Nancy Tandon: The Oatmeal Diaries
Navigating mornings can be difficult when you have children. This I knew. For years, my mom friends and I have shared morning battle stories. Parenting magazines love to publish “smooth our your morning routine” articles, with names like: Ten tips to get organized and get going!
This is all old news to me. I’ve done the organizing, I’ve got the routine down pat. I thought I’d planned for every morning contingency, and that I could control the temperament of my home by having snacks and water packed the night before.
But that was before the oatmeal wars.
Pre-teen angst has seeped into my well-laid plans. Gulping, sobbing tears, and angry words over the status of a bowl of oatmeal have ambushed me and left me dazed and wounded. After the school bus pulls away (“All hail the big yellow bus!”) I return to the kitchen to assess the damage. It looks like 5 grown men have just blown through the house, not two small children.
In desperation, I decide I need to go up the ranks for reinforcements. I turn to my wise, name-sake aunt, who gives me this sage advice:
…don’t change the oatmeal, as you can’t win! And mainly looking at it all these years later, I’d say, “relax and chuckle to yourself – and be glad you are not still that age!
…All the old adages probably apply – like: pick your battles carefully – think before you act – do express your honest emotion – let her know you love HER, just NOT that behavior – beauty is as beauty does – etc.
She even shared some advice from the General, my gramma:
…I still remember Elvie saying to me – “Nancy, we are your family, the ones that love you more than anybody. You are nice to all your friends, but we are the ones you should be nicest to!”
So, the oatmeal war rages on. And every time I’m about to lose my temper, I say to myself, “It’s not about the oatmeal!”
Funny, I find myself saying that not just in the morning, but all. day. long.
Best of luck to all you out there battling your own morning wars. Remember: “It’s not about the oatmeal!”