B loves porridge. It’s her fave brekkie. Except today. Today it was not her fave brekkie. Today it was the devil’s food.
We had to get out the door for swimming (why are we always having to get out the door for swimming? Maybe my life would be easier if we never had to go to swimming? Note to self: sweet-talk husband into selling a kidney to have pool in garden). Anyway, I digress. We had to get out of the door for swimming. Breakfast is pretty much essential because she needs fuel for swimming, which is less like a fun baby splash-around and more like a gruelling Baby Muddy Big Tough Death Race in water. She gets dunked, has to monkey crawl along a wall and then catch a ball. This is some serious tough sh*t. This baby needs her porridge.
Today, however, she had other ideas. Like Lady Grantham declining Carson’s potatoes, the porridge is refused with an aloof aversion of her gaze and a firm sweep of the hand. “No-no.” Pants – we have ten minutes. I try again – time to bust out the aeroplane. Neeeee-ooooooowwww! She giggles (great) and firmly closes her mouth (darn).
It’s so easy to get frustrated in this situation. WHY WON’T YOU EAT??? Your mind runs away with you: “She hasn’t eaten. That means she’ll be cranky later. Swimming will be a nightmare. She won’t sleep tonight. Then we’ll get into a vicious circle. She won’t eat tomorrow. She’ll want to eat at night. I’m terrible at this. Gahhh.”
I gave up, popped her with her toys for five minutes and went to make myself some quick breakfast. As I thought ‘hmm, I don’t fancy cereal – I’ll just have a quick bit of toast’ it dawned on me. Duh – maybe B just didn’t want porridge today. Maybe she wasn’t in the mood. Seems rather simple now you look at it, but when you’re in that face-off and pressed for time, you don’t stop to think. I popped a bit of yoghurt and a breadstick in front of her (always quick wins) and we were away. Boom.
As it turns out, swimming was fine – she was a bit cranky, but she was ok. It was not the end of the world that she didn’t want the porridge and, whilst it’s highly likely she will start to resemble a breadstick at this rate, it’s not a problem that she didn’t have the most nutritious breakfast today. She’ll survive. The Should police can knock on someone else’s door. We’re probably out at swimming anyway.
So next time we have a breakfast face-off, I’m going to take a step back. Just because B has liked something one day, doesn’t mean she has to fancy that every day. She is her own person. The management reserves the right to change her breakfast tastes at her own discretion. If all else fails, there are always breadsticks.
As it turns out, porridge makes the best hair gel.