Dec 3, 2010

The best laid plans of moms and sons...

I'm going to get this out of the way early - I sent Griffin to day care this morning without any breakfast. Please don't tell me what an awful mother I am because I've already told myself that at least 100 times today...and it's only 2 PM.

Here's the deal. Griffin usually gets breakfast at day care. It's a really good breakfast, too. Believe me, my stomach starts growling as soon as I walk in the front door of our provider's house. Breakfast casseroles. Eggs. Biscuits and gravy. Pancakes with real blueberries. The kid's got it good. The only problem is that we need to be there by 7:15 AM so she can serve breakfast and get some of the older kids off to school. I have no problem with that, but someone does (think short, cute, and blond curly hair).

Griffin is not a morning person. He's also not someone who likes to be rushed, which is exactly what I have to do Monday through Friday in order to get him to day care in time for breakfast. He's still sleepy and rubs his eyes and swats at anyone who comes near him with clothing. I swear he can spot a pair of jeans from across the room. It's a struggle to get him dressed, and once he's dressed, it's a struggle to get out the door.

Today I decided that I would feed him breakfast myself and get him to day care by 7:45 AM. Sounded like a good plan. It was a good plan, but we all know about the best laid plans. Griffin and I had a battle royale. When I finally got him in the car (I practically had to sit on top of him to buckle him in), I tried to get him to eat something on our drive to day care. He had a sippy cup of milk, a banana, a small bag of Goldfish crackers, and a few broken pieces of a raspberry Poptart (the breakfast of champions, I know, but it was food). He had a few crackers, but that was it. He was really tired and when that happens, he doesn't want anything.

We got to our provider's house and she was already loading kids in the van. I handed him over and she got him in his seat. I got back to my car, pulled away, and felt a heaviness in my chest I haven't felt since the day I went back to work after my maternity leave. Guilt. How could I have sent my son without any breakfast? I know what you're all thinking. But Tracy, you tried. You had Poptarts and Goldfish. You did the best you could. But that's the funny thing about guilt. It never feels like you did good enough. There's always something more you could have done. I'm not sure what that "something" is, but I feel it.

Of course he can survive without breakfast, but the real question is how am I going to survive if I keep feeling this kind of guilt?

Addendum: This post makes Griffin sound like a whiny brat. He's not. He just inherited my stubborn streak and Patrick's short fuse (lethal combo). Lord help us all if he inherits my passive-aggressiveness and ability to hold a grudge for an abnormal amount of time.


Megan said...

Nah, he just sounds like a two year old. ;)

Christina Heald said...

I've thought about your internal struggle all day too. I understand the struggle with him, I have it here too from time to time. We just need to sit down and spend some time together. Everything is always so rushed in the morns and afternoons. He's proving to be not a breakfasty person for me too--a lot. I'll be honest--I could sit him down to eat for 1/2 hr. or more and he will just put his hands up behind his head and laugh and talk to everyone else, but not touch his food--stuff I totally know he likes. I tell him matter of factly that we will be leaving soon and when we are finished and ready to put coats on I will be taking his tray away. I can't tell you how many times we pull out of the drive and he hasn't had breakfast for me either--and that's when I've cooked a big meal, had plenty of time to serve and eat, and also time to leisurely clean up and get loaded. It is what it is. I've managed never to feel guilty--sorry--I know that doesn't help yours, but I've done the best I can and if he doesn't want it, he doesn't want it. He also didn't want snack until 11:30 today which was encroaching on lunch time--so I pushed it back and because of the weather decided to have big movie day with everyone all snuggled into their own individual nests--7 of them! Choc. milk and popcorn. Of course he loved it and then refused lunch which I pushed back until after the movie was done--about 130pm. Lunch came and he really didn't want much of it, but did power down a large glass of milk. His body is telling him to eat when he's hungry and not when he isn't. Better to have that switch now then find him completely overweight at a young age which most kids today are. He does pick his battles that's for sure. I know he pushes your buttons that's for sure. I take a very matter of fact--not open for discussion--approach without a lot of give at such a young age. I have to. I have too many others and in order for the whole group to work together with a large amount of teamwork, it is important for me to be super consistent with all the little ones. Don't feel like you aren't doing it right. Sometimes I feel like I have to wear that hat too, but I can tell you he's perfectly fine when he's here and he is really learning to become self-sufficient in so many areas. He sets the table for me--even though he's still in a high chair. He helps load the dishes. He's a productive member of my family and team for the time he's here. He knows what to expect. I know the struggle is hard, but in the long run if you don't buckle to the demands, you are doing him a huge favor. I love him to death. I love you to death. He's fine. Don't worry. Because--I'll have to start feeling guilty then...hahaha

tracyellen said...

All I can say is you're the best and we love you :-)

Anonymous said...

Like my doc told me when Reese was a little kid, "No child will starve themselves."

On another note....hopefully he won't inherit your ability to deny that onion bagels are ACTUALLY bagels :)

tracyellen said...

They're more like a bread ;-)