I absolutely love it when my husband helps the kids with their breakfast in the mornings. (Breakfast in the mornings might sound a little redundant, but we had a wild card dinner tonight where everyone got to choose whatever leftovers, PBJ, or randomness that is easy and both kids chose cereal.) Weekends we share children-breakfast responsibilities, which usually includes one family breakfast out per weekend. But during the week breakfast has fallen on me more days, weeks, months, years than not.
Lately my husband has really picked up his game and is helping at least once or twice during the week too. I love it. But I can’t watch.
Maybe it’s because I have been doing it for so long, but I have ways. I know how much cereal each child will probably eat, depending on what type they picked, how much dinner they ate yesterday, the look in their eye, the size of the moon… I don’t know. I just know.
It pains me to see him pour HUGE bowls of cereal and fill them to the brim with milk. I see dollars getting flushed right before my eyes. I see extra trips to the grocery. I see waste. I remind myself he is helping and I bite my tongue. I appreciate the help.
This morning was oatmeal morning. I heard discussion between the husband and Maggie as to how many packets she wanted. Whaa? How many? I’m sorry, that is not an option we give the children. I mean, that is not an option I give the children. I tried to find something to busy myself with. I started making their lunches.
Then I saw the amount of milk that was going into each bowl. WAAAYYY too much. I remember my mother-in-law’s husband saying just last week there are two schools of thought on oatmeal. Half the world likes it soupy and the other half likes the spoon to stick in it. My husband, though oatmeal doesn’t pass his lips, apparently thinks soupy is best. Guess how I eat it? Spoon up, thanks.
I decided to speak up as tactfully as I could. Remember now, I appreciate this help. Remember now, this is me talking and I have my ways of doing things. (And by gum, they are my ways because I have tried various other ways and found this to be the best way – that’s how they get to be called “my way.”)
I peeked over his shoulder and said “Sometimes I use a little less milk to cook it with and then add a little milk after to cool it faster.”
At which time Maggie pipes up.
“You guys just make it different. Different is OK. It’s just different. He makes it one way and you make it another way. They are both good even though they aren’t the same,” she said.
I stand corrected. I learn something every day from my children. My way is my way and maybe it’s not the best way. I’m trying to let go. As long as the children eat and everyone is happy who am I to complain? Of course, it took longer to cool and Nicholas doesn’t like hot food to the point that if he tries it too soon and it is hot he might not eat it again until the next time we serve it. But, today all things breakfast worked out just fine. And I appreciate that.
(… my way is still totally the best way.)