I served oatmeal for breakfast this morning. No big deal.
Except it was a big deal. A catastrophic, world imploding, weeping and wailing big deal.
It should have been innocuous enough. We’ve only had oatmeal for breakfast seven hundred thousand times and most mornings it has been greeted by happy, hungry eaters ready to fill their hollow tummies.
Recently though, I have noticed some mild grumblings about the oatmeal, some bowls not quite empty after everyone has left the table. I tried to mix it up a little, rotating steel cut oats, old fashioned oats, quick oats. I tried different toppings – strawberries, cinnamon and apples, pumpkin pie spice, blueberries. But unbeknownst to me, anti-oatmeal feelings have been building.
Today, the oatmeal dissent broke out in a full fledged breakfast rebellion.
The instant the kids realized what had been served in their breakfast bowls, they started crying. The leaders of the rebellion had even recruited the baby to their side. My normally good little eaters quickly shifted momentum and waged a full scale protest and revolt. It started with tears and refusals to eat. It escalated to ear piercing shrieks and declarations of HATRED for the disgusting trash that oatmeal is. I tried to appease them. There is coconut oil in it, I cajoled. I can add more vanilla soy milk, I promised. Oatmeal ended up on the floor. Oatmeal ended up on the table. Oatmeal ended up on me.
It turns out, they were actually going to DIE right there at the kitchen table if they ate that oatmeal. There were no concessions to be made. In fact, the rebels cobbled together to demand that I never, never, never, ever make oatmeal again.
I think they’ve won this time. They aren’t picky eaters and I don’t pander to their evolving taste buds. I am also not from the old school that insists that plates must be cleaned and if you don’t like it you don’t eat. Normally when they don’t like something, I let it go. Without any fuss, we find something that they will eat. I make sure not to reinforce any potential food dislikes by talking about them. I never say, “They won’t eat _____” or “They don’t like _____.” I make sure they see me eating any foods in question from time to time. I let them help me prepare the foods. And then, when some time has passed, we try it again. We do our best to eat healthy, lot’s of fruit and vegetables, no prepared foods, whole grains and I haven’t yet found a food that they didn’t eventually like to eat.
Then came The Breakfast Rebellion of 2011. I have conceded. For now. We won’t be seeing oatmeal at the table any time soon.
P.S. I am waiting for the right time to break it to Eila that the cookie dough she so thoroughly enjoyed yesterday was chock full of the nasty little grain that fomented today’s revolt. Oatmeal.
Now, what I am going to feed the kids for breakfast. Any suggestions for quick, healthy breakfast foods? At this point, I’ll take anything you give me. I’m feeling a little bit desperate after my miserable defeat.