Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Keep Your Crusts On

What is it with kids and crusts?  I have to practically beg my kids not to eat things that have fallen on the floor, been regurgitated, or were found in the litter box, but will they eat the perfectly good outside of a piece of bread?  Hell no.
Sure, crusts can be kind of dry.  And sometimes the jam doesn’t go all the way to the edge.  But somewhere there are hungry children who would be happy to eat those crusts, right?  Heck, I didn’t pay almost $4 for a loaf of bread just so my kids could eat the middle.  And damn it, I don’t want to have to eat all those dried out, jam-less crusts!  I need a little middle too!

When you think about it, learning to eat the crust with your bread is a very important life lesson.   In life you have to take the good with the bad; the bread with the crust if you will.  To get dessert you must eat dinner.  With playtime comes clean-up time.  With great power comes great responsibility – ok, I am lapsing into cheesy movie quotes now, but you get the idea.  As a parent it is my responsibility to teach this lesson.  But how?
When I was a kid and refused to eat my crusts, my grandmother sang me The Crust Song.  It tells the story of a kid who didn’t eat their crust and was later visited by said crust in the middle of the night (lyrics are found below).   Was this scary?  A little.  Was it lying?  Not really.  Did it work?  Totally.  Should I use it on my kids?  Undecided.
My main concern is that it is a little scary and I don’t want scare my kids.  But personally I had more nightmares after watching The Lion King than I ever did from this song (seriously – those hyenas were freaky man).  And how scary can a crust of bread be really?  Yeah, it has eyes and legs in the song, but not pointy teeth or sharp claws. 

Then there is the fact that this is not strictly a true story.  But it isn’t a lie either; it’s just a story, or a myth like that of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy, designed to teach children to be good and do what they are supposed to do, thereby making growing up a bit easier.  If nothing else, this song provides an interesting answer as to why we need to eat up our crusts that doesn’t involve me having to explain our household budget in relation to the global economy and the increasing price of bread. 
I wonder if my grandma had this same internal debate before using this song on her children and grandchildren.  Somehow, I think the answer is no.  Not because my grandma isn’t an amazing, thoughtful, caring, wonderful person, because she is.  No, I think my grandma, upon reading my concerns regarding the parenting merits of a song about crunchy bread would laugh and tell me to stop taking everything so seriously.  In the grand scheme of things (which, at her 80+ years, she insists that she has a better view of) hearing one inappropriate story about bread at the age of 3 isn’t going to ruin my kids lives.  Then she would insist that I sit down and eat some cookies.  See, I told you she was awesome.
So for now I think that the all important Crust Lesson will be put on the back-burner in the hopes that my kids will outgrow this annoying waste of dough all on their own.  And if that doesn’t work I will just send my kids to their Great-Gran’s for a week, and if she just so happens to sing them the song, well hey, that’s not my fault right?
Now, I must go eat some cookies.

Check out my Grandma sing for you!
The Crust Song:
Last night I didn’t eat up my crust.
I tucked it in under my plate.
I thought no one would find it there
But when it got dark and late
And I was in bed all covered up tight,
All covered up but just my head,
I saw that same old crust I did
Come walking up over my bed.
It had two long legs
And great big eyes
And he grinned and he said to me:
“I’m the crust you tucked in under your plate;
You couldn’t hide me, you see.
You must never, never, never do that again.”
“Alright, I won’t” I said.
“I will eat you up to the very last crumb,
If you’ll please get down off of my bed.”
So he jumped off the bed and he disappeared,
I’ve searched for him early and late.
But he comes no more, cause I never poke
My crust in under my plate.


  1. Awwww I love it! Grandpa had a bunch of awesome songs to share with me too, I'm glad you shared that :) -Alison

  2. We have a family story about this song: my grandmother was a singing teacher and her students sang "solos." Her youngest son, who was about to play the piano in recital, was introduced and it was announced that he would do a solo. He thought, "I don't any solos. Oh yes, I do," and he proceeded to sing "Last Night I Didn't Eat Up My Crusts." Apparently he got quite far into the song for, when members of the audience could no longer contain their laughter, my grandmother finally spoke up above the performance and said, "Ross, play your piece." I'm glad to have found the lyrics and tune at last, and I'll teach it to my someday grandchildren.

  3. So please to have found this! I've sent the link to my mom. What a treasure this clip is for you and your kids. I wish I had my Grandma recorded singing this as well as "The Little Red School House" and a whole host of others. If you can, ask your Grandma to sing everything she sang growing up. This is truly golden.

  4. My grandma also sang a version of this. She always said "he had two big eyes
    And a big long nose"
    Used to terrify my sister but I thought it was great fun.

  5. My grandma also sang a version of this. She always said "he had two big eyes
    And a big long nose"
    Used to terrify my sister but I thought it was great fun.

  6. My husband and I both remember this song. His mother actually had sheet music for it and he remembers a very scary crust on the cover. My grandmother just sang it to me. I loved it because I was such a goody two-shoes I always ate my crusts so I figured I had nothing to fear! I also wish I had recorded my grandma singing this but that was years ago and I would have needed a fancy movie camera...