Can I Not Have Kix, Please?

This morning, Shane got up early. He caught me as I was going downstairs to make Dylan’s breakfast – and he was already showered, dressed and ready for school.

“Mom, can you make my breakfast in like two minutes?” he asked politely. “I got up when Dylan’s alarm went off and for some reason I couldn’t go back to sleep even though I was exhausted.”

(Dylan’s alarm goes off 45 minutes before Dylan gets out of bed. It sounds like an air raid siren. The fact that Shane only woke up today because of Dylan’s alarm is surprising.)

“Sure, Buddy,” I said to Shane. “I’ll get it ready right away.”

Downstairs, the dishwasher was clean – still. It had been clean since the previous afternoon, and no one else had emptied it, so the sink was full of dirty dishes. I had to make two breakfasts and two school lunches in less than 15 minutes.

I planned to make an omelet for Dylan, with onions and bacon. Shane won’t eat eggs, so I planned cereal and bacon for him.

But when Shane came downstairs, I was barely finishing Dylan’s breakfast, and grabbed the bacon for Shane. Then – since Dylan still wasn’t downstairs (ten minutes late…) I started to put cereal in a bowl for Shane.

I pulled a giant box of Kix out of the cupboard. It’s not his favorite cereal, but we were almost out of Oatmeal Squares and Cracklin’ Oat Bran, which are some of his favorites.

“Can I not have Kix, please?” Shane asked.

And I lost it.

“SURE!” I yelled, tossing the Kix to the side and spilling it everywhere. “Let me just get you something ELSE for breakfast!” I grabbed the Oatmeal Squares and dumped enough cereal in the bowl to feed four children.

“HERE!” I bellowed, throwing down the bowl in front of Shane. “Have THIS cereal instead!”

I gave him just enough milk to make the top two squares wet. The carton was almost empty. “And get your own milk if you don’t have enough!” I snapped. “You’re 13 years old! You certainly can put your own cereal and milk in a bowl!”

To clarify, in case there is any misunderstanding, Shane nearly always makes his own breakfast. He has been feeding himself since about the third grade. But today he asked me to make him breakfast early, and somehow – the tiniest thing out of whack caused me to go completely over the edge.

A few minutes later, I was upstairs folding all the laundry that had been waiting to be folded since last Friday – sheets, pillowcases, towels, washcloths, table wipes and reusable lunch bags. I was out of town this weekend, but my husband couldn’t be bothered to fold any of it. I was grumbling to myself about my miserable plight – a husband who was home this weekend, who threw all the clean stuff into a basket then ignored it – when I realized that I might have been a bit hard on Shane. Obviously, something else was bothering me.

“Sorry I have been yelling at you all morning,” I told him a few minutes later. “I have a lot to do today and I could use a hug.”

Shane gave me a hug.

And then I started my day – my very, very, very busy day – over again.

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