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I just want you to know that if my husband and I go all Heidi Klum and Seal someday, it will totally be because of grapes.

By the way, my daughter Dylan was once in a baby class with Heidi’s daughter Leni in the West Village and I’ll have you know that Heidi is super tall and pretty and seemed quite nice in that “I’m a model but I don’t hate you because you’re not” way and due to our deep connection from that one 40 minute class, I’m obviously devastated over their break-up.

Back to grapes.

I tend to obsess over choking hazards (hot dogs and quarters are also high on my list) and of course, the potential for a shoe lace to get caught in an escalator or the possible dangers of putting plastic in the dishwasher but let’s stay focused.

For the past seven years, I’ve been pleading with Rick (that’s my husband or Seal in this scenario) to cut the grapes the LONG way so that when our kids are babies and toddlers, it doesn’t get lodged in their throats.

He does cut them but not necessarily to my liking. Sometimes he cuts them horizontally which doesn’t meet my specifications or he only cuts them in half which I still deem too large.  There is a lot of critiquing and modifying and disagreement over this.

And he defends himself by saying, “No one ever even cut my grapes!”

Look, my parents threw me in a baby backpack and took me out on their motorcycle but I’m not recommending we do that.

I do allow my 7-year-old to eat whole grapes. Organic if possible.

And I would allow my 5-year-old to eat whole grapes if I could ever convince her to actually put one in her mouth.

And I don’t peel grapes which I know some moms favor.

But I do like to cut them pretty small for Chase and Harlowe, mostly because they are 20 months old and I’ve seen Harlowe shove half of a pizza in her mouth in one sitting. And she’s also a food hoarder.

We were putting her to bed the other night, and she had something shoved in her cheek from breakfast. I haven’t been that committed to breakfast since the S’Mores Pop Tart was invented.  I just don’t want an entire grape hanging out in that cheek of hers for 3 days.

I’m guessing that like many things – Rick will never stress over this. And I always will.

When our twins get older, we will stop cutting their grapes. It won’t be a conscious decision. Just one day, we will realize that we don’t do it anymore. And like so many childhood milestones, it will just suddenly be done.

And then, when all our kids are grown and have gone on to fancy careers in biotechnology or working at Coyote Ugly (whichever) and Rick and I are living in our warm weather gated community, I will turn to him and say, “Remember, when we used to cut our kids’ grapes? Which one of us was totally obsessed with that?”

And I bet we won’t even remember.

mama bird notes:

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26 Responses to you’re going to cut those grapes, right?

  • Jenn says:

    I have to constantly remind myself that just because Handsome Hubby doesn’t do things the way they’re supposed to be done (my way) doesn’t necessarily (note word choice) mean it’s incorrect… just different (and very very wrong! Urgh… there I go again!).

  • ShoreGirl says:

    Friends and family always laugh at my because I insist on cutting the grapes, length wise. I am totally paranoid about choking. Now the girls are 6 and 5 I have taught them to bite into the grape like an apple, make that tiny grape into two bites, other Moms think I am even crazier. Man I am glad I am not alone. I am still afraid to send them to school with grapes because the teacher won’t watch them like I do 😉

  • Completely and totally funny! So true!

    If it makes you feel better (or maybe just makes you even more stressed), we feed our two year-old twins cherry and grape tomatoes without cutting them. No slicing…at all…in any way. My son can shove two or three in his mouth at a time…probably because he’s scared his twin sister will steal them.

    And did you have to do your hair and make-up for hours on end before that baby class? And then Heidi shows up all au natural and looks more beautiful than anyone else there could ever hope to be??? No one needs that stress!!!

  • Kara says:

    Does Rick not know the severity of this issue?? Choking kills more than 100 kids a year…but I’m not sure if grapes should really be your biggest concern. Apparently, more kids are choking on latex balloons than food. Maybe we should be rethinking our birthday party decorations. Just a thought, ya know, in case you see Chase heading toward the balloons.

  • Other mom: Oh… you don’t cut your grapes?
    Me: Uh… no. She has teeth.
    Other mom: Yeah but….


    And that was the day I started cutting grapes… in four.

    • Aw, man! They always do that…don’t they? Wait until we’re all smug about something and then directly contradict our parenting.

      But I’m sure you knew the Heimlich, right? And she was okay? Because now I’m worried that I should be cutting all my sperical fruit and vegetables and registering for a CPR class to avoid some horrible smart ass parenting karma.

      • Oh!!
        Yes of course she survived. Imagine how horrible it would be for me to post that so nonchalantly if she hadn’t? I still resent her for making me look bad like that though. I paid her back with bad haircuts Irish dance classes throughout her childhood. That’ll teach her.

  • red pen mama says:

    My son hasn’t even tasted a grape yet because he is youngest of three and I don’t have time to cut and peel them. Which is totally necessary because he’s only a year old. My house has so many choking hazards (LPS and ZuZu pet accessories galore), I’m not putting any on his plate on purpose.

    • Kelcey says:

      This is exactly why Chase and Harlowe never get yogurt which they LOVE. I just don’t have time to feed it to them. Finger foods or nothing.

  • Aunt Marcia (Guess Whose?) says:

    Meant to ask you, when did you start bleaching Harlowe’s hair so blonde? Is she as sweet as she looks?

  • Doug says:

    I have a friend who’s a 911 dispatcher and she has some stories… let’s just say the grape thing is a real problem. Anything with that kind of squishy but ultimately unyielding texture is a problem. It’s not just that they choke on it, it doesn’t heimlich very well and even EMT’s cant always clear it in time. I don’t know if it’s official or just her experience but marshmallows are the other one’s she’s personally paranoid about.

  • Maura says:

    That is totally us.

    Here’s the deal: I work with a guy who had a boy (had) that choked on a hotdog when he was 2. The child lived (brain damaged) until the age of 15. So, I have that nice daily reminder when I flip out to my husband over grapes, hard mints, gumballs…

    Also, Keira has had the Heimlich 3 times. One time on a handful of blueberries.

    They’re 5…I don’t cut grapes anymore, but I stare them down as they eat them.

    My twins will be the death of me.

  • Lengthwise! I am obsessed with the choking thing – the kids are forbidden to touch food if I am not around (or sometimes one of the big brothers, who are all trained in the Heimlich maneuver). Hotdogs should also be cut lengthwise, and then sliced in small pieces.

    I am actually a very laidback parent. I let my kids play unsupervised outside, I don’t do their homework with them, etc. It’s just the eating thing that gets me.

    Oh, my other obsession is the drowning-in-a-toilet thing. Until recently (my youngest is 6), my kids were all thoroughly trained to shut all bathroom doors to prevent wandering toddlers from gaining access to the commode of death.

    But otherwise, laidback! Really!

  • Hot dogs. That’s my terror food. Now I can add grapes. Thanks for that. Anything else you’d like to make me aware of that I can toss and turn all night over? Please don’t say popcorn. My eyes will spring tears.

  • Beth says:

    When my son was about 14 months, my husband nonchalantly gave him a tictac and i FREAKED out. then he said “oh, it’s fine, he just chews them up”. and how did you find this out?? i never cut up grapes or hotdogs though . . .

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kelcey kintner