the driveway."  Because that's exactly what happens.


Sidewalks are flat, paved footpaths that keep pedestrians separate from traffic as they walk along in a forwardly direction. My children, however, are oblivious to all of that. To them, a sidewalk is a mere suggestion of where they could walk if so inclined.

They meander all over, around and through, twirling in circles one minute and running ahead the next, then screeching to a halt to check out a caterpillar before balancing on the curb and almost falling into the street.

The Toilet Paper Roll Dispenser

U.S. patent 5439521A clearly states that TP is correctly placed on the holder "with the cardboard tube core being rotatably received on the toilet paper roll supporting rod" (emphasis mine.)
image via Google Patents

But try telling that to my children, who just grab a new roll when the old one runs out and plonk it on top of the entire apparatus. Like the words "longitudinal axis" mean nothing.


I've seen my kids go up slides, scale the outsides, and occasionally jump off the top, but I'm hard-pressed to say whether I've actually seen them slide down one.

Excepting the times, of course, they've gone down head-first or backwards. And once when we visited the playground in the winter, they rocketed down the tube slide on a sled. (That was actually pretty awesome.)

Hand Rails

The stairway leading up to our kids' rooms has a hand rail on one side and a bare wall on the other, and I'm pretty sure they believe that hand rail is a "do not touch" art installation.

The grubby handprint trail going up the wall opposite it proves that the actual function of a hand rail hasn't really occurred to them.

Any Object That Could Conceivably Resemble A Gun

My 2-year-old just hoisted a toy vacuum cleaner up to chest level, cocked it, and pretended to shoot me.



At what age do kids see a musical instrument and their first thought is something other than, "I wonder what is the loudest, most annoying noise I could possibly make with this thing?"

The concept of making beautiful music seems to stem from a part of the brain that doesn't develop until much later in life. I know that because life at our house has necessitated a "don't play the piano with your feet" rule.

But it's going to be okay. They'll probably learn how these things work sometime before college, and it's not like they're the most clueless people in the house.

After all, who's the one in the kitchen assembling sandwich ingredients so little people can totally dismantle them a few minutes later?

A funny list moms will understand all too well! Here are 10 everyday things kids don't seem to understand, from how to eat an apple to changing the toilet paper roll. Parents, you know this is true. #parentinghumor #toddlers #funny #relatable #unremarkablefiles

Click to Share:
Unremarkable Files


AnneMarie said...

Hahaha! These are so accurate. Once when we got together with a friend at a park, she had just opted to bring her toddler a couple small bags of meat, cheese, and bread-she figured, why make a sandwich when he'll just take it all apart? And...my two-year-old had recently figured out guns and swords. So now anything and everything has become a weapon :P

Anonymous said...

I love you. That is all. - Kathy (not gonna write my last name anymore. You KNOW who I am).

Catherine said...

Pretty much!

Jenny Evans said...

Your friend is so smart. Those are the kinds of things I see other moms do and say "WHY DID I NOT THINK OF THAT???"