What followed was nearly 60 seconds of the child reaching for, and then drawing away from, his delicious breakfast. It took a couple of false starts for me to realize what was happening:
You see, LO has gotten to the point of fastidious eating wherein he is uncomfortable getting sticky foodstuffs on his hands. For example, he will only accept a piece of pita with the hummus neatly placed on one end so that he can easily grip said pita without getting hummus on his fingers. That morning, when spreading the jam on his toast, I spread it a little too close to all of the edges, leaving him no jam-free handle around the crust.
His inability to pick up the toast without dirtying his hands was making it difficult for him to eat.
(I must point out here that LO does not have any similar issues with getting food all over his face:
Thinking that the child might have an easier time of it if the two pieces of toast were landscape- rather than portrait-oriented, I helpfully reached in and turned the toast sideways.
This rather pissed him off.
(Apparently, there is no age minimum for ticking off your children by interfering. That was an important lesson for me.)
LO, when he is particularly annoyed, will slap at whatever is distressing him: dog attempting to steal his food; iPad that is not allowing him to upgrade the Talking Tom app without a credit card number which Mama and Daddy resolutely refuse to give to him; or jam-covered toast that he has until a moment ago been contemplating the best way to convey to his mouth without covering his hands with jam.
Yes, the child was so angry at me for moving his toast in order for him to more easily eat it without getting jam on his fingers that he smacked said jam-covered toast with his bare hand, resulting in a completely jam-covered hand.
The joke was ultimately on me, however. The kid wiped his hand off on his shirt, leaving a depressing bright purple spot that the resident laundress (three guesses as to who that is, and the first two don't count) will have to remove.
The kid's getting dry toast from now on.