Food is awesome. This is why mornings have always been the undisputed champion as my favorite part of the day. I’d wake up every morning thinking, “What should I eat first today?” Like a hungry little pin drawn to a delicious magnet, I’d leap out of bed and scurry to the kitchen, plucking sleepy sand from my eyes while pondering all the offerings my fridge, freezer and cabinets held for me. I couldn’t wait to sit at the table and fill my belly. So how I managed to have kids who don’t find the same glory in hurrying to start their day with a tummy full of happiness is confounding—and I’m not the only mom who feels this way. Children have a special way of making this simple task into a frustrating hurdlepalooza, and this is how we know it will go:
1. There is no way you can start dealing with the task at hand until one full cup of coffee has been poured into your yawny maw.
2. You will optimistically call out, “Oh love bugs! The sun is up! It’s time to come down for breakfast!” the first time, hoping to start the day off right.
3. They will ignore the crap outta you.
4. You will then shout, “Hey guys! You need to eat before school! Come on down!” while slighting gritting your teeth so it kind of sounds like you’re still smiling.
5. They will continue to ignore you and burrow deeper under their covers.
6. You will then march upstairs, blast their lights on, yank the covers off, and say, “GOOD MORNING SUNSHINE GET UP UP UP YOU HAVE TO EAT LET’S GO LET’S GO LET’S GOOOOOOOO.” You will likely say this while involuntarily doing an annoyingly peppy little clap.
7. They will grumble terrible things about you under their breath which you will pretend not to hear, because at least they’re finally coming downstairs for breakfast, right?
8. You will follow them into the kitchen like a herder wrangling cranky, grudge-wielding sheep.
9. You will put a smile back on your face and ask them what they want to eat today.
10. They will unintelligibly mumble replies that are most likely “my pillow” or “more sleep” or “I’m not hungry” while shuffling to the table, wrapped in blankets.
11. You will remind them to stop laying on the table.
12. As you pour their drinks, you will suggest they either tell you what they want or make something theirdamnselves.
13. Your kids would rather eat the stale cereal they left under the table yesterday morning than put in any effort to make themselves breakfast, and react accordingly. (Too bad the dog already got it, kids!)
14. You will continue to smile and begin counting to three.
15. One of your kids will hop up and start rummaging around for something to eat just to shut you up.
16. One of your kids will beg you to have mercy on his tired growing body and let him go back to bed for only a little bit longer pleaaaaaaaaase.
17. You’ll realize you are almost out of time already, so grab a box of something from the pantry and tell the kids to sit down and stop complaining.
18. Two minutes later, both kids will start shoving their warm, delicious breakfast into their complaint holes with aplomb. Yes, even the one who insisted he wasn’t hungry.
19. You will eat standing up.
20. Syrup will end up on the wall.
21. If you give them seconds, they will be too full for them. If you don’t, they will ask for seconds. There is no winning when it comes to this part of the mindgame. I mean meal. No, I was right the first time.