Breakfast in my house

photo-400Family meals sound warm and fuzzy. Then there is reality.

I’ve been trying to do “family breakfast” when I can in my house — often just me and the kids, but trying to get them and me sitting around the table simultaneously. On Monday and Tuesday this week I made them pancakes. My daughter was very upset that there were no leftover pancakes on Monday (she wanted them for a snack). So Tuesday morning she was nearly frantic as I was making them and delivering them in stacks to the plates: “Are those the leftover pancakes? Don’t let S eat the leftover ones!” It was hard to describe that by definition, any pancakes they were eating in the moment were not the leftover ones, as they were not left over. I wound up making a second small batch just so there would be leftover pancakes.

But that was nothing compared to this little bit of irony. My daughter made a pinwheel Monday at nursery school to commemorate International Peace Day. The head of school sent us a note saying “Please talk with your children this evening about ways that they can be peaceful in your family lives at home also.” I had the pinwheel sitting as the centerpiece on the breakfast table. But then my 8-year-old got angry with my 5-year-old about something and threw the pinwheel at him. It came apart. Yes, the International Peace Day pinwheel was used as a weapon. We could ponder what this means about the human condition. Or just get a laugh out of it — often the best approach to parenthood.

Photo: We’re consuming apples for breakfast, lunch, and dinner these days.

7 thoughts on “Breakfast in my house

  1. Breakfast in our house included a full-on, face-down, kicking and screaming tantrum from my 2yo because he wanted green sugar on his cereal and then, once it was on there, he DID NOT WANT green sugar. And breakfast ended when it was time to leave for school and neither kid had eaten all he wanted, but it was too bad because they’d been so slow all morning. So, I guess I’m laughing with you? And trying to chalk it up to teaching all sorts of resilience and time management skills? We’re making breakfast for dinner tonight, so maybe we’ll have a do-over!

  2. OK, that pinwheel fight is hilarious 🙂 I’ve got your International Peace Day RIGHT HERE, buddy! ;P

    I thought of you yesterday when I got up early to make pumpkin crepes for breakfast. It was definitely well-received by all, and unusual for all 4 of us to sit down together before school/work! I’ll do it again, for sure.

  3. Not related to this post, but I wanted to thank you for something in your most recent book.

    The tip you had about having a housekeeper instead of a cleaning service was a lightbulb moment for me, I’ve had cleaners before but you have to clean the house up first before they come and I’m terrible at that! Of course, I cannot afford to have someone come every day and do my dishes, but I have thought creatively about a middle ground. I’ve found someone on care.com to come spend 4 hours today for $50 cleaning my house – she doesn’t get everything done, just works through a list I provide (which can include things like tidying up, doing dishes, cat boxes, that regular cleaning companies won’t touch.) I might be able to afford that again next month, I might not. But since I have very low standards (thanks for your permission in that area!) it’s going to be a while before the dust starts to bother me again.

    1. What a great idea! I have been contemplating this too, and would love to find someone to do that. I’ve also started to make a detailed list of “extra” tasks for our regular cleaner in case she has extra time at the end, which she often does. I’ve added super simple stuff that I absolutely hate doing, like emptying the dryer lint (irrational hatred), wiping down the front door, and making sure all the garbage cans have bags in them.

    2. @Tory – glad to have been of service! Lower your standards! Way down low, sweet chariot low…

      Yes, the point of outsourcing cleaning is to save you time. I suspect the way most people do it they have cleaner houses, but don’t actually save time. I could see that very clearly on the I Know How She Does It logs.

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