Friday, February 04, 2005


One of the great things about being an adult is that I can eat whatever I want for breakfast. My wife grew up eating healthy food. On their birthdays, the kids in her family could get "their cereal," like Lucky Charms, etc. And that was it; they ate some sort of gruel every other day of the year, to hear her tell of it. And how well did that training take? Not well at all.

She eats the same crap the kids do. When we first got married, she would bring home boxes of junk cereal. Our pantry looked like a shrine to marshmallows, brown sugar, and food dye.

(TV was the same way. They didn't watch much TV growing up, and now she owns the thing after the kids go to bed. When we first got cable, I came home to find her flipping through the channels, over and over again, mesmerized.)

So, parents who think that by hiding such abominations from your children you will be instilling in them good habits for later in life, think again. TV and Captain Crunch will always win. Haha.

Anyway, the kids were sick last night, so my precious 10 hours of sleep was interrupted several times in order to dispense various medications. So I woke up late this morning, which usually means several things:

  • I don't get to take a shower before work (yes, I think that's gross, too)
  • I drink way more Coke than usual
  • I don't get to eat a normal breakfast

A normal breakfast, for me, consists of a bowl of cereal (usually Frosted Mini Wheats), with milk, which I eat at the table while reading. Also usually, Sam* is in his high-chair eating a pop tart. The other boys swirl in and out, making mad dashes between the dining room and the TV room. We don't let them eat breakfast in there (imagine it: 4 boys with cups of Captain Crunch cereal; how much of that do you think is in the couch now? We can't let diabetics sit there.), so they run in, shovel in food, and then run back to catch House of Mouse, or some such.

So, when I get up late I'll just grab a cup of junk cereal and eat it while returning the overnight emails. No big deal.

But when I looked through the pantheon of cereals this morning, there wasn't much left in any one bag/box. We haven't been to the grocery store for a few days, so supplies are getting low. Cinnamon Toast Crunch - 1 serving, knock-off Crunch Berries - 1 serving, Special K - forget it, blech, Frosted Mini Wheats - baby was eating them, so only 1 serving left, Peanut Butter Crunch - gone. And there was but one pop tart left in the whole house, not counting the half-chewed one on the floor of the kitchen. Ew.

So I had peanut butter toast. And I had to use the hippie peanut butter out of the fridge, because the kids' stuff was running low, as well. And here's what being a dad is like: I didn't mind; didn't give it a second thought. No big deal, no self-flagellation or yearnings for praise. This is what dads do.

Along this train of thought, we watched Cheaper By The Dozen last night, the new one with Steve Martin. This is my new favorite. What a pro-family movie.

All of it was good, but here's the part that got me the most. The dad is on a train in the station, having just found his runaway son. They're talking, and suddenly the train begins to move. What does he do? Does he panic: does he jump up, scrambling or demanding for a way off the train.

No. He sits down.

That's very important. He sits down, accepting that the train is moving and letting it take him and his child wherever it wills. Whoever wrote that scene is probably a dad with lots of kids.

*Yes, that's his real name. I've realized that nobody actually reads this site, so I can use real names. Plus, it makes my brain work better, not to have to translate everything to this unorganic code of boy names. Sam is the baby, previously known as S2.


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