To: All active members of the Society for Preschool Idiosyncrasies (SPI)
From: the Governing Board (2010) of the SPI
Re: Guide to Mystifying Food-Related Behaviors, update 3.10.10.
Please be advised that March is National Repetitive Food Request Month. This year's celebration will be spearheaded by the Upstate New York chapter of the SPI, although all national chapters are strongly encouraged to take part. Several competition events have been arranged and prizes (1st place, Temporary Bath Immunity; 2d place, Tantrum Escalation Kit; 3d place, Supplemental Television Viewing) will be awarded for the members who sustain their Repetitive Food Campaign for the entire month. Creativity is also encouraged; special prizes will be issued for members who successfully combine their RFRs with Esoteric Preparation Instructions and/or Sudden Refusals to Consume the Prepared Items.
Members are advised to develop their own original requests, but 2d Vice President Matty offers his own current activities as an example of a sustained RFR/EPI/Surprise-Now-I-Won't-Eat-It campaign which has his parents, "Mom" and "Dad" (not their real names), completely baffled.
The chosen food item is known as "bread and butter." It is eaten for all meals and, on bonus days, for snack as well. Preparation requirements are photo-documented below and include:
(1) precise matching of bread pieces (brand loyalty is also required here; an attempt by "Mom" to substitute a different bread resulted in a "Surprise, Now I won't eat it" penalty)
(2) complete and consistent butter coverage
(3) thorough trimming of all breadcrusts (again, a failure to excise all traces of crust is subject to penalty, typically profuse gagging noises and ejection of partially chewed offending pieces)
(4) precision carving of the food item into certain designated shapes (penalty for failure to accurately anticipate the desired shape usually involves prolonged screaming and, occasionally, jettisoning of the food item onto the floor)
(5) bonus points are awarded for presentation of food as a smiley face; all food must be issued in the same %^^$ bowl at each meal/snack.
Participants are reminded that-- particularly where crusts have been removed in a painstaking fashion or other special accommodations to whim have been made--it is inadvisable to eat the entire food item. Rather, an extra margin of food should be left in the bowl at each meal; variations include eating one bite from the tip of each piece and eating only half of the food served. Remaining pieces should be smushed, licked, dunked, dropped, or otherwise mishandled in order to prevent storage of the food item for later consumption. Be aware that overuse of this tactic may result in a sudden and unjustified refusal by the parent to serve the requested food and will result in a corresponding reduction of the participant's overall score, or, in the event of a prolonged food preparation strike, elimination from the competition.
Second VP Matty reports that his campaign has been wildly successful. His parents, particularly "Mom," are baffled as to his food choice and unable to predict when triangles or squares will be required, but are almost fully trained to meet Matty's whims and have not yet flatly refused to serve the "bread and butter." He noticed while shopping this week that "Mom" laid in an extra supply of the approved bread and butter, and he is now considering the implementation of a response tactic, possibly a Short Term Diversionary Food Switch with Accompanying Rejection of all "Bread and Butter" Foods.
SPI members are reminded that all communiques to and from the Governing Board are top secret and confidential. The success of our group depends entirely on our collective ability to keep parents in a state of constant confusion, and all behavioral guidelines are, therefore, subject to change without notice. Members are referred to prior Memos outlining the most common Secrecy Preservation Tactics, including #5.09.00 "Looking Bewildered," #3.21.96 "Maintaining an Expression of Wide-Eyed Innocence," #4.26.38 "Proper Use of Diversion Tactics, Including Unprovoked Tantrums, Sudden Crying Pretenses, and Unexpected Vomiting and/or Illness (Emergency Use Only)," and #2.16.21 "Effective Denial Tactics, Including Employment of Catchphrases 1 & 2 ("I dunno" and "Wasn't me"), Blame Shifting, and Engaging the Services of Invisible Friends."
Participants may report their efforts to the Upstate New York SPI "March is RFR Month" committee. This Memo should be committed to memory and then destroyed.