Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Top o' the Morning

Mornings with Spark have become something of a challenge. He is not a morning person, which is the first big hurdle, but he’s also very needy in the mornings. He makes strange demands. An example: Buzz goes into his room to wake him up. He turns on the light and says, “Spark, it’s time to wake up.”

Instead of opening his eyes and smiling sweetly like an angel, Spark gets ill, cantankerous, and rude. “I don’t want you to wake me up, Daddy! I want Mommy.”

Where is Mommy? Cuddled up in the bed, getting some last few minutes of precious slumber before the day begins? Hardly. I’m usually nursing Flower, who has grown very demanding in that area, especially in the mornings. So, while I’ve almost got Flower back to sleep, I have to go into Spark’s room, jarring Flower back awake just so that I can be the one who wakes up our dear son. Occasionally, though, like this morning, Flower is still asleep and Spark is in the bed with me and Buzz while we're waking up. So, Flower begins to wail and I instruct Spark to get on up. Even though, I am the one waking him up (as he prefers), he is not pleased with the sudden awakening. He starts to wail, too. With both yelping, I feel chaotic at best.

Of course, it doesn’t stop there. Spark wants me to get his clothes out of his dresser, and even though he is perfectly capable of dressing himself, he whines around, asking me to put his clothes on. Meanwhile, Flower is clawing at my shirt, looking for breakfast. When I insist that Spark must dress himself as every big boy does, he responds with: “Ok, but I want to sit in your lap while I do it.” Then, he plops his naked butt in my lap, wraps his long, skinny arms around me while he wiggles into a pair of Shrek underwear. It’s an interesting site with Flower on the other side, nursing away. It gets even more interesting when Spark turns to me and says sweetly, "I peed on your bed again, Mommy. I'm very sorry."

Breakfast introduces another struggle, to say the least. We have some standards for week-day breakfasts. Weekends, we often have a bigger breakfast, such as homemade biscuits and sausage or pancakes with maple syrup and fresh fruit. But, during the week, our standbys are Cheerios and milk, frozen waffles, scrambled eggs, and occasional cereal bars.

In the spirit of spurring independence, I try to give Spark a couple choices, which sometimes works well, but other times, like this morning, all the poo-poo hits the fan. It went something like this:

“Spark, do you want a bowl of Cheerios and milk, or do you want a cereal bar and some milk?”

“How about pancakes and eggs, Mommy?” Spark LOVES pancakes. But, today, when he was already running late for school, and I had a busy day ahead at work, pancakes were not going to happen.

“Spark, do you want a bowl of Cheerios or a cereal bar? Pick one.”

“Do we have any eggs?”

“Yes, we have eggs, but we are not having them for breakfast. You must pick Cheerios or a cereal bar."

“Mommy, I want both.” Though at times I feel like a short order cook, the last time I checked, we were not offering a breakfast buffet in our dining area. Martia's kitchen is not the new Comfort Suites continental breakfast bar.

So, I give Spark a strawberry cereal bar, pour him a glass of milk, and tell him to eat up while I shower.

My wonderful Mom is in town this week, and she was missing this entire exchange, hiding out in the guest room. She emerges to watch Flower for me while I shower, and she reports that Spark had a breakdown when she walked into the kitchen where he was eating breakfast.

He pointed at the table and whimpered.

She said, “What is it?”

He whimpered again, adding a high pitched whine to his dramatics.

She said, “Spark, tell me what is wrong.”

He said, “It’s …. gooooonnnne,” in the creakiest, whimpering voice he could muster.

Mom, who had been in the guest room, still had no idea what he was talking about. “What’s gone?”

Spark replied, still whining, “My cereal bar. I ate it. Now it’s gone.”

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