Clockwork Oranges

Toddlers and oranges. Every single time.


“What are you doing? No! Let mommy peel it. Don’t bite it!”

::toddler continues to press teeth into peel of the orange before spitting it out, appalled at the taste of bitter peel::

::toddler hands slimy, messy orange to me::

::begin to peel orange::

“NO momma! I DO!” 

“No baby. We’ve been over this. It will take me two minutes. Hold on.”

::toddler implodes into a puddle on the floor::

“Look! Look. It’s done! Here. TAKE IT IT’S FINE SEE.”

::hand toddler full, peeled orange::

“No momma. Sticky.”

“Ummm… can I… put it on a plate for you? Here, let me break it up for you. Is that okay? Can I break it?”


“Okay, mommy is going to break it and put it on a plate. Okay?”

::move very slowly, no sudden motions, begin to pull apart orange while maintaining eye contact with toddler the whole time::


“OKAY! Oh, it’s fine! Look. Not broken!”

“No! Bwoken! Nooooo!” 

::implode, puddle, sad face::

“No, no, it’s fine. I fixed it! All back together now. All fine!”

::tantrum continues::

“Okay, well, guess I’m going to have to throw it away then.”

::slow walk toward the trashcan::

“No mommy! I want. Pwease? I want.”

::hand over orange like a live grenade::

::toddler squeezes the orange with both hands, dissects it, eats nothing::

Like clockwork. Every time.  



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  1. Mine fight me over peeling bananas. They take the entire peel off and the banana usually breaks in half. When I try to help out, they get angry and break it anyway. They just throw their oranges. I feel like I live in a cage at the zoo with all the fruit on my floor.

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