Single-minded determination – it’s really the only way to describe McBean’s eating style at breakfast. He normally gets a bowl of mixed cereal or porridge and some sliced fruit, and from the time it’s put in front of him until the time his belly is full he’s like an eating automaton. Spoon after spoon of cereal goes in the mouth in a steady progression, interspersed with bits of fruit being stuffed, and I mean stuffed, in alongside. It’s quite remarkable to watch.
Breakfast is the only time of the day that McBean can be guaranteed to eat with gusto. He will often have a good morning tea also, but come lunch time he’s as likely to refuse to eat anything at all. Same goes for afternoon tea and dinner. Some days breakfast is the only solid meal he eats. Some days he eats more than I do. I figure it all balances out over time.
Counter breakfast time McBean with breakfast time FenFox. I’ve honestly never encountered anyone who faffs around as much and eats as slowly as FenFox. Some mornings you quite literally have to harangue her for every single bite, otherwise she’d still be sitting there at lunchtime with half of her soggy breakfast in front of her. It is one of the most incredibly frustrating experiences. Sometimes she’s talking too much to eat, sometimes she’s just staring vacantly into space. Reading has been banned at the breakfast table on school days. She’ll come home from school and take 90 minutes to eat afternoon tea, because she’ll be stuck in her book.
We have the tortoise and hare children at breakfast time, except in our case the hare does win. Meanwhile Clark is rushing around getting ready for work while I am trying to manage the kids and get breakfasts / lunches ready. It’s a rare work day when we can all sit down for breakfast. I am more likely to scrounge something vaguely breakfast like and eat standing up in the kitchen while I do other things, and several times a week Clark takes breakfast with her, a toasted sandwich or some such.
Clark and I are a bit like the tortoise and the hare in the mornings also – Clark leaves getting up too late and so has to rush around to do everything, whereas I allow for how slow I know I function in the mornings and get up early, when McBean hasn’t already made that choice for me of course. It can take me 15 minutes to get my lunch and snacks together when I’m working, which Clark always finds funny; I can stand in front of the pantry for long periods in contemplation. Pantry meditation… There might be something in that concept actually. I’d never make a chef, I’m too slow and methodical in the kitchen. It takes me hours and hours to meal plan, let alone cook.
I wonder are everyone’s mornings so erratic. I consider it a good morning if FenFox is out the door by 8:45 without too much nagging and Clark walks to the train station (rather than having to drive, which then means McBean and I need to pick the car up within two hours). We’ll get maybe one or two good mornings in a week, if we’re lucky. Mornings are so crazy.