“There’s some Danish there you can have for breakfast,” I told the first child to the kitchen this morning.
“I saw it, but that’s not what I want. I’m going to have cereal,” my youngest said as he reached into the cabinet for a bowl. He opened the refrigerator and pulled out the milk.
“More than likely, no one will want the Danish. Your brother’s been looking for breakfast food all week. Now that we actually have something other than cereal, he’ll choose something else.” W smiled, knowing this was a real possibility. In fact, what my oldest has been seeking are the 26 muffins I didn’t buy him last week after our text exchange.
The text exchange went like this: I asked a simple question—a question about breakfast, asked via text because kids communicate via text anyway. I would have asked in person if I had been there. I would have waited to ask. But the fact was, I was at work and planned to stop at the grocery store on my way home. So I asked a reasonable question.
The answer was one of those moments when the true personality of the child emerged, unedited and unrestricted.
“If I go to the store on my way home, what do you want for breakfast?” was the question.
A few minutes later, the answer came: “A few cinnamon chip muffins (and by a few, I mean like a bunch because most likely I will eat one tomorrow and then try to consume multiple both weekend days and then I would want some for the following week and then also taking into account that other people would wish to consume some as well so maybe like 30 muffins).”
This response caught me off guard, but it shouldn’t have. I laughed out loud at the uncut version of a teenage super-appetite. I went home with eight muffins: four cinnamon chip, and four for my other teens to share.
Of course, the muffins were gone in seconds. Food doesn’t last when teenagers are around. Unless they are sick of it. Then it lasts too long. And they usually get sick of it just when I have purchased extra because it’s on sale. Cereal, chips, cookies… it doesn’t matter. The pattern is always the same. If we have enough to last more than a day, they realize they are sick of it. I believe this is where the saying “feast or famine” originated—from parents not only trying to keep enough food in the house, but food that their teenagers would actually eat.
In the end, C ate the Danish for his breakfast, though I’m sure he would have preferred muffins. Then again, if I’d had muffins, he would have preferred Danish.