Photo by Rebecca Gould Photography

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Splitting Peanuts

There is a lot to keep track of in life, especially these days.

And as much as I wish it were not the case, when I am stressed, my memory is less good than usual.  It seems like it would be better if it were the other way around, just isn't.

Sometimes I make mistakes, sometimes I misremember things...and sometimes I simply get something absolutely and completely wrong.

I knew Susan did not like the Nutter Butters -- even when I offered them dipped in chocolate, or with chocolate "fondue" on the side...or stuck together like a giant Oreo -- Nutter Butter-Chocolate Frosting-Nutter Butter.  I knew it was just a matter of time until she asked if she could change her daily dose to something else.

I wanted to really rally behind the idea of a single full-size Reese's Peanut Butter cutting, weighing, measuring -- like the Nutter Butters -- the peanut butter cup was appealing to me for these reasons.  And let me be clear -- it is NOT that I was not willing to weigh, measure, cut and then check.  It was that not one step of the weigh, measure, cut, and then check process ever felt quite accurate enough for I wanted Susan to pick something that she could eat in whole, pre-measured parts.  

But, I am not the one taking the daily dose (although how HAPPY would I be if I "had" to consume a Reese's Peanut Butter cup daily?!?)...and I have always maintained that Susan should pick a daily dose that she likes...and that she feels good about taking.

So...when Susan announced that she wanted to change her daily dose to Peanut M & M's, I happily agreed -- because I had in my head (for some reason) that her daily dose of Peanut M & M's would be 9 whole Peanut M & M's.

We agreed that Susan would change her dose during a clinical trial visit (the appointment did not require that she take her dose -- it was for blood work and to gather the logs we keep on a daily basis).  It wasn't until she had her hand in the bag that the clinical trial coordinator pointed out to me that I would need to cut one of the Peanut M & M's in half.


I am sure I looked dumbstruck, because that is exactly how I felt.
And while I didn't want to DOUBT the clinical trial coordinator, I was so so absolutely certain that I was correct that I asked her to (gulp) double check.

[Looking back, I'm sort of appalled at myself -- but, that's the truth -- I asked her to check -- which she did, very (very) kindly.  I was wrong.  A 4000 mg dose of peanut is 17 Peanut M & M's, so we were back to having to cut part of Susan's dose in half.  The room sort of tilted.  I so, so, so badly did NOT want to be cutting Peanut M & M's in half.]

I put a good face on -- after all, this is Susan's daily dose, and while I have to prepare it, she has to live with it.  But, I had no words for how distressed I was by the idea of splitting a candy and chocolate covered peanut in half.


Have you ever split a peanut in half?
Because I can say with the authority of someone who has been splitting peanuts in half for weeks that there is rarely an "even half."  
There is a nub on one side of the peanut "half" and an indentation on the other -- almost guaranteeing that a half will be beyond hard to come by.
There is rarely an "even half."
Maybe never. 

Oh -- and Susan has also been instructed to be sure she eats half of the candy and chocolate coating.  

As chief cook and head-of-the-kitchen, dose splitting duties typically fall to me.  That said, my husband has a very steady hand, so, he has been pressed into service more than once.  

(He finds the concept of half of a Peanut M & M about as easy to wrap his head around as I do...)

Having decided that, unfortunately, while we can divide many parenting tasks by ability (he is the go-to guy for Chromebook issues, iPhone problems and anything even remotely "techy" whereas I am the go-to for relationships, party planning and anything social), the splitting of the peanut is simply not something either one of us is good at, whomever is around and available splits the Peanut M & M for Susan's daily dose. 

A few weeks ago, I got it into my mind that I would "pre-split" a bunch of Peanut M & M's and gave up after about 15 minutes when I only had 2 acceptable halves.  I'd rather deal with the issue on a daily basis (or every-other-day basis on the rare occasion when we get two perfect halves), I decided.

Susan's brother, Carl, always hangs around when he knows I am preparing Susan's dose.  While he's picky about things like germs, he doesn't care how his Peanut M & M's come -- and I happily feed him the bits.

While visiting my husband's brother and his family for Easter, my husband offered to prepare Susan's dose.  Susan's Uncle Carl tried his hand at the art of "splitting peanut" -- and he decided it is easier to eat the bits than it is to split them equally.  Our son, also a Carl, was more than happy to help eat the bits!

While we would never do anything to jeopardize the clinical trial, I am more than a little serious when I tell Susan that if she is going to continue to take her daily dose in the form of Peanut M & M's, once the clinical trial is over, we are going to find a way to increase her dose to an even nine, for I am all too aware of the dangers of an "uneven half"...

1 comment:

  1. Hi Caryn,

    Have you tried freezing the M&Ms before splitting them? It might make them less likely to disintegrate while slicing them.