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Emersonian Self-reliance, Benjamin-style

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So, this evening, I’m working at the computer and Benjamin (4yo next month) hands me the uneaten third of a Nutella (chocolate-and-hazelnut spread) sandwich, saying “No, thank you, Daddy. I don’t want it.”

Now, we had finished McDonald’s for dinner and he had already completed the Nutella sandwich that I made for him as a dessert treat. So I am all set to barge outside in a fit of self-righteous fury - compounded by his implicit waste, in asking for something but not finishing it - and chastise whoever had succumbed to his boyish charms and made this second - and clearly unnecessary - junk-food treat for him.

“Where did you get this?” I demand.

“Benjamin,” he answers.

He’s clearly not understanding me. “No,” I persist. “Who made this for you?”

“Benjamin,” he repeats.

“You made this? All by yourself?” I ask suspiciously.


“You got the bread?”


“And the chocolate?”


“The chocolate was on a high shelf, wasn’t it?”

“No, it was low,” he counters, adding a gesture conveying the notion of lowness.

“What about the knife?”

“No. Knife is dangerous,” he reminds me, like a teacher patiently instructing a simple-minded child, adding a patronizing finger wag for good measure.

“So what did you use?”


Yep. He did it all by himself. Got the bread from the refrigerator, the Nutella from the pantry shelf, and the spoon from the kitchen drawer. A quick investigation outside shows several large, chocolate smear marks on the floor where he apparently performed the complex operation.

Needless to say, fury has given way to joyful pride. What a great kid! ;-)

Update/Addendum: It is now the next day. What do I find when I open the kitchen drawer? Two chocolate covered spoons. ;-)