Hey! Where'd My Breakfast Go?!? - Learning To Cook Blog at Allrecipes.com - 294181

Learning To Cook

Hey! Where'd My Breakfast Go?!? 
Jan. 11, 2013 6:13 am 
Updated: Jul. 7, 2013 6:04 pm
When my girls were wee babes, I made breakfast for them every morning. It was always simple fare. I usually made dry cereal with milk for them. Sometimes they'd get a piece of fruit and often they would be offered a glass of orange juice. Occasionally I would make eggs and bacon with toast for breakfast. My guess is that they don't even remember my making breakfast for them.

Somewhere, I lost my breakfast. I can't remember when I stopped making breakfast for my kids. I think it happened while we were living in Germany. I started to get up just a little bit later. Fifteen extra minutes sleep was so nice! I hadn't yet been diagnosed with sleep apnea, but I am sure that this was what was making me so tired.  Soon I was getting up in time to make a quick lunch for my oldest (the youngest preferred hot lunch) and then walk them to the bus stop which was in front of Gasthof zum Wildpark in Strasslach. It was one of my favorite Biergartens in Munich.

I am still getting up to see my kids off to school, and I am still throwing a quick lunch together for my oldest. They get their own breakfast though. I am pretty sure that this has a tragic element to it. Many of our childhood memories revolve around acts of service our parents performed for us. Some might say that the memories revolve around food, and you could make a case for that. Would the food be there if the act of service hadn't preceded it? I wonder what memories I have given my kids. Will they look back fondly on their childhoods, will they try to look back but have no memories, or will they look back and feel they were cheated?

It seems so trivial, but here is the problem as I see it. We live a typical yet unusual lifestyle. I am a stay at home dad and have been since number two was born. I don't regret having done this, but I have to admit that I have not been a great housekeeper. I deeply resent the seeming futility that keeping a house clean represents to me. My wife is an executive and necessarily spends much of her time away from home. That explains the unusual part of our lifestyle; it is still uncommon for the husband/wife roles to be reversed, though no longer unheard of. I still get references to Mr. Mom, and eyebrows still lift when I tell acquaintances about my career. The kids represent the typical in our lifestyle. They are both in high school and both are busy! My youngest is the real gadabout. I am always carting her somewhere, and I do enjoy that. It brings me joy to see her so involved in life. My oldest has a different temperament and prefers to spend her time alone. (She has her nest in the family room!) That isn't as joy inspiring to me, but I figure to each their own. That's a long lead up into telling you the simple fact that we don't spend much time together. We don't build many memories through daily interaction. I feel that there is tragedy in that. Not huge, overblown, Hollywood style tragedy, rather the everyday sort, which is far more profound but not necessarily crippling.

Does anyone else travel down these lahars of memory as they eat breakfast? Somedays I almost feel as though I am a victim of my own mind! Here I am, innocently eating my oatmeal, and all of these thoughts pop into my mind unbidden. Incidentally, this was the first time I've made oatmeal using milk rather than water in which to boil the oats. I prefer steel cut oats even though they do take much longer to cook. I think I will stick with water most often. The milk boiled oats were terrific, but they were also incredibly rich and filling! If I had thought ahead, I would have withheld the brown sugar and maple syrup. Milk, when cooked down, becomes very sweet, but I digress.

I think I will have to make a resolution. I don't like doing that because making resolutions seems to be a set up for failure. Perhaps that is just an excuse to be undisciplined. So I hearby resolve that from henceforth I will, with intent, make more memories by serving my family better. I proclaim this with the fullness of understanding this great truth of Scripture: "And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins."  If you love, failure takes a holiday!
Jan. 11, 2013 2:04 pm
I'm sure your girls will look back on their childhood and have some fond memories. It seems my kids remember the most inconsequential things - things I never thought of as becoming a fond memory! We never have been a breakfast sort of family - but we tried always to eat dinner together around the table. Some days that was almost impossible as both kids were very active in extra-curricular activities but most nights we managed it. Good luck on your resolution.
Jan. 11, 2013 2:27 pm
Doc, good luck with your resolution, i always made breakfast for my girls,but alas the day came when they wanted to feed themselves,but we always had supper together,now they are both on their own,one across the country,and one in the town closest to us,my point,kids remember all you do for them,even when you think they don't.I went to visit daughter #1 a few months ago,she brought up stuff about when they were little that i forgot about,never fear they always remember,we can only hope fondly.
Jan. 11, 2013 4:39 pm
Okay! You made your pledge now clean the house! ... For seven years, my work schedule permitted me to make breakfast for two granddaughters and to recieve them when the bus dropped them off. Yeah, Doc. I have loads of memories. BTW, Grandkids are far more fun!
Jan. 11, 2013 4:42 pm
My kids also seem to remember the small moments much more than the ones where I thought I was making memories with them. Five kids in various levels of school with different start times, and being a working mother, mornings tended to be pure chaos. My father lived with us and he made sure the kids all ate something. I did insist that we all sit down for dinner together most nights. I remembered those times from my childhood happily and wanted my family to do so too. I think they do.
Jan. 11, 2013 7:03 pm
I had the new hardee's rib eye breakfast sandwich yesterday. Yuck.
Jan. 11, 2013 9:15 pm
Parents remember things too, but I think we remember the big things, like when I walked down into the family room and saw my oldest daughter, 3 years old at the time, sitting at the Little Tykes picnic table with a scissors in her hand and a pile of brown stuff on the table in front of her. When I realized what it was, all I could do was make incoherent noises for about 2 minutes. But it grew back and she was none the worse for it. When my youngest did it two years later, I was much better about it. I was only speechless for one minute!
Jan. 14, 2013 12:05 pm
First off I want to applaud you for what you do. I am sure it took a lot of thought to decide to be a stay at home Dad. Sounds like you do a wonderful job. May I ask about the name Doc and how it has come about? You doing what you do allows your wife to do what she does better. She can go to work and know the children are being well taken care and there needs met. congratulations.
Jan. 14, 2013 6:00 pm
char, thank you for the kind words. Some days I wish I had given it just a bit more thought, but I probably would still have taken this road. Most often it's been a blast, with a few forays into the area of, "What the $#%% was I THINKING!?!?!?" My initials are DR. I am not a doctor, medical or otherwise.
Jan. 14, 2013 6:02 pm
Mike I just saw that comment up there just now, and I have to say, "Whoa there, big fellah!" Who pledged to clean the house?!?!? I said serve my family better. I didn't say nuttin about cleanin' no house!
Jan. 19, 2013 10:40 am
You are right on Doc. Recently, those are some of the same questions I ponder re: what are my kids memories going to be? (and ours) And we don’t spend enough doing things together. Right now, my husband is working an a project in the basement, my 2 teenagers are in their rooms with doors closed, and I am in the LR typing a note to you. Two weeks ago, on the way home from a visit with my mom, my son said he wanted to stay home for spring break. My response: I’ll think about it, no promises. Well I’ve thought about it. We’re going somewhere – somewhere warm! We need these trips to kind of force us into some activities together. Some how it’s easier to insist that the kids join us for a hike, or museum or ??, when we are away from home. My oldest is 16. Too soon he will be making his own plans and Mr C & I will be taking trips without him. I admit that these last 2 years are probably more important to me than to him, never the less, a trip we will take.
Jul. 7, 2013 6:04 pm
Doc, I just found your blog and went back and was reading some of your older posts, that is where this is coming from...lol. I sympathize with the name choice, I picked bratmonkeymd, as MD were my initials at the time. I am not a Dr either. About the kids memories of childhood, my mother told me when my first child was born that your kids will not remember if the dishes are washed, or the floors vacuumed, what they will always remember is that you took time to sit and play with them and do things with them as they grow. My youngest is now 25 and I have found this to be very true. The memories they treasure are of me reading to them, impromptu camping trips which I gave them 20 minutes notice to pack anything they wanted to take, including their sleeping bags and clothes, doing crafts with them every Saturday and other stuff done purely for the fun of it. Oh, can't forget the yearly meteor shower trips 50 miles out of town in the middle of the night as a way to say goodbye to another summer, laying on the ground watching falling stars every few seconds. They remember them fondly, I am told. That being said,teenage hood and the separation from us that they go thru to be ready to jump headfirst into the world with excitement, is way harder on us as parents I believe. The closer you are to your kids the more they have to work at being abbynoxious teens. It is all finally worth it in the end when you see that you have taught them how to make good choices and be self sustainable in the real world. They are only ours for a time and our job is not only to raise them and teach them, but to teach them to be real and to always be true to themselves. We teach them so much without knowing by our actions that we don't even realize they ever paid attention to. OK, my short comment just seemed to have turned into a long tangent, but I hope your move is going well and that you enjoy your new home. Oh, teaching them to cook is a biggie! I didn't realize I hadn't started that until my oldest was 15! I didn't cook most nights after that until the youngest left, but was right there with them every night teaching them the basics and later as they showed interest individually, one in baking, one in cooking more exotic foods, and the third into any new flavor combination experiments. They all now love to cook, and I believe that is one of the most important things I ever taught them in this day in age. They don't eat from boxes and are comfortable in their kitchens, cooking real food.
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Doc Simonson

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About Me
I'm old and smelly, kinda like a really good salami with that really nice white mould all over it.
My favorite things to cook
Meat, carbs, meat, carbs, meat, carbs and did I mention meat?
My favorite family cooking traditions
Drop a plate of Pierogis and sausages in front of me and watch my eyes glaze over in pure joy.
My cooking triumphs
Schweinebraten mit Knoedel und Krautsalat. Also Edel Hirsch Gulasch was very nice. I make killer Spaetzle and Knockerl also.
My cooking tragedies
There aren't enough electrons in cyberspace! :) Actually, the tragedies usually involve well intentioned creativity out of control.
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