I Cut the Crust Off.

He doesn’t know what Star Wars is, but he’s over the moon for his lunch box.

It was his first day at a new school – a montessori pre-school. We’ve made sacrifices so he could go to this school.  He deserves this school.

It was my first time making a lunch for him to bring. I sleepily made an organic peanut butter and raspberry preserve sandwich.  He’s never been a sandwich eater, but I cut the crust off.  I cut the crust off because that’s what good moms do.

Kids don’t like crust, right?

But what if he wants the crust?  What if he doesn’t eat the sandwich at all?  What if he goes hungry?  What if the crust is the most nutritious part of the bread, and I’m cheating my son out of essential nutrients?

And suddenly everything felt foreign.

I paused.

I wondered how I got to this particular place?

I wondered how I lost myself in the crust…

And I felt resentful.

I missed my career.

I missed having a moment of peace now and then.

I missed taking a daily shower.

I missed being witty, and vivacious.

I missed my body.

I missed doing things for myself.

Then I packed his lunch and took him to the school that I wish I could go back in time for and attend myself.

He did wonderfully.

The teacher said he took to the montessori structure immediately.

He said it was a “most wonderful sandwich”.

I squeezed him, and wiped a tear away with my thumb.


At this moment, I sit here writing this in the late hours of the evening.  The house is asleep, and as exhausted as I am, I’ve chosen to stay up after a 3 am breast feeding session and stroke the keys…

Because I miss you.

Because I miss me.

My dinner is still sitting in my belly, as it was eaten after everyone had gone to bed.  It was cold and made hours before, but a fussy baby demanded my attention for hours on end.

Today was my son’s second day at school.  He asked if he was going to have a sandwich again, and jumped up and down when I said yes.

I had a day of attempting to “work from home”, along with a phone meeting while my second born pooped out the side of his diaper and on to my shirt .  I had a day of mostly nursing, bouncing, and swaying.  I had a day that passed in a daze.

I look back on it now, and wonder again how I got here.

I wonder if I will always be here.

But mostly, I wonder why during my brief moment of nourishment today…

Why I made myself a sandwich…

and why I cut the crust off.

I love the crust.





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Comments (16)

  • I sorta know how you feel, though I’m not quite at that stage yet. I do miss myself sometimes.

    Which is why I’m going to get a haircut and a pedicure this weekend. I know, it’s small and probably superficial, but fuck it, I need it.

    Do something for yourself. Keep the crust.

    Jenni Chiu 9 years ago Reply

    A new haircut can make you feel like a rockstar.
    Keep the faith. Keep the crust.
    My new mantra.

  • Dixie 9 years ago Reply

    I’m a mean mom. I refuse to cut off crust. And when the neighbor boy comes over and says he doesnt eat crust, I tell him he will if he wants a sandwich. Lol. And you know what? He always eats it.

    I completely sympathize; I very rarely get more than 4 hours a night or a bath as often as is socially acceptable lol. It seems that there must be hoardes of stinky sleepless moms out there, searching for ‘me’ time. Could be a movie, like attack of the zombies, but in sweatpants and 3-month old highlights.

    Dixie 9 years ago Reply

    And I dread the day when my three year old eats a whole sandwich instead of just half. Because, then what will I eat for lunch if not the other half?

  • January 9 years ago Reply

    You won’t always be there. You won’t. Having a newborn with another child still so young is so hard…no one can ever explain how hard it is in the beginning. They may tell you, but no one can explain it until it’s happening to you. It’s FUCKING HARD. But it gets easier and easier. It does. I promise. Hang in there…and stop cutting the crusts off. 😉

  • nic @mybottlesup 9 years ago Reply

    Don’t hate me but I thought this was beautiful.

    Jenni Chiu 9 years ago Reply

    It is in a way… beautiful and sad… and worth it…

  • Sharni 9 years ago Reply

    Awwww lots of hugs to you, with love from Down Under from a pregnant with her second terrified loyal reader x

  • Brilliant. I’m gonna go crustless because of you, let’s all nurture ourselves through the lack of crusts.

  • Mama Bear 9 years ago Reply

    I sat here staring at the blank “Comment” box, well, blankly- feeling as though I wanted to write something profound. Something sweet and funny and encouraging without being saccharine and glib and patronizing. I felt moved to do that because your post struck a chord in me even though our situations are so different. You’ve created in my a sympathetic vibration, and I am sure one that is universal in that funny sort of ineffable way. That’s why your post is beautiful even in the rawness of the pain it expresses. SO, do me a favor and pretend I wrote something profoundly sweet and funny and encouraging without being saccharine and glib and patronizing. And do know that it will get better. Don’t know when. Ok. And I don’t really know it will get better. But there IS always chocolate. Love you, Baby Bear.

  • Mmmhmmm…I get it.

  • John 9 years ago Reply

    This is a truly beautiful, and sad, post. It’s great that your little dude is growing up so fast, and well.

    I’m kind of hoping that my kids hate the crusts, because I love them.

  • I thought this was going to be a story about how his new school didn’t want you to cut the crust off. Glad to hear you (and he) like Montessori. My kids have been in it for years. Love it.

    And one more thing – you will get through this. It won’t last forever. Promise. PROMISE!

  • Vernon 9 years ago Reply

    Your post is contain with emotional feelings and truly beautiful. I do hate the crust and hope my offspring will gonna hate it too.. Thanks for sharing this one.,

  • Suzie 9 years ago Reply

    My son never ate the crust. He’d eat his sandwich every day and leave a perfectly square 1/2″ ring when he was done. I’d heard of kids that liked the crusts cut off but I was never going to be one of THOSE moms….until I was. One morning, feeling especially loving toward him, I neatly cut the crust off of his sandwich. When he got home from school and I emptied his lunchbox, there was his sandwich box with a perfectly square 1/2″ ring of sandwich. I realized that he didn’t mind the crust, he just considered it the HANDLE! I went back to leaving the crust on, after all…I love the crust of a pbj in the afternoon!

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