Thursday, October 25, 2012

How My Two-Year-Old Taught Me to Make Breakfast

Quite some time ago, we committed to cereal-free breakfasts.  More recently, I realized we were falling into an unhealthy and expensive habit – consuming too many quick and convenient processed breakfast foods (a.k.a. GFCF frozen waffles, GFCF toast with nut butter, etc.). 

Taking a first step to break this detrimental habit was easy.  I simply stopped purchasing the convenience foods.

Progressing through a second step has not been as easy.  I have yet to get into a groove of once-a-week or once-a-month preparation in order to ensure a surplus of healthy, relatively low cost eats to start our days with each morning.  So it is that all too often I find myself waking less than enthusiastically, realizing that I need to start breakfast from scratch – again.  A homemade breakfast, no less, that can be prepared and eaten, sometimes, in less than 20 minutes, as early morning commitments loom.

Thankfully, my early riser recently gave me an attitude adjustment. 

A Lesson from My Two Year Old in How to Prepare Breakfast

As I begrudgingly begin my breakfast-making duties Jack makes his way to the kitchen, drags a step stool over and says, “I help.” 

I say good morning and hand him a cup full of flour to put in the mixing bowl, secretly wishing he’d stayed asleep so I could get breakfast made without “help”.

Jack claps and declares, “I did it” after dumping the flour in. I pause.  He is so cheerful while I am grumbly.  Witnessing his heart of service and joy reminds me that I, too, should wake and do all thing with great love, not just with committed duty.  His beaming pride chastens me, too.  Celebrate even the smallest successes in life, Mom!  I rejoice over putting flour in a bowl.  Can’t you find something to smile about this morning? It seems to say.

The corners of my lips begin to turn upward.  I certainly can, Son.  You.  I notice a camera sitting on the shelf and grab it to snap a photo of the moment to remind me later of this moment.  Then, it is back to breakfast preparation...

After all the ingredients for our GFCF, produce-injected muffins are in the bowl, Jack says, “I do it.  It is his way of letting me know that he wants to stir the muffin batter himself. 

I step back to honor Jack’s request, giving him enough space so that he can feel fully  independent as he stirs our muffin batter together, yet remaining close enough to catch him or the bowl should either of them topple.  It is then that I realize that Jack pulled over the “wrong” kitchen stool.  He is standing on the one that is a bit too low for him and thus the entire time he has been helping to prepare our family’s breakfast he has been standing on his tip toes.  Incredible! 

While I shuffled out to the kitchen and huddled over the counter to make our meal, he sidled up beside me, joyfully maintaining balance, zealous in his industry and independence.  Moreover, he persisted with absolute intent joy and presence. 

For the first time all morning, my teeth break through my lips into a full blown smile.  Jack turns to share my pleasure.  I grab the camera again and snap a picture:

My little muffin maker.  My two year old teacher.  My mornings lesson.

Do all things with love.
Celebrate tiny accomplishments.
Maintain balance.
Do so with joy.
Delight in duties.
Serve with a smile.
Reach your best potential.

An SPD Connection

I committed to making an SPD connection in every post this month in honor of Sensory Processing Disorder Month.  Today's is a brief one:  Making breakfast from scratch every day is much easier than dealing with many meltdowns and challenging behaviors throughout the day.  

In seeking strategies to minimize difficult behaviors in our son with SPD, we landed upon dietary intervention as a potential tool.  Thus we committed fully to our family food goals and refuse to turn back. Fixing what average Americans eat for breakfast might seem easier, but it not an option for us.  For while there are days when our food goals are difficult to maintain, our motivation to do so remains strong.  We have seen a dramatic increase in positive minutes and hours throughout our day since committing to an additive-, preservative-, artificial dye-, artificial flavor-, white sugar-, gluten- and casein-free diet.

We are thankful for this change.  And, now, I am thankful for the special morning I shared with my other son as an indirect result.

So gifted!
This post is being shared at Thankful Thursday



Kate @ Teaching What Is Good said...

Sweet photos!! Early on in our parenting years, a pastor said, "If you remember only 1 thing I've ever said, remember this: our children's behavior is not an inconvenience to our lives, it is an opportunity." You had a wonderful morning of opportunity!

Kayla said...

That is too sweet! Children can teach us so much can't they? :)

bp said...

Thanks for sharing your lessons from your 2 year old! Don't you just love how God uses our children in such ways to teach such powerful lessons!

Have a wonderful day!

tammi said...

I always find such joy in realizing I, myself, have allowed a "teachable moment" and learned something from my kids. I love how God uses them to teach us even while charging us with the responsibility of teaching and guiding them! Very sweet post.


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