It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Mine, all mine.

I don’t wake up hungry. I get up between 5:30 and 6:00, get dressed, brush my teeth; I do a few chores, read a chapter from an Improving Book, check my email; I mentally plan my day, set things up for the tots. All sorts of stuff.

Generally I have my breakfast while they’re having snack, about ten. Today, hunger hit an hour early, so I find myself taking bites of banana between shoving shoes on small feet, finding hats, zipping sweaters, getting ready to go to the park.

“What’s that?” Timmy the vulture has landed.

You know by now how I dislike indirect questions, so this one gets ignored.

“I’m hungry.” Malli eyes the banana. The nice thing about indirect, though, is that you can take it at face value.

“You are? Good thing we have a snack to eat in the park!”

“You eatin’ a banana?” Nigel’s approach is better, but of course, that’s still not what he really means. I decide to cut to the chase.

“Yes. This banana is my breakfast. What did you have for breakfast, Nigel?”

He smiles, but doesn’t answer. Nigel’s kind of weird about questions, frankly. Asking them? No problem. Answering them? Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t. Some days, this would annoy me. Not today! I just pass on to the next child, figuring that if he simply doesn’t understand what I want, a few repetitions will teach him; if he’s just playing hard-to-get, a little peer pressure might encourage him to fess up. Whatever. All I want to do is distract them long enough to eat my banana.

“What did YOU have for breakfast, Anna?”

“I had LEAFS! One-two-free-fowa-five LEAFS!”



Moving right along. I’m about half done the banana now, and two-thirds done with the shoes and hats.

“How about you, Emily? What did you have for breakfast?”

“Bananas! One, three, six, eight, ten bananas!”

“Wow. You sure must have been hungry!”

Nigel is muttering something about “toast and cereal”.

“Pardon, Nigel? What did you say?”

Big beaming smile. Silent big beaming smile. Ah. So he is just playing hard to get. Next!

“And you, Malli? What did you have for breakfast?”


“Nothing? You didn’t eat breakfast today?” (Given the oatmeal bits stuck to her cheek, I am quite sure this is a complete and utter fabrication.)

“No. Nussin’. My mummy, my daddy, didn’t give me nussin’ for breakfass.” She opens the blue eyes wide, pathos in every quiver of those long lashes. “Mary? Mary, I need some banana.”

You just had to see it. It was an award-winning performance. Destined for greatness, she is. I pop the last bite in my mouth. Destined for greatness, but not for my breakfast.

“Okay, everyone, are you ready to go to the park??”


September 17, 2007 Posted by | Emily, food, Malli, Nigel, the things they say! | 9 Comments