Saturday morning. 8:45 am. I’m standing in front of the stove starting the dealings of breakfast. Alonzo, my 4 year-old human version of Curious George, walks in.
“Mami, I want oatmeal,” he declares.
“Not today, sweety. I’m making farina.” I brace myself for the torrent of whining that is about to unfold.
“Nooooooo! I want oatmeal!” Of course, I cannot possibly convey tone on paper, but perhaps you can imagine it: that little voice that acquires an extra high pitch and a bit of a nasal quality when in “complaining mode.” It sneaks in through the back of your head and affects your cerebellum. That primitive part of the brain that wants to solve everything by smacking it with a stick. The feeling is exacerbated by constant repetitions of the phrase and increased “whinyness”. I stand strong, breathe deep and proceed with creamy wheat, ignoring the increasing desperation of my son.
Suddenly, he turns silent. Sudden silence is usually NOT a good sign. I lift my eyes from the stove for one second, fearing an overflow of farina if I distract for too long (note: that happens practically every day). Alonzo is staring at the cupboard. I see blue reflected in his eyes accompanied by a triumphant mischievous look.
“Mami, I want Oreos!!!” He gets down from the chair to go get them.
“No,” I say before he takes one step. “Oreos are NOT breakfast.” I breathe deep again. This one will be worse. I’m sure!
“Nooooooooooooooooooooooo! I want Oreos!” Alonzo has absolute determination in his eyes. I’m in for a battle of gargantuan proportions.
Ommmmmmm. I try a wee bit of yoga breathing to help my case and focus on the farina. I hear my son continue his plea. It grows into desperation. After hearing that Oreos are not breakfast for the 20th time, he decides to change his approach; walks over to me and employs the “adorable son routine.” Imagine the puppy sad face, mixed with a charming little smile and accompanied by “Mami, te amo” (mommy I love you) in the most endearing tone possible. I’m screwed! The immovable wall of defense cracks and Alonzo knows it. He walks over to the cupboard again and points at the Oreos with a triumphant smile. I’ve lost! I know it. He knows it. 100% mommy fail!
I try to contain the smile that threatens to ruin my strong determined mommy face. I fail. Alonzo declares he is about to grab the Oreos. I concede with a nod and bow my head in shame. Two seconds later he hands me the mini Oreo bag so I will open it. (I’m so weak!).
“Gracias, mami. Te amo.” The words say one thing, but the meaning feels more like: “You silly little woman. Did you really think you could resist?”
Obviously I couldn’t.