The other morning, I was making breakfast and packing school lunches for my three beautiful boys. I was humming along, with that hopeful zest that all Moms have when the day is way too new to be bad YET. My oldest was sitting in an old armchair playing on his DS (thank you Lord for tiny, electronic miracles), my size-4-feet Twin B was already grazing at the breakfast table, happy to annihilate anything put on his plate without nary a word. Then Twin A swaggered up to the table in his ratty old pj’s (long gone are the days of cute little baby clothes), like a lone, dark outlaw coming into the saloon. I swear, I hear the music from The Good, The Bad and the Ugly every time that kid comes into the room. Did I mention his nickname is the Gooch? (because he looked like a tiny Italian man when he was a baby) Trust me, it suits him. Anyway, I know better than to make eye contact with him in the morning, but in a convincingly chipper voice I welcome him to a new day, ask him how his sleep was and proceed to tell him what’s on the menu for breakfast. It’s oatmeal, with warm homemade cinnamon apple sauce. I know! Delicious right? Good Mommie for getting up early to cook oatmeal. Even better Mommie for canning fresh apples off the tree for healthy sauce. NOPE. The calm sounds of morning drop away, and it’s just me and The Gooch in the saloon. All the townsfolk are under tables. Suddenly the Gooch speaks up, peering at me from under his black hat. In my mind, he sounds like a crazy Clint Eastwood…
Mommy! I can’t eat this! What is this?
You know I don’t like oatmeal. DISGUSTING!
I like CREAM OF WHEAT not OATMEAL!
And what is this sauce? It looks disgusting.
I’m not eating breakfast. That’s it!
And out of the saloon he swaggers.
I know, you’re thinking, surely he learned that type of behavior from someone. NOPE! He came out that way. I promise you. He SWAGGERED out of my womb.
So, while this rant is going on, I am in the kitchen peeling apples for lunch (I know! More apples – that’ll tick him right off, but by then he’ll be at school). And all I can think is: if that outlaw comes back into my saloon with his pistols out, this time I’ll be ready with a fresh juicy apple. I’m not the best shot in the world, but I’m sure I could get him. He’s fast, but predictable. (Cue riding-off -happily-into-the -sunset music)