I have come to hate meal times at my house. I don’t mind cooking, actually I kind of enjoy it. What I hate is the way my children descend upon me like a pack of hungry velociraptors whenever there is food involved. They beg, screech, scratch, and claw at me as though I haven’t fed them in a week. It makes me snarky.
Breakfast is the worst for three reasons: 1. I’m still tired because it’s too early. 2. My kids are their hungriest. 3. I’m hungry. (Being hungry tends to make us all snarky.)
In the morning, as soon as they get up, the two older girls ask for dry Cheerios. They whine and complain and cry like banshees until I get their little bowls to them. Meanwhile, I’m in the kitchen yelling at them to stop yelling because I’m moving as fast as I can. Really, it takes me less than a minute to get them their cereal. They eat these on the couch in front of the television while I try to wake up. They’re happy, but I’ve already entered the realm of snarkiness.
Then it’s time to head to the kitchen for actual breakfast. I announce what we’re having. Eggs, oatmeal, cereal with milk, toast, bagel, or yogurt with fruit depending on how lazy and snarky I am. Immediately, someone complains. They don’t want what I’m making. They want something else. I either stand firm and say no, which results in screaming and yelling, or cave in and make two different breakfasts. Actually, three since I have to make Penny’s too.
During this time, Penny, who I have sat in her highchair, becomes snarky and starts to cry and scream because she’s hungry too and is tired of waiting for me to finish making two breakfasts. So now I’m extra snarky due to the encroaching headache from the baby screaming. I finally get something in front of the older two, shovel a spoonful of mush into Penny’s mouth and there is quiet.
For exactly fifteen seconds when whoever got what I was originally making for breakfast decides she wants what the other one has too. Now I’m super snarky. I have to make a third breakfast. Then, big surprise, the one who wanted the different breakfast decides she wants what I originally was planning on making. On to making breakfast number four.
I’m running back and forth in our kitchen, shoveling food at Penny as I pass to keep her quiet. Inevitably something gets spilled or dropped on the floor and I have to clean that mess up.
Then it’s over. The two big girls finish breakfast, leaving over half of each of their two breakfasts untouched and I’m left to clean up the mess. I just get snarkier as I throw out all that good food. I would eat it myself, but part of their finishing eating involves mixing their two breakfasts into one disgusting, inedible pile of grossness and smearing it on the table.
I start cleaning up and Penny starts fussing because she’s still in her high chair. I can’t let her out because there is too much food on the floor and she’ll eat it if given half a chance. So I clean as fast as I can, listening to her escalating cries, and yelling at the big girls to stop fighting or whatever they’re doing. Finally, I can get her out of the high chair and go to get her dressed.
You may have noticed, me eating breakfast is not part of this routine. About four days a week I manage to actually eat breakfast, usually an hour or so after everyone else. No wonder I’m so snarky.