Me:”You can’t have butter & Nutella on toast!” 7yo:”Who are you, the judger?” M:"YES, I am THE JUDGER!” 7:”I so shouldn’t have said that!"
Making your own breakfast. That's a bit of a right of passage in our house. I simply don't have the time to tidy up after the carnage left by the children when the do things themselves. We therefore run a system of them telling me what they would like as they shower, I get it ready while they dress. They arrive, once dressed, to find it on the table waiting for them.
Works well, generally.
We did have the morning, quite early on when J arrived in the kitchen to find our then 2 year old daughter had pulled a chair over to the kitchen counter, placed a slice of bread in the toaster and was watching it intently.
"What are you doing?" A slightly panicked J asked.
"Making toast!" Our daughter replied, in the tone and with the look of someone who had just been asked the most obvious question on the planet.
Yesterday our seven year old son was insistent that he should be able to prepare his own breakfast. His choice, toast with chocolate spread. Nothing could go wrong with that now, could it?
I keep the jar of chocolate spread in the fridge, so therefore warm it up in front of the kick board fan heater to make it more easily spreadable before use. This therefore makes the glass jar hot. I told our son that, he didn't hear it.
"Ow, that's hot, are you trying to burn me?" He accused.
"No, I told you it was hot!" I replied
"You should put a warning sign on it." Since when did he become Mr Health & Safety? Good job J had already gone to work, he is Mr Health & Safety.
Seven year old son offered to also spread his sister's toast with chocolate spread too. Consequently she had the thinnest layer of chocolate possible spread on her piece, whereas our son appeared to be having some toast with his chocolate spread.
It's not hard to imagine the wails of indignation from our daughter at the inequitable distribution of chocolate spread.
"You don't need any more than that, it's bad for your teeth," our son told her.
"Hang on," I intervened, "how come you have so much then?"
"My teeth are older and it's actually very good for you because it has nuts and milk in it. The advert said so." Our son relying on his well deserved reputation as family TV advertising expert.
"Rubbish," I wasn't having any of it. "And don't lick the knife, that's an enormous glob, put some more on your sister's toast," I insisted.
"This is left over, you always say it's dirty to put it back in the jar," our son has an answer for everything.
Clearing up once I had taken our son to school was interesting. Chocolate spread was secreted in places it shouldn't be. On the tv remote, under the table, on the fridge door handle. My cleaning abilities were stretched by the need, sleuth like, to discover locations to which the gooey chocolate could have spread.
This morning the exercise was repeated. However our son wanted a bagel rather than toast.
He would would't he?
You see, someone, whose name begins with a letter between I and L in the alphabet, had used the one remaining bagel last night and so I had to get some from the freezer.
"The bagels are frozen," I told our son, "I'll defrost one,"
"How will you do that?" He asked, looking perplexed.
"In the microwave," I shrugged.
"You can't use the microwave," our little boy was looking genuinely alarmed now.
"I can try, " I was up for the challenge.
"I'm scared. You could set light to us all. I'll have toast." I was touched by that vote of confidence from our son.
Having prepared toast for the children, I was determined the process of condiment spreading would be more controlled this morning.
Our son was looking for a double hit this morning however, getting the butter from the fridge alongside the appropriately warmed chocolate spread.
"You can't have butter and chocolate spread on the toast," I reprimanded.
Son was in defiant mode: "Why not? Who are you? The judger?"
Aha! I had my opening.
In my best cod American voice-over accent, bass voice booming, I came back at him: "YES! I am the JUDGER!"
Our son knew his mistake and that this was a position he could not recover from, head in hands he said, "Oh, I so shouldn't have said that."
"Come on, eat your breakfast, I am the JUDGER!"
Our son groaned audibly.
Breakfast passed with more of the same. "Time to go and brush your teeth," I said, "I AM THE JUDGER!"
"How long is this going on for?" Our son blanched. He has learnt to hate this kind of thing, it could run and run.
"Do NOT question me, FOR, I AM THE JUDGER!"
"Oh great," our son sloped towards the door as our daughter entered.
"Daddy," she said, "can I have a juice please?"
"I am no longer Daddy," I replied, "FOR, I AM THE JUDGER!"
Our daughter is three, going on thirteen. She looked me up and down. Shrugged. "OK, Juggler, can I have a juice please?"
Argh! A reversal at the moment of victory! Our son visibly brightened. "Ha! Brilliant. Juggler! Inspired!"
And so our children left to clean their teeth sharing, as usual, their joint triumph over their hapless father.