One of the things I despise yet endure every morning is eating breakfast with Rocky. I buy Naturals sugar cereal, which he is permitted to eat every other day. On alternate days, I require that he eat healthy cereal.
First, he always starts by sitting on the edge of his chair and leaning over the bowl and shoveling the cereal in. I will say, "Sit back in your chair" with varying levels of irritation.
Then, he will hold his spoon at the very end, fill it to overflowing, hoist his elbow, swing the spoon around front, and shovel the food into his mouth from a precise 90 degree angle, straight ahead. Of course, much of the food ends up on his face. He digs around and pokes at the cereal constantly between every bite, chewing rapidly like a rabbit, adding more cereal before he swallows. When he takes the cereal from the spoon, he closes his lips tightly around the spoon, and instead of pulling the spoon out of his mouth, he nods and swings his head back. When he gets to some milk, he will fill the spoon as full as he can get it, and then flings the milk toward the general vicinity of his mouth.
Eventually, all the digging and fussing drives the bowl across the table to his left, so he will raise his elbow even more, lean across his place, and continue collecting from the cereal bowl.
Soon he will start to get full (or worn out), so he will play with the cereal, trying to stick it to the bottom of the spoon, bobbing the raisins in the milk by smacking at them, playing "bombs away," layering and stacking different cereal types, and swirling milk over the construction site. "Stop playing with your food," I tell him.
"Yes, Mom," he replies, changing games. I tell him again, adding that he will be excused if he doesn't stop. "Yes, Mom." And he continues.
Eventually, I snap. "You're done," I tell him. He always looks at me owlishly and somewhat offended and/or confused. "You're done," I repeat, sending him away from the table. He droops over to the sink and drops off his bowl and shuffles back to me. "Go get dressed," I'll tell him. He scuffs off toward the living room to play with the cat. "Where are you going? What are you supposed to be doing," I ask.
"Getting dressed," he will say. "Oh." Then he goes into the bathroom, where he practices faces in the mirror, where I suspect he is seeing how he will look when he finally gets to kiss a girl.
"Open the door and quit fooling around."
"I am putting deodorant on."
"Open the door and quit fooling around. You don't put deodorant on your face that close to the mirror." Silence. I guess Breanna will have to wait longer for him to get comfortable enough for that close-in smile, not that she so much as suspects he has plans for her. "Now. Go. Get. Dressed."
"Yes, Mom." Crashing and banging from the bathroom. "Uh-oh." He untangles himself from the shower stall door. "I was just going to the bathroom."
"Stand on both feet when you use the toilet next time."
Silence. He is wondering if there is a periscope nearby. Finally he treks to his room, where we start the dressing routine, the one where the dog took his planned school clothes and hid them somewhere during the night, and now he can't find his clothes ANYWHERE.
And we start it all again the next morning.