I thought Sissy was the slowest eater on the history of the planet until I had Piper. Breakfast can be a two hour ordeal. They linger. They chat. They solve the world’s problems. As long as we never have any other plans in our life beyond two hour meals, the long eat isn’t a huge a problem. It’s annoying, for sure. They aren’t unhappy at meal time. They love meal time. But, alas, the school day beckons. Work won’t wait. There are things beyond our breakfast table.
Over the years I’ve tried a variety of strategies to hurry the process. Charts. Stickers. Mean looks. Threats. A timer. My remedies shorten the meal length to a reasonable amount…for awhile…but then the minutes start creeping up again. We joke that one day their breakfast will run into their lunch which will run into their dinner. The girls think this is hilarious. It doesn’t dissuade them at all.
You can imagine that after the first hour my patience can run thin. Like it did tonight. I pulled out my least effective parenting trick: the bribe.
“I’m setting the timer for five minutes. When it goes off, your plates will be inspected. If you’re not done, there’s no dessert.”
I’d made blondies last night, so they knew what was on the line.
Sissy watched the timer and threw down her salad. At ten seconds she triumphantly stood, cleared her plate, and loaded it into the dishwasher.
Beep. Beep. Beep.
Piper glanced up at the clock, picked up another red pepper, and said,
“I don’t care about dessert anyway. I only care about love. Love doesn’t have a timer.”