The Breakfast Incident
This one day’s breakfast would change everything. Hopefully. After attending an early-evening meeting, we had traveled most of the night, arriving to the dacha around 4:00 am. Naturally, the children had slept, after being plied by my husband (Guilty Party #1) with ice cream (Guilty Act #1) around 10 pm. By 12:30 am, he bought them small hamburgers (Guilty Act #2) and gave bites of meat to the dogs who also got to stretch their legs.
I should have known that, with these co-conspirators working in the dark of night, we were bound to have Problems in the morning. Benedetto and I were not well-rested like the children, having to Pay Attention so that we arrived at our intended destination.
“Okay, everyone, set your alarms for 8:00 am. Mama and Papa have not slept while we were traveling, so we might sleep until later,” I instructed. “Petya, you’re in charge of breakfast. Everyone start school by 9:00 am.”
“I tried to make them oatmeal. Mashenka doesn’t like oatmeal.”
She didn’t like oatmeal, and already, I wasn’t liking the sound of this.
“So we had yogurt and decided not to make a lot of noise with breakfast, which we could eat later.”
“Later? Okay…” I nodded. “Why are there only three spoons here in the sink?” I was conducting an investigation of my own.
“Sashenka didn’t want to eat her yogurt. She said she would eat it when we had our second breakfast.”
“Please go and dry your hair. Nothing has changed. You are to get ready the same as usual, whether I am here to give you non-stop instructions or not. You do not come to breakfast, nor to school with wet hair,” I tell her, while turning back to Petya.
“To keep the noise down.”
I understood his point, which, innocent and well-meaning soul that he was, was not at all linked to their point, namely, wasting time. Two breakfasts? Less time for homeschool! In general, I was in charge of lunch and dinner. Benedetto made them breakfast each morning, and usually catered to their whims, as any doting Italian father would.
“Stop it,” I told him upon occasion. “Stop making each one something different. At every other meal, we all eat pretty much the same thing. If it’s a food that one child really – really – really can’t stand, I can see skipping it, but this is not a cafeteria….”
“What’s the big deal? Why shouldn’t they eat what they want? I make a couple of different items,” he shrugged. “You make too big a deal over the smallest things.”
“Right, like them getting their way every moment of every day….”
Well, today, we saw what was the Big Deal. One didn’t want her yogurt, one didn’t want her oatmeal, and then, when I suggested toast, I learned that Pasha didn’t care for whole wheat toast, either.
“Not even with butter, or jelly, or honey?” I asked incredulously.
“I’ll have plain bread, don’t toast it,” he told Petya, still laboring in the kitchen. Even with toast, they had to be different.
“You have five minutes,” I intoned, more than a little irritated. “This behavior may fly with your father, but I would think that the one day, THE ONE DAY, that your father and I are trying to get a couple of hours of sleep, after he feeds you ICE CREAM AND HAMBURGERS for late-night snacks, you could TRY to get with the program. Each one of you is more babyish than the next: no yogurt for me, no hot cereal for me, no toast for me. Just forget it. See if you travel anywhere with us. What a bunch of babies! We can’t take you anywhere if you act like this, much less across the street. You owe your brother and your parents an apology.”
And thus we began another delightful day at La Nostra Casa, the Russian Dacha where everyone is at least a Diva, if not Drama King or Queen.
As soon as we turn our heads for a moment….
Do your kids have to have Special Foods?
—————Tags: a healthy breakfast?, do your children eat what the rest of the family eats?, do your kids have to eat special foods, eating while traveling, food issues with adoptees, parenting blog and food, when the kids are unsupervised