Our boy — our one and only child, who goes to school full time, which negates any and all hopes that I was desperately clutching in regards to hiring the Organizing Nanny — is quite capable of making his own breakfasts every morning before school.
Which is to say, he is more than capable of ripping apart the foil package that the S’Mores flavored Pop Tarts come in by himself.
While I was growing up, my darling mother (June Cleaver, herself) refused to let Sister and I leave the house without a hot breakfast.
And by hot breakfast, I mean that June Cleaver made pancakes, waffles and French toast from scratch, which were accompanied by fried, boiled, poached and scrambled eggs, and hash browns, and sausage, bacon and ham slices, and cut up strawberries and cantaloupe. Sometimes June would throw caution to the wind and make cinnamon rolls or orange rolls or oatmeal. Breakfast was the most important meal of the day, and it guaranteed that children did well in school.
I graduated from Small Town High with a GPA of 3.98, and I still have hard feelings toward the B I received in Biology II.
Clearly, the hot breakfasts did me well.
Later in life, I met Hubs. Hubs does not like to eat breakfast. Oh, he’ll dig into a plate of homemade biscuits and gravy on a Saturday morning every now and then, but, as a rule, Hubs likes a can of Coke or a Starbucks venti mocha for breakfast, and nothing else. He will not eat the cold cereal for breakfast. He will not eat the waffles or the scrambled eggs or the oatmeal. Hubs just wants Breakfast in a Cup, and that’s that. The French toast and the fried eggs are dinner items, as far as he’s concerned.
Because of this, I’ve grown plum away from breakfasts myself, and I prefer to have a piping hot chai tea in the mornings, and perhaps a cheese stick. Or a scone from Starbucks. Or a second chai tea. And sometimes even a third.
So really? The boy suffers because of this, because scrambling one egg in the frying pan just seems like entirely too much work, when setting out a box of Cheerios is oh-so-very-much-quite-easy. And the boy? He loves the cold cereal. He loves it with a passion that runs true and deep. He would, in fact, eat cold cereal for all three meals a day, if he could.
Hence, he eats a lot of it for breakfasts, and I feel zero guilt, as long as it’s a HEALTHY BOX OF CEREAL.
But lately, the boy has discovered the S’Mores flavored Pop Tarts, and he has declared them to be THE BEST THING EVER! JUST THE BEST! OH MY WORD, BUT THE POP TARTS ARE PURE PERFECTION!
And they require no cooking.
So, although I looked at the nutritional guidelines on the side of the box and declared them NOT the best thing ever, I do like the part where they do not involve a frying pan. Or even a fork.
It’s entirely like the scene in the movie Sixteen Candles, where the two sets of grandparents have arrived for the wedding, and the one grandma says that she’ll cook breakfast. As soon as she says this, she grabs a box of donuts and slides a perfectly manicured fingernail under the box’s lid, which pops it open, and then she smiles at all the effort she put into getting breakfast on the table.
I will be this woman when I am a grandmother.
Except I’ll probably be more inclined to just set an apple in front of my grandkid, instead of a donut, because now that I’m a parent, I actually care about what sorts of garbage my child ingests.
This morning, though, the boy announced, “Hey, Mom. Can I make myself a sandwich for breakfast?”
The box of S’Mores flavored Pop Tarts was as empty as my checkbook, and the boy needed a Breakfast Alternative.
I was busy in the bathroom with the tube of Crest, so I mumbled an “Mmm-hmm,” and hoped the boy kept the mess in the kitchen to a minimum.
Five minutes later, he strolled into my bedroom, where I was making our bed, and he announced with great pride, “I’ve invented a new sandwich, Mom, and you might want to get a pen and write this recipe down, because it is delicious!”
I smiled and said, “Really? What kind of sandwich did you invent?”
He peeled back the corner of that top slice of Wonder Bread and said, “Just look at it, Mom! You take two slices of bread, spread them with Miracle Whip and mustard, and then you just pile on the potato chips between the bread, and bang! Your sandwich is done.”
This is the same boy who wants to own a pawn shop when he is a grown man. This boy wants to make a living selling vintage Ataris for $15.
And he makes sandwiches out of white bread, Miracle Whip, mustard and Lays Potato Chips.
Breakfast is really the most important meal of the day, and clearly, I have failed this child miserably.
He will be having some scrambled eggs and bacon in the morning.