There are women out there – mothers, even! – who prepare a hot breakfast for their children, each and every morning without fail. Ladies, you are awesome. I bow to you. You are welcome to come over to my house and cook a hot, healthy breakfast whenever you would like. Even if it's not breakfast time! Or, if you would rather not make the trip, feel free to forward your address and I will send my children over to your clean, warm, wholesome home each morning so that they can start their day the way a day should be started.
My kids are allergic to eggs and nuts, shellfish and spinach, can only tolerate small quantities of milk, and have a list of food-texture aversions that range from whole-grain pasta (in my daughter's case) to refined white pasta (in my son's case), some cheeses, most cooked vegetables, and certain grains (especially hot cereal). And muffins. Place a muffin in front of my daughter and she will turn her huge brown eyes toward you and carefully suspend a single tear on her cheek. (Or, she will for as long as it takes for my son to grab it away from her and stuff it into his head.) Unless it has frosting on it. Then she will slurp up every bit of frosting and leave a literally polished muffin completely unmaligned on her plate. (At which point my son will proceed as above.)
Have I mentioned that they eat their food at a rate comparable to that of a glacier's approach? Even if they really, really like it?
I am a big fan of healthy food. Five days a week my kids take in a minimum of synthetic additives, sugar, artificial colours or flavours, and refined flours. Healthy food makes for healthy kids, and there are only so many sleepless nights and cases of Kleenex I'm willing to spend in a given year. But on Friday nights? After five days of late nights and early mornings? My husband sets the table like this:
With a note like this:
So that when I wake up to a quiet house on Saturday morning, I can sneak out to my disastrous kitchen, make myself a cup of coffee, and take a book back to bed with me. And then, after a brief while, I get to listen through my cracked door to this:
"Okay, Shelton, it's time to get up!" Cheerful scramble of bare feet.
"Ooooh, Shelton, EW! How did you get pee on the seat AGAIN!" World-weary sigh. "Oh, that's gross! Come and clean it up!.... You're going to have to wash your hands, now. With soap. And LOTS of bubbles!" Followed by snickers and jokes about poop from said toilet-seat defiler, which usually gets his sister laughing, too.
"Can you please put your bum in your chair, please? All the way in your chair." (Another world-weary sigh.) "Shelton. If you don't sit in your chair, I'm not pouring ANY Fruit Loops into your bowl!"
She is my daughter, after all.
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