Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Oatmeal: A Lifestyle Choice

I find that one of the more weighty decisions I make every day is whether or not to feed the boys oatmeal in the morning. It sets the tone for the day. Much different than its cousin the straightforward scrambled eggs and toast or the safe pancakes-with-only-a-tiny-bit-of-syrup-that-soaks-in-before-they-get-their-hands-on-it, oatmeal follows no rules and seeks to explore every corner of everywhere.

Since the boys started demanding “SELF! SELF!” every time we eat and “SIM!” (which means spoon), oatmeal has become more of a lifestyle choice than a normal breakfast that is finished in 30 minutes.

On oatmeal mornings the boys must remain in their pajamas during breakfast because by the time they are done eating most of the oats and raisins will be clinging tightly to their fuzzy (or unfuzzy) pajamas even in obscure places and clumped in piles on their laps and the carpet below.

Again—if this is done with pajamas on, it is an easy remedy as far as their clothes are concerned. The part that used to never cease to amaze me is how expansive and complete the oatmeal’s travels are, and sometimes how long it takes before stumbling upon them. Oatmeal is often the answer to the following questions in our house:

Why did it take an hour to clean up breakfast?
Why won’t the brush get through my hair?
Why is my sock stuck to the tile?
Why won’t your cup work?
What is that hardened blob on the couch pillow?
Why can’t I see through that window anymore?
What just fell out of your diaper?

Of course oatmeal is the boys’ favorite thing to feed to themselves. That and tuna, which would be worse due to the smell except that it doesn’t bond things together (think bib pockets) or get into diapers or adhere to the carpet regardless of scrubbing.

The expansion of oatmeal is not as mysterious to me as it once was. It makes sense that it could get to outrageous places. I now understand what a commitment it is and so I am not as devastated when I find it in my bed (not hyperbole! It was there the other morning). Oatmeal is truly a lifestyle choice for us.

Here is Cal in the heart of an Oatmeal Morning. Notice the two medium-sized clumps under the table in front of his chair and the goopy hands reaching toward my hair.

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