It was a bit inconvenient for me when Ryan(8) learned to read. Blog-Stedman and I had to stop spelling things in public. We adjusted. Life went on. What has been much more difficult to deal with is his ability to understand time. Not just the time of day. Not just the day of the week. Not just the month. But the date. The date. Crap. Super crap. He is the date police. The Barney Fife of expiration dates. I am not trying to feed my family over-due food. I am very conscientious of expiration dates on dairy and meat products, but I might slide ¦.just a bit on some of the other food groups. If a bag of chips sits unopened in the pantry for 45 days, does it REALLY need to be wasted? If a can of pumpkin puree might have been left-over from 4 Thanksgivings ago, can't I sneak it into a 2009 pumpkin pie? If a jar of pickles has been refrigerated, can't I believe in the preserving powers of pickle juice beyond what a calendar says? Not according to Ryan. Nope. Nada. Absolutely not! The first thing he does when he comes into the kitchen is check the date on whatever I am preparing. If the date is overdue, he lays down the law. If the date is coming soon, he leads an expiration interrogation. If you pour him milk in the morning and then put it back in the fridge, he is going to ask to see it before drinking. And no amount of my reassurance will suffice. Recently we went out to eat. We were all sitting at the table eating chips and salsa waiting for our food to arrive. Ryan picked up the chip container and looked at the bottom: Where is the expiration date?

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