Everyone always says that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but as I parent a 2-year-old, I wonder if it is more important than say, sanity.
I am really beginning to wonder.
This is how every morning goes in my house. We wake at 630am with the alarm clock known as my daughter, and we get up and go sit on the couch to let her fully wake up. God help the poor soul who tries to rush this part of the process. I turn on the TV, check my phone for emails and wait until she engages, which usually comes in the form of a request (or command – depending on how you look at it) for milk, juice or water. Regardless of which one she asks for, after I fill the cup, and give it to her, she will take one sip and ask for one of the other two.
And then it begins. After I gently inform her that she is only going to get the liquid she initially requested, she throws a tantrum and at the end of it, asks for chocolate.
I tell her about sometimes foods and always foods (thank you Cookie Monster), and she looks at me as if to say, “And…your point is?” I do my best to refrain from engaging in such nonsensical conversations, and I make myself a healthy breakfast which I can guarantee she will stick her fingers in and pretend she wants her own serving of, but once I concede and prepare it, she says it doesn’t taste good.
And this is the point that I usually ponder two very important questions:
1. How the hell do I get her to eat breakfast or at the very least drink a cup of milk?
2. Does God hate me?
I usually walk away, and begin to get ready for my day, and she will typically get up from the table and start crying about fuzzies. Yes, fuzzies. Lately she has developed an irrational fear of everything from the material that is shed from your socks, to the dust she can see when the sunlight shines into the living room. Also, any fuzzy like object that is floating in the tub is grounds for evacuation from the tub. Summer pool time should be awesome.
Anyway, I remind her fuzzies don’t hurt anyone, she tells me they are like monsters, and I start to ask myself what has happened to my life. At this point, I’m usually clothed and I turn to getting her dressed. Another epic battle of wills. She flails, she screams,”No! Don’t grab me!” And I continue putting on her clothes so I can go earn a living to support the two of us.
By this point, our window for a leisurely or even quick breakfast has passed, and I begin to wonder if I am inadvertently starving her.
Usuallllly, I can coax half a banana into her, before we have to get our coats on and try heading out the door. This morning, as we were rounding the corner to that part of the morning, she told me she had to go potty for a second time. So I help her unbuckle her belt (that she has to wear because she is so incredibly thin that nothing stays up on her) and she hops up on the potty and I run across the apartment to go get my scarf and coat on, and when I turn back around, she has now hopped off the potty, and has no shoes, pants, or underwear on.
I started saying, “Oh no!!!!! We keep our clothes on! Come on, come on, come on, come on…let’s go…we are going to be late!” And she starts saying, “Don’t talk to me like that!” And I begin to wonder how parents of multiple kids do this every single morning.
I scoop up our bags, and shoo her out the door and I tell her to run to push the elevator button if she wants to do some before someone else does (another potential source of derailment) and she pushed the button and bumps her head on the way into the elevator because she NEVER looks in front of her when she walks. Ever. I pick her up, calm her down and literally jog 5 blocks to school, carrying my big bag and her backpack, and she tells me she doesn’t like the big wind in her face.
Theeeeen…I hand her off to her amazing teachers who ALWAYS tell me how cooperative and lovely she is, and how much they love having her in class, and then I walk out feeling like I have just crossed the finish line, but knowing that my day is actually just beginning.