This is a picture of Matty’s breakfast today, better known as Strike One.
Matty has asked very clearly for toast with butter, which is duly provided at the Breakfast Table, better known as The Place Where the Toddler will Never, Ever Eat Breakfast, Even if Mommy Serves Ice Cream with Sprinkles. Obviously, toast with butter is best eaten in the mudroom (ah, the unparalleled ambiance: the furry, dusty floor, the dirty shoes, the food-thieving dogs), to which Matty immediately repairs, toast plate in hand, and prepares to wave good bye to his siblings, better known as Those Mutants Who Eat All their Food at the Table (With the Possible Exception of The Candy That has Escaped From the Wrappers Found Under Their Pillows). Having failed to account for Gravity, however, Matty is inattentive to the position of the plate and is therefore stunned when a piece of toast coasts off and lands, butter side down, on the floor.
Howls arise from all quarters: Matty is outraged by the sight of floor-toast and duly expresses his anguish; Mommy, also outraged by the floor-toast, expresses the opinion that all breakfast is henceforth to be eaten at The Table; Daddy expresses his irritation at the failure of the dog to clean up the butter before Matty steps in it. Matty announces that he hates toast and will never eat it again, and certainly not at The Table. Mommy employs the only available response, to the effect that this was the only breakfast the Matty will ever see and he’d better learn to love it.
Round 2, In which Mommy fails to adhere to her breakfast resolution, or Strike Two:
This is a picture of Matty’s Second Breakfast.
Toast with butter has languished on the table while Mommy and Matty deal with laundry and dressing and cleaning the rooms of the Mutant Table-Bound Secret Candy Eaters. Upon returning to the kitchen, it is apparent that the toast is unfit to be eaten and Mommy is plagued by the fear that she is becoming Mommie Dearest and will soon be making Liver for dinner and then leaving children at The Table until Liver is consumed. Better to make a fresh start with breakfast. Matty is consulted, and a bowl of the chosen breakfast cereal, better known as Flats, is laid out for him, at which point he declares that he hates Flats and will never eat them again. To prove his point, he takes the bowl into the office and throws it on the floor. He is immediately contrite and picks it up, but as a man of his word he is duty bound not to eat it. Instead, he looks at Mommy’s cereal and says: I want some of that. Furry floor-cereal is placed in the garbage by someone who is beginning to think that Mommie Dearest may have been on to something.
Round 3, in which Mommy yields to the chaos, or Booha on tables and other social restrictions that crush the young spirit:
Question posed: What do you want for breakfast
Answer: Cheerios. Cheerios box comes out, but we want Honey Nut Cheerios. Cheerio box goes away, Honey Nuts come out and are on their way into the bowl, but we want Cheerios. No, we want Goldfish. Can’t eat Goldfish for breakfast. Then we want crackers. Crackers also not among the approved breakfast choices. We really want Flats (WHAT?). No, we want Cheerios. But not the Cheerios you just poured from the Tupperware container, only authentic Cheerios that come directly from the big yellow box will do for me. No, we really want flats after all. Flats are poured into the bowl by a ranting lunatic who no longer merits the title mother and who simultaneously declares her intent to depart either this house or this earth. Toddler looks at the pretty blue bowl of nutritious breakfast food, declares his undying hatred of all things Flat, and throws flats on floor, at which point Mommy determines that the only thing left to do is get the camera. Perhaps pictorial evidence will sway the jury in her favor when she is tried for murder.
While mommy is busy with the camera, Matty decides that some round cereal would really fit the bill and retrieves Cheerios from the pantry. And Honey Nuts. And swipes the container of raisins because fruit is an essential part of a growing child’s diet.
Strike Three. Mother is out and will surely be sent down to the minor leagues for this.Afternote: Maybe there really is something wrong with the Flats. Even the dog won’t eat them. Oh wait . . . Nevermind. They must be o.k.; Matty is eating them now. Does this mean I won?