Oranges Too Soon

A good fruit bowl takes time

I made a rookie mistake.

Our mandarines had begun to wither and I, being the fantastic mother that I try to be, immediately composted them and purchased a new bag to fill their place in the bountiful fruit bowl on our table.

Unfortunately, I forgot the most important rule when replacing produce for teenagers, the rule of differentiation.

You see, if you buy a bag of fruit, it tends to all go bad about the same time. This means that when a child peels an orange and finds it to be nothing but a dehydrated ball of pulp, they will assume that all of the other oranges are bad, too. Interestingly enough, they will neither bother to toss out the rest of the oranges nor will they mention to anyone that the oranges have gone bad.

This leads to a perilous limbo that needs to be navigated with care. You see, once this stage has been entered, there are only two choices:

  1. Get rid of the fruit and let the fruit bowl exist for a couple of weeks without that item.
  2. Let the fruit get wrinkled and fuzzy to the point that it is visibly unfit for consumption.

Only then can you expect teenagers to appreciate the replacement oranges and begin eating them again.

Now, here I am with a full bag of vibrant, sweet mandarines and they’re doomed to rot without any attention from the boys. They might as well be cleaning supplies.