I often thank the good Lord He saw fit to have me teach for a while before I had children. Believe it or not, teenagers and toddlers are not that different. For that matter, teenagers and four-year-olds are not that different, either. Who knew those eight years of figuring out who was chewing gum, who had the cell phone that was ringing, and who actually threw the paper wad would all pay off some day?
Her Majesty doesn't like breakfast, an it is a struggle to get her to eat anything other than Cheeze-its or, say, a bowl of shredded cheddar. This morning I fixed chocolate milk and handed her a cereal bar. She gamely ate two thirds of the cereal bar and drank about three quarters of the milk before trying to hand both back to me. I said, "You need to finish your breakfast. Then I'll get you some blueberries."
Normally the promise of blueberries would inspire great feats like lifting one end of an Escalade, but today? Nothing. I walked over to the chair and saw that she had neither cereal bar nor milk. My eyes shifted to the breakfast room table where the sippy cup of milk sat across from the trash can. My eyes narrowed.
"Lorelai, did you put your cereal bar in the trash can?"
[In the distance a lonely western whistle. Tumbleweeds float across the living room behind me.]
She cocked her head to one side. "Did you SEE the cereal bar in the trash can?"
My eyebrows leaped up to my hair line because I no longer had to see to believe. "Did. You. Put. Your. Cereal bar. In. The. Trash. Can?"
Her eyes shifted to the left. "Yes."
I blow away the figurative smoke from my figuratively smoking six shooter and break out the standard mom lectures on the importance of a) not lying to/misleading your mother and b) eating breakfast. Today I won the showdown of truth and cereal bars.
But tomorrow I may not be so lucky.