How to Choose the Perfect Banana

May 24 2013

I sent out a cry for help on Facebook last night:

Am holed up in the bathroom. Poorly organized but enthusiastic oppositional forces are assembling to attempt a siege. My supplies = a good book, a threadbare towel, limited toilet paper, plentiful water, 16 oz. raw almonds, 2 tootsie pops, and a partially used banana. Could hold out for days, except I forgot my phone cord; am considering making a dash for that, a pillow & several pairs of earplugs while the opposition is distracted by infighting. What would you advise? Over.

And you — bless your hearts (the real kind) — you were there for me in my hour of need. Your advice?

Time to embarrass the children. Streak through the house screaming “I’m Naked” grabbing up any and all needed supplies. Phone cord and debit card being top of the list. <—Evie

Tell them you have a loaded banana and you’re not afraid to use it. <—Musings of a Minister’s Wife

DON’T DO IT! The tribe is stealthy. You won’t make it back! Someone WILL corner you with a sippy cup or pee soaked pants. I’m going off facebook now. God be with us all. <—Ashley

Wine! Over. <—Gracie

But some of you, knowing the Five Kids community is always a safe place to ask vulnerable questions, wanted to know, What is a partially used banana?

Most of the time I like to think I’m in touch with my former selves. You know, the Me who wore clothes without iridescent booger trails, and the Me who made pretty invitations for well-organized parties, and the Me who wondered whether to let my kid wear swim trunks, rain boots and a tiara to the grocery store. Every once in a while, though, I realize how deeply entrenched I am in this current life. Like when someone asks What is a partially used banana? and I’m astonished there’s still a world out there where that’s not a thing.

What is a partially used banana?

This is a parenting blog, and, as you know, I always share helpful information. So I’m going to answer your question in long form in case there are others out there who don’t know.

What is a partially used banana?

A partially used banana is one that’s been sucked on, bitten off, somewhat squashed, sat upon or a little regurgitated — usually all of the above — but never, ever finished. On the worst days, it’s also been verbally maligned, mocked, shunned, rejected, despised and shamelessly discarded for failing to meet unrealistic standards of modern banana beauty. The very people who call for perfect, unblemished bananas perpetuate the system of degradation, keeping bananas down with their not-so-subtle belittling and rough banana handling.

Look. I don’t mean to be too graphic, but awareness is important so I’ll conclude by sharing at the bottom of this message exactly how this happens.



How to Choose the Perfect Banana:
A Practical Guide for Kids

First, it’s important to be totally ageist when it comes to bananas. Are there age spots?


Yes? Sick. REJECT IT.

Next, bananas must have a completely uniform yellow. This banana?


Too green AND there’s a spot. REJECT IT. Also, start crying.

Finally, when you find the perfect specimen,


peel it.ID-10038090

Now it’s open and you can see the stringy bits. In other words, it’s RUINED. REJECT IT. Your parents will try to convince you it’s fine. They’re wrong; it’s not. It’s up to you to prove it; tear it, bite it, lick it, suck on it, squish it, step on it, shove it under the couch. No matter what, do NOT actually eat it.

So. How to Choose a Perfect Banana? THIS IS A TRICK. There is no perfect banana. Your parents just want to ruin your life.

The End


P.S. Here’s a post about what to do with partially used bananas and how my kids actually look at the grocery store. Because I’m lowering the parenting bar, one post at a time.


“Over Ripe Bananas” image credit Grant Cochrane via
“Ripe Banana” and “Banana” image credits nixxphotography via
“Banana” image credit antpkr via