Written by Sylvia Rouss, Shannan Rouss and Gabrielle Radonsky

When I was only one,

I thought mealtime was such fun.

I’d use my hand to scoop up food,

But then I learned that this is rude.


To have food flying through the air,

Getting stuck in Daddy’s hair,

Landing on the floor or clinging to the walls,

Dripping from the ceiling until at last it falls.


I’d giggle at the gook that covered every space.

Mommy looked so funny with it sliding off her face.

I do admit. I must confess.

How I loved to make a mess.


Then I turned two and one afternoon

My mommy said, “Here honey, try a spoon.”

She smiled and spoke so sweetly.

“Now it’s time to eat more neatly.”


When I eat, there’s no more mess.

But I like mealtime so much less.

I eat politely. I don’t slurp.

I say, “Excuse me!” when I burp.


I ask, “Please pass the peas and carrots too.”

I keep my mouth closed when I chew.

I try to eat slowly. I do not race.

I use a napkin to wipe my face.


When I turned three, I couldn’t wait,

To use the fork next to my plate.

It helped me spear my meat and potatoes too,

Now I could eat, just like my parents do.


Whoopee! Finally at the age of four,

I learned to use one utensil more.

At last, my place setting was complete.

I used a knife to cut my meat.


Today, I am five. Isn’t that great?

Now it’s time to celebrate.

As a special birthday treat,

My parents take me out to eat.


We drive to the restaurant China Moon,

Where I can’t find a fork or spoon.

I look around everywhere,

“Did they hide the silverware?”


I think our waiter is playing tricks.

He hands us each two wooden sticks.

“These are chopsticks,” I am told.

“They’re not that hard for you to hold.”


Mommy does a little demonstration

And I try with all my concentration.

Why they’re called chopsticks, I don’t know.

They make eating oh so slow.


They don’t chop and they don’t stick.

I can’t seem to make them click.

I poke and pinch and try to fish

One small morsel from my dish.


My stomach is empty, my plate is full.

If this is a joke, it sure is cruel.

Daddy clicks his sticks with ease.

Gee, I miss my spoon and peas!


Suddenly an idea pops in my head.

I ask, “Could I try a fork instead?”

The waiter brings a fork, but I keep my sticks,

With some practice, I can use them when I’m six.