a little trip down memory lane

Do you remember the very first time you were allowed to handle a knife?
I do. Vividly.

Up until this day, my food had always been cut up for me, sandwiches made by mum or dad.
Eating utensild being only a fork and a spoon, junior sized.

I'm not sure how the invitation came about, but one day when I was five, we were having lunch at someone else's home.

The boy in the family, having finished his bread and butter, picked up another slice of bread and his knife, his knife,  (not junior sized either) then calmly and competently buttered his bread.

I was amazed. Stunned.
 And so very, very, jealous!
I positively seethed with jealousy and injustice.
I was five already!
 And here was this boy, younger than me, (by at least four months, possibly six...) using a knife!
By a boy!
A younger than me boy!

Well!  I just couldn't sit by and let a small boy get the better of me!
I asked my mum if I might please have a knife as I'd like another piece of bread.
I could see her hesitate, but we were in "company" and my temper was legendary.

She handed me a knife,  the bread and the butter dish.
I spread butter on my own slice of bread. And quite well too.
Boy was I proud!
I think mum was too....

From that day on, I made my own sandwiches and insisted on having a knife at dinner to cut up my own food.


  1. When i used to go out camping with my parents my dad gave me a pocket knife the fold away type i took that pocket knife everywhere to school, camping and just generally mucking around the neighbourhood i think i was seven or maybe a bit younger not sure :-).

  2. Ouch. It is a sign of the cyclic nature of our lives. I don't remember when I was first deemed competent to handle knives (late I suspect) but do know that I am not safe with sharp ones now. Sigh.

  3. Windsmoke; knives are one of my favourite things. I would love a kitchen knife as sharp as a samurai sword!

    EC; My own kids handled knives from a younger age than I was. I taught them early how to be careful, which side was the sharp edge. None of them ever chopped off a finger....

  4. I don't remember a time when I wasn't using knives, so it must have been from when I was around 4, since the main thing I remember from that year was my baby brother being born. I don't recall cutting myself by accident until I was in my early 20s and was slicing a bagel with the knife facing toward me, instead of away from me.

  5. no-one; oddly enough I have always sliced with the knife towards me, I copied my dad, have very rarely cut myself.

  6. Ah the milestones....I really can't remember when I started using a knife...so, it must have been young.

  7. I had forgotten this. At what age could you use a knife. My parents erred conservatively. Funny though, knives were always so blunt. I was in my twenties before I knew what a really sharp knife was.

  8. They still don't let me use knives and I'm 63. Maybe next year. :)

  9. Hi River,

    The first time I handled a knife I managed to rove to my mum that her worst fears were realised. I cut myself. But then again - I can be clumsy.




  10. mybabyjohn; I don't remember many of my own milestones, but that one stands out.

    Andrew; I've often wondered since then, why are children not allowed to handle knives before they're deemed competent. Isn't competence learnt by the doing?

    Linda; come and visit me, I'll let you make your own sandwiches. While you're at it you can make mine too. Cheese with pickles please.

    Plasman; But did your mum show you how? Or did she just let you loose?


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