The most annoying meal of the day
YES, YES, WE KNOW BREAKFAST IS SUPPOSED TO BE THE MOST IMPORTANT MEAL OF THE DAY. Yes, yes, it helps your kids to use their brains more effectively at school, and for adults it’s supposed to assist in sticking to a calorie appropriate diet for the rest of the day. It’s also normally a yell-fest, at least if you have children in the house. Sadly, they haven’t read the same research as you, and they’re more interested in why you insist on sticking your big, fat head in the way of SpongeBob while you blather on about “time ticking,” etc.
Here’s how breakfast works at my house. It generally starts out the same way each day. After the kids drag their butts out of bed (it’s not a weekend, so they don’t feel compelled to get up at 6:30 a.m.), they stagger down into the family room and sit, zombie-like, in front of either a cartoon or a game that involves “getting kills.” Once I place myself directly in the line of the screen, and they grow tired of trying to see around me, I am able to make eye contact. At this point, I try to ascertain exactly what it is they would like to eat prior to going to school. Often, I am met with this response.
Kid: Well, what do we have?
Me: (in my head) Same crap we always have, Einstein. What, do you think you woke up in an IHOP by mistake? (out loud) You know what we have. Cereal, toast, frozen things with icing, waffles, fruit.
Me: Helloooo. Tell me what you want or you won’t get any breakfast.
Kid: What? I told you.
Me: (in head) Crap. Was I looking at my BlackBerry? (out loud) Um, sure. You said you wanted cereal, right?
Kid: NO! You never buy any good cereal! You always get what HE likes! (Emphasizes point by hurling the TV remote at a stunned younger brother.)
Brother: What was that for? I’m going to punch you.
Me: (in head) How much money do I have saved up? (out loud) Okay, you little boogers, I’m picking your breakfast and you’re eating it. Now go and get dressed!
Both kids: You’re so mean! We hate you! And we’re not going to school!
Usually, eventually, I’m able to get each child to choose something to eat, and I will admit to allowing them to eat their breakfasts in the family room, in front of the TV. This way, I can work on my laptop in the kitchen and supervise what’s being taken out of the cupboards by the teenagers. Always thinking, that’s me. This loose breakfast strategy generally works well, although it does have its flaws. The other day, my seven-year-old said to me, “I can’t finish my soft-boiled egg because I got my toe stuck in it.” Now, to many a childless person, that might sound a little weird, but around here, it’s par for the course. The good news? He was actually attempting to eat something that fell into the “breakfast food” category, and it was his toe that the egg was stuck on – not the body part of an unsuspecting sibling, or, let’s face it, his own penis. By way of explanation, let me just say that the coffee table where I placed his egg-and-toast plate is low. Also, the poor bugger is a male and hence unable to focus on both eating and watching at the same time. (Have you seen guys try to eat and watch the Super Bowl? It’s not pretty.) For a seven-year-old, trying to simultaneously dip toast soldiers and watch Power Rangers is a similar enterprise. Toe or no toe, he was eating, and I’ll take my victories where I can find them, thank you very much.
For more of Kathy’s hilarious tales of motherhood, read her at parentscanada.com or visit her online at kathybuckworth.com. Your can also follow her on twitter at www.twitter.com/kathybuckworth.