The Bread of Life

I lifted this picture from King Arthur's website, because while I had my iPhone, 
I hardly thought taking a shot of the mom buttering the toast was appropriate. 

There I was, sitting at a table in King Arthur Flour's lovely new cafe, waiting for a meeting with a Head of School who is visiting from out of town, and I caught something going on at the table next to me. A family - mom, dad, teenage daughter - were enjoying a lovely breakfast together. That's nice, I thought.

My reverie was pierced by the rapid movement of the mom who yanked the plate away from her teenage daughter, asked for the daughter's knife, and hastily unwrapped the neat little package of Cabot butter. I watched - I'd like to say in disbelief, but my reaction was more like disgust - as the mother buttered her thirteen or fourteen year-old's toast. 

I watched for a while. I watched out of the corner of my eye to make sure the daughter did not have a cast I was missing on her arm or some other obvious disability that would have interfered with her ability to butter her toast. Nope. Not from my perspective, at least, nothing obvious to report. [As some commenters have mentioned below - at least the ones who refrained from swearing at me - have correctly pointed out that I can't assess neurotypicality from ten feet away. This is absolutely true. Her inability to butter her toast could have stemmed from any number of issues. However, I sat next to them for a full hour, and as far as I could tell from my seat, there were no waving neuro-atypical red flags. But thanks for the obscenities and one particularly vivid description regarding where to put my own head.]

The daughter watched her mother frantically buttering, buttering, with what appeared to be a little bit of impatience and maybe even irritation. Ah, yes. It was irritation. I know, because when she bit into the toast, she complained to her mother that it was "too crunchy" and to please get her another order of toast that's "less crunchy." 

I wish I was making this up. 

To her credit, the mother made her go get it, but when the daughter returned with her less crunchy toast, the mother got back down to work, buttering, buttering...

And I got back to work on my book. 

My cursor blinked at the end of a sentence in the following paragraph, in a chapter on the research behind intrinsic (internal) and extrinsic (external) motivation:

“The hallmark of successful individuals is that they love learning, they seek challenges, they value effort, and they persist in the face of obstacles” writes Dweck. She calls these successful individuals “mastery-oriented,” and
There's that "and," just waiting. I honestly did not know where to go from there. Luckily, my colleague arrived and I was able to shut down Scrivener before I finished with 

"...and therefore, it's vital that your child be allowed to butter their own toast, to experience that sense of mastery over their breakfast."
NB: I edited one sentence above after receiving comments and added the stuff in brackets.