Here’s how it goes. The instructions from my four-year-old on how to prepare her breakfast.
Mommy: Do you want cereal, oatmeal, or an English muffin?
Daughter: English muffin.
Sounds simple enough. But no, no it’s not. Daughter tells me she wants it in threes. Threes?
Mommy: What? Like, cut into threes?
Daughter: Yes, and I want cream and peanut butter.
Cream. That’s short for cream cheese. Somehow in her crazy realm of developing language, the name was shortened. It’s the opposite of our Saturday ritual: pancake waffles. They’re really just waffles. Why the word pancake was added, I’m not sure.
Mommy: Okay, so half peanut butter, half cream, and cut into threes.
Daughter nods. I pull out the toaster and insert the muffin. I use the bagel setting, because I’m fancy like that. The bread just toasts better. Try it at home. You’ll see.
Daughter: Mommy. I said I wanted an English muffin.
Forgive me for not having the intuition to sense you wanted this particular breakfast on this particular day so I could rush downstairs first thing this morning to start preparing it. I would have set my alarm three minutes before the time I thought you’d get up, even though you wake up anytime between 6 and 7 am each day. My bad.
Mommy: Did you hear the toaster pop?
Mommy: There it is!
Daughter: In a star. Peanut butter, cream, peanut butter, cream.
This is my fault. Once, after I cut her muffin into fours like a reasonable person, I positioned the sections on her plate so that the unoccupied middle of the plate looked like a star. It was kind of pretty, actually.
Now I have to do this. Every. Single. Time.
Mommy: Okay. Half peanut butter, half cream, cut into threes and in a star. Got it.
My masterpiece is finished and placed in front of my daughter on the table. Thankfully, she eats it and she eats it in silence.
Now it’s time to make everyone’s lunches.