My son could eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches every lovin’ morning, noon and night. If not the sandwich, he wants peanut butter on crackers. Or my peanut butter bagel with bananas and chocolate syrup. His peanut butter obsession used to frustrate me. He needed a more balanced diet and to broaden his dietary horizons, I commiserated with a woman who was ready to pull the plug on her child’s bologna sandwich addiction. We plotted on the right time to cold turkey ‘em. Ew turkey.

There are a couple concepts I have since realized. First, that peanut butter has carbs, protein, and happy fat brain food for my kid. A one knife scoop stop-and-shop for what he needs to grow. Second, it’s the familiar for him in a world full of new and strange. Predictability can be the anchor for the explorer. It’s nice to have reliability in a world where companies used to be fathers to their employees, but now are the shady con-men stepfathers stealing the dignity of a man. Stay with me here.

In fact, we should all stop and think about just what stability and comfortable repetition we are willing to give ourselves in our ever changing worlds. No, I say to my husband time and time again, I can’t make my grocery shopping day the same day every week like your mother. I don’t work that way. But…I can create more routine around other stuff. Maybe laundry so Tuesday would be free for something else. Or I could plan my meals out better so I would know when I was free to go work out.

Being slightly more organized may afford me time to read that book I just bought. This would give me some escapism and give my brain a break from producing. And the cells would regenerate. And then I could create. If everyday peanut butter and jelly sandwiches pave a path for creativity and freedom, I’m good with that. Find me an organic natural peanut butter without sugar that tastes passable and I’ll join him scarfing down a PB&J my damn self. Who knows how predictability could help me become way more unpredictable.

If you have any thoughts, please drop a word below in the comments. Or

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  1. Hi Shalagh – I get the concept and do eat one of three things every morning. There is sugar free organic peanut butter out there. Just read the label. And almond butter is super yummy. Don’t get me started on that ambrosia.
    I like this post.

  2. When I was pre-college, working two FT jobs to save funds for school, I complained to my Mom about the drudgery. She said “yes but that routine can be comforting, can provide you stability, so stick with it.” I did and I remember that advice often and it really has gotten me to push through to something better. So, yeah- routine, pb&j, bring it! I think it’s especially hard for the wee ones- there’s so little that they are in control of that if choosing the same sammie every day gives them back some Derrida-esque power I say yay! I honestly don’t know any adult who lives this free wheeling I’m so wacky life- we’re all routinized. We have to have our morning coffee, our afternoon slump snack, and so on…all the little routines that cause us to bitch when they don’t happen as planned. Routines provide comfort and that’s all good.

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