The Goose is not a morning person. And neither am I. As you can imagine, this makes for an interesting, and frustrating, start to the day. Especially on school days when he needs to get up, get dressed, pack his backpack and be ready to leave the house before the bus comes. But the worst part of all? Breakfast. Hands down.
Well, the problem comes from choosing. When The Goose is groggy, upset that he can’t use the iPad before school, or irritated that I made him get dressed, the last thing he wants to do is eat a healthy breakfast. And just how does he remind me of his unhappiness? By doing the one thing he knows makes me crazy: refusing to choose. Or choosing the one thing we don’t have. Or choosing something and then, when it is placed in front of him, crying because it wasn’t what he really wanted.
In my frustration, I tried a lot of different methods for making breakfast easier. I read a lot of articles, and scoured the Internet looking for ideas on how to get kids to eat. And I tried nearly every suggestion I found. One article that said only give him two choices because that would be less overwhelming. But, when I asked him if he wanted oatmeal or yogurt, he looked at me and said “I want mommy for breakfast!” and then he licked my arm. Another said that giving children a visual aid (kind of like a menu) would help them choose. So I took pictures of his four breakfast choices, printed out a small menu and handed it to him one morning. Five seconds later, he had used his pencil to make his own options, including Sprite and popcorn.
Fed up, I decided to try something new. Instead of asking The Goose what he wanted to eat for breakfast each day, I made the decision myself. The first day, when I told him it was time to eat breakfast, I held my breath as I watched him walk to the table, sit down, and start eating. He didn’t put up a fuss. He didn’t complain that what I’d given him was not what he asked for. Instead, he just ate.
So I continued this, day after day, week after week. And each day, our mornings improved. We’re now in our second week of school, and we’ve had nothing but good mornings. The Goose is happy eating whatever I put in front of him. I’m happy to not have a screaming first-grader, and all is right with the world.