The food came before she could get too bored or too disgruntled, but when it came, she was a little dismayed at all the choices laid out in front of her. To deal with her mealtime confusion, she has adopted a one-thing-at-a-time method of eating. I don’t know if the eggs looked the most appetizing or the least intimidating, but that’s where she started. While she worked to cut off a bite-sized piece with the edge of her fork, I took charge of her pancake-filled saucer. I spread the butter, cut the pancakes into manageable pieces, and doused the whole thing with syrup.
By the time I returned her pancakes, she had given up on the eggs and turned her attention to the sausage. It offered more traction than the eggs, and she had a great deal more success with it. As she enjoyed the rewards of her labor, I reached across the table with my fork and dissected her eggs. As she finished the last bite of her sausage, she looked at the eggs admiringly.
“That was quite a bit of work for you,” she said.
I smiled and turned my attention to my own breakfast which was now tepid. For the next few minutes, I watched her chase slippery pieces of egg around her plate, trying to stab them with her fork. Sometimes she succeeded with a little bit of an assist from her other hand, but more often her prize slipped back to the plate and she came up empty.
“Mom, try scooping the fork under the egg instead of stabbing it,” I said.
That method worked for one bite, but she promptly forgot the procedure and went back to stabbing. I watched her chase one particularly illusive bite across the plate and under the edge of her bowl of cinnamon apples. After she chased it around the circuit a time or two, I removed the bowl from her plate to give her a clearer field. She almost got it by pushing it up against the side of the plate, but it slipped away at the last minute.
“Mom, try your spoon,” I said.
That worked a little better, and she was finally able to finish the eggs with a little assist from my fork on the last couple of bites. I removed her plate to keep her from obsessively scraping up the remaining egg yolk residue and put her bowl of apples in front of her. She immediately attacked them with her fork with much the same result as she had with the eggs.
“Mom, those might be easier to eat with a spoon,” I said.
“Oh, yeah,” she said. She found her spoon, put it into the bowl, and continued to eat with her fork.
“No, Mom. Use the spoon to eat with,” I said, taking the fork out of her hand and substituting the spoon.
The rest of her meal went well. She finished the apples with no trouble, and after I gave her fork back, she polished off the pancakes. As she scraped up the last few syrup-soaked crumbs, she flashed me a self-satisfied smile.
“I did it!” she said.
Come back tomorrow for Breakfast Adventures – Part 4 (Dad’s Breakfast)