I had the pleasure of reading this hilarity from McSweeney’s Internet Tendency thanks to my favorite sister-in-law Erin. I highly recommend it for anyone who dabbles in the meditative-chakra-Non GMO-fermented-bountiful universe-wheatgrass smoothie lifestyle. I felt that a response to this article was necessary in the form of how perfect our family is. Specifically regarding the act of our perfect parenting and positive thinking.
At 5:30 in the morning, I breathe deeply through my nose as a 5 year old human, named Milan, taps my forehead. The perfect alarm clock. While she claps her hands at me to signal feeding time at the zoo, I spring out of bed and blissfully stroll to the kitchen for breakfast prep. I attribute the fact that my daughter treats me like a trained circus animal to our reverse-helicopter parenting approach. Let them run free and reap what you sow!
To start the day off on the right foot I begin to scramble 3 farm fresh, cage free, extra happy, unvaccinated eggs from chickens that roam the alpine pastures of Switzerland. Mid-scramble, the male half of our 4 year old twins – Hendrick – appears. In typical fashion, he is grinning ear-to-ear and gives me a warm hug followed by his morning refrain “Good morning Daddy, I love you, I would like rice, apple fritters and kale chips for breakfast.” To which I reply “Morning CHAMP! You got it!” During this exchange with my son, Milan is informing me that she will be having meatballs and porridge for her morning meal.
As I pull out the leftover rice and kale chips along with the ingredients to make apple fritters, the leftover meatballs and porridge, Hendrick’s female half – Maren – arrives from her slumber with a freshly brushed head of hair and a smile. Helpfully, she carries a chair from the kitchen table and places it against the counter to assist in meal prep. As she accidentally drives a metal chair leg into my left pinkie toe, I drop the meatball container, open side down. Bending over to pick it up, I smile and say “Oops! Looks like daddy’s toe is broken and the meatballs are light on sauce! I’ll have to be more careful next time!” It’s important that you behave how you want your children to behave. Some parents might swear like a sailor and collapse on the floor in a puddle of frustration. Not me! Do as I say AND as I do!
Maren then climbs up on to the counter top to search the cabinets for her stuffed cat and to pull down our freshly roasted Mesopotamian Abakundakawa whole bean coffee. Setting the half scrambled eggs, rice, apples, flour, sugar, milk, salt, baking soda, kale chips, meatballs, porridge and cinnamon aside for the moment, we all team up to create the coffee. Encouraging your children to help you cook is a wonderful family bonding opportunity while also reinforcing healthy eating habits! Suddenly, Hendrick asks me where the ice cream is he requested. I pause (to reflect on my abundance) and reply “Sorry sport, I must have forgotten that. Coming right up!” It’s at this point that Hendrick and Milan clasp hands, in between my legs, and begin to sing The Sound of Music with Maren sitting on the counter clapping and humming.
We all politely take turns with the hand-crank bean grinder until the coffee is just so. You can’t rush perfection at 5:45 am! Placing a carefully measured liter of pristine artesian water that is sourced from a remote Pacific island on the stove to boil, I turn my attention back to the food menu. Staring at what some might call a mess on the counter (parenting hint: we call it FUN!) for a few moments, Milan breaks my reverie by noting that she too would like ice cream plus a piece of bread with cream cheese to go along with her breakfast. Not even having to prompt Maren, I learn she has changed her mind and wants to only have a bowl of sour cream. Hendrick would eat a shoe if you put in front of him so no change to his order. You don’t ever want to say “No” to children lest they develop an inferiority complex. Everybody wins in our house, just like in real life!
After delivering 3 platters of food to my smiling offspring I head back to the kitchen and decide I’ll take those eggs and have myself a scramble. First I head out to our balcony and pluck fresh thyme from our family garden for my famous breakfast sausage. Next, I set up the meat grinder to mix up my secret blend of 48% heritage turkey from a farm that gives each bird a herb massage every night before bed, 49% Wessex Saddleback swine (they’re VERY fat) and 3% Suri llama to ensure the children are receiving a nice dose of conjugated linoleic acid. This process of grinding sausage before breakfast on a Monday morning just before 6 is a critical part of my vigilant mindfulness.
With the sausage blend half hanging out of the grinder, Maren decides the sour cream is in fact yogurt and no longer edible, Hendrick gives me the news he has finished going to the bathroom and requires wiping assistance and Milan begins to quiz me on French vocabulary while correcting my pronunciation. Sensing an opportunity to practice perfect parenting I joyfully show Maren the sour cream container, practice my foreign language accent and skip to the bathroom for the first ass wiping of the day.
Upon my return to the kitchen I find Maren with just underwear and socks on, decorating her stuffed cat with the partially mixed raw sausage and Milan singing Call Me Maybe on the fantastic battery powered microphone she received from Santa Claus. Although she has the volume currently set to Ear Splitting, I remember never to use the word “No” and instead reframe my initial thought into positive reinforcement!
As I ponder what I’m trying to accomplish in the kitchen, Hendrick returns from his bathroom adventure wearing only a shirt. I ask him what happened to his underpants and he nonchalantly tells me “They got poop on them”. “Okie dokie!” I say, “Have a seat and finish up your breakfast big guy!” As the clock strikes 6 am, Sarah arrives in the kitchen with a look of utter amazement on her face. I don’t know what she is more impressed with – Hendrick standing up with no undies on eating his sister’s porridge, Maren using raw meat like Play-Doh or Milan rattling the windowpanes in musical bliss. So I give her a big hug, smile broadly and tell her I’m going to get in the shower.