Is this called choosing battles? Or losing battles?

Are there things your family routinely does that sometimes make you wonder, “How did we get here?”

Maybe it’s a sleeping situation, a treat when you go through the drive-thru, going through the drive-thru — things that, once upon a time, you couldn’t even fathom doing. But now they are part of your daily life.

There was a day before this thing was the norm. You didn’t know it in the moment, but that one too-early morning when you thought, “let’s let him sleep in bed with us, just this once.” And then, through the tumble of tired mornings, it became just what you do.

Or just think about that one fateful morning you decided to let your toddler get out of the stroller and walk along the path with you. Before that morning, they didn’t even know getting out was an option! But now? There’s no putting that toothpaste back in the tube.

For us, one of those things is that my kids think that a frozen waffle with whipped cream is a perfectly acceptable breakfast option. My kids ask for a “waffle with cream, please!” just like other kids ask for a bowl of cereal, scrambled eggs, or oatmeal.

I do not know how we got here.

I’d like to blame my mother (sorry, Mom!) but I know the real truth is that the real culprit is my children’s mother. It happened, I admit, because of a quality I did inherit from my mom, a quality I lean into and get so much joy from — I love to delight my kids.

And so one innocent morning, I decided to introduce my kids to the luxury of warmed, simple carbohydrates piled high with Reddi-wip. They loved it. They kept asking for it and I keep buying it. 

And now, here we are. We’re a waffle-with-cream family.

This week I decided that the absolute LEAST we could do is spread a little peanut butter atop the waffle before smothering it in Reddi-wip.

“Peanut butter and whipped cream is one of the world’s most delicious combinations!” I told the kids as I coated the waffle with a thin layer of peanut butter and willed a full day’s nutrition into that brave spread.

Anna took a few bites of the delicious waffle and announced, “I’m full! I need a wipe!” and tiptoed to me with her cream-coated fingers in the air.

As I wiped her sticky fingers and chin she said, “Now I want a waffle with cream.”

“But I thought you said you were full?” I wondered, already knowing that my kids lied about being full so freely that I wasn’t even sure they knew what the phrase meant.

“I’m full of that waffle. Now I want a normal waffle, only cream,” she said.

I looked flatly at my daughter, fingers still raised above her head as she twirled on her tiptoes, the entire world at her command.

“What’s it like to be you?” I asked with a bit of sarcasm but also wondering how she’d answer.

She didn’t hesitate. She twirled around and looked at me with raised eyebrows and a trace of whipped cream on her upper lip, “GOOD!”

Then she twirled back to the table and, once more for good measure, she said, “Waffle! With cream!”


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