Monday, January 21, 2013

Whaddaya Want for Breakfast? v.2

Well, here's another thing nobody tells you about parenting: as soon as the child can articulate a desire, you, the parent, will be wrong all the time. I had not anticipated this at all. It's laughable on a good day and crushingly exhausting on a bad day.

Example: I had loaded both kids into the car to go [somewhere that is now a blur]. He'en had acquired a stalk of grass with seeds attached and was busily shredding it, waving it around, generally fiddling with it, and getting grass seeds all over the car. 

My new low standards didn't even take notice of this until she began to bounce it around near the baby's face. Then I tried some distracted remediation while reserving most of my brain to arrange purse, car keys, water, snacks, wipes, and God-knows-what for this trip to [somewhere that is now a blur].

Mom: He'en, please don't bounce that near the baby's face. I don't want her to get a grass seed in her eye.

He'en: [instantly outraged] I'm not bouncing it!

Mom: Okay, well, don't wave it, please.

He'en: I'm not doing that eeefer!

Mom: Or poke it at her? Or what? What are you doing?

He'en: I'm showing it to her.

Mom: Oh. Well. Please don't.

After a short pause, in a very quiet voice and tone I cannot really describe as other than smug:

He'en: I aw-weddy did.

I'm trying to remediate some of this, by the way, with a new household collar-tightening program based on 123 Magic Parenting. We all could use a refresher now and then. It's like training a dog. The problem usually is not the dog.

Moving along . . .

It's 7:33 a.m., blissfully late by two-kid standards. I haven't started Helen's breakfast even though I know that my computer's wakeup chime is like a four-alarm fire to the kids. I don't know how they can hear it through two closed doors, but they can.

Breakfast. Breakfast. Argh, yet another breakfast. I used to wonder how my mother developed such a distaste for cooking. She was an adventurous cook in the early 1970s and a member of the local Gourmet Club.

Well, there's one more "you were right, Mom!" Fast forward 30 years and I am totally sympathetic. Ten years ago, I used spend all weekend in the kitchen procuring five-course Indian meals and haunting the local Asian markets to seek out the correct ingredients for authentic Chinese.   Nowadays, if DH comes home to a plain roast chicken, some boiled potatoes (mashing is too much hassle) and anything green, I am beaming with pride like I just beat Deep Blue.

Breakfast. Argh.

The breakfast formula is "protein / starch / fruit." With those three categories in hand, I usually get something on the table of which I am not ashamed.  But I totally understand the urge to ask the kids, "What do you want for breakfast?" Even though I am not running a restaurant, I am so tired of being wrong about breakfast. Wrong egg: tears well up. "I wann-ed a dip-dip egg!" Wrong carb: tears well up: "I wann-ed waisins in dere." She doesn't ask for these things. I am just supposed to know. And when my clarivoyance fails, a meltdown follows, and I don't have a whole lot of tolerance for meltdowns when I am still on the wrong side of that first cup of coffee.

Now I hear Dragon Girl, so I am going to stagger to a halt with this entry. She, at least, is easy. What she wants for breakfast is a) milk, and b) cuddles. And she loves the same thing every single day. Bless her!

No comments: