Life is busy! I remember thinking I was busy back before kids. If I had a time machine, I’d go back in time and laugh right in my face every single time I thought life was too busy. It would be a good reminder not to waste my time, and present me would get a good cathartic laugh every day! So, with life running a thousand miles an hour, do you have times specifically set aside for bonding time with the kids? I do. And it was an unexpected surprise.
FTC Disclaimer: I have partnered with Life of Dad and Cheerios for this campaign, but the opinions and noms are my own.
Mornings are hectic around this house. Yes, I know that most mornings are hectic in most houses, especially in the school year. Breakfast is one of the most divisive meals of the day. Our schools offer breakfast in the morning. I have one kid who loves yogurt and they serve yogurt and granola every morning, so he wants to eat there. My oldest has two or three things they make that he likes, but they don’t make them all every day. So, about half the time he wants to eat breakfast at home.
This means that while we’re getting them ready to go, we’ve got to cram breakfast in really quickly for one while trying to get out of the door early enough to get the other one to school in time for breakfast there. It can be trying…to say the least.
I know, I know…you’re thinking “But, you said we’d be talking about bonding with our kids, not running around like a moose with his head cut off!”
Moose, really? Odd. Most people would have said ‘chicken’. But hey, it was your thought, not mine. I don’t judge.
We get the kids out the door, bike to school, get them fed in the ‘cafeteria rush’ manner and get them off to school.
Obviously, I can’t bond with the kids during that time, so we’ll just skip it. In fact, let’s just fast forward to evenings.
Mom helps with homework, dad helps with stories and PJ’s. It’s our system and it works pretty well. Except when it doesn’t. Sometimes, the train jumps the tracks and we crash into the woods trying to salvage bed times. When those times happen, those are the times that I try to make a special attempt to bond with the little dudes.
And it all started back when my oldest was just a little bitty baby. After our first was born, I took it upon myself to help out at night as much as humanly possible. Which meant my wife could get some much needed sleep. One night, Little Man was inconsolable. His diaper was fine. Everything was fine, he was just mad and didn’t want to go to sleep.
In the dark of night, I carried him into the kitchen. Illuminated by the dim light of the microwave oven, I mixed him up a small bowl of rice cereal with a splash of apple juice. He quieted down and the two of us sat in total silence eating a bowl of cereal. Tummy full, he was ready for bed again. It became a thing after awhile. I called it “Super Secret Bednight Snack”. When he would get fussy at night I would walk in and ask “You want some Super Secret?” If he quieted down, I knew he was hungry. So we’d pad to the kitchen just the two of us sharing a bowl of cereal, just the dudes.
Fast forward to our second son. Once again, we dusted off the old “Super Secret Bednight Snack” and the boys were back in business! On a few occasions Littlest Man’s cries would wake up Little Man (who was two at the time) and the three of us would pad into the kitchen and whip up some “Super Secret”. It was our quiet time just the three of us, enjoying some stillness at the end of a hectic day.
Now, remember those hectic days I was talking about? Of course you do…that was like three minutes ago. I don’t get to sit with the boys in quiet much anymore. But, when our routine goes off the rails, a lot of times, it’s because they want one more snack before bed. I get calls for yogurt or because they are in season right now, raspberries or blueberries. I’m totally fine with those as a snack in the day. But I know my kids. They are messy. I don’t want to have to change PJ’s out because they raspberried the heck out of them. So, the other night they were clamoring for berries more than usual. I said no because of the mess and was met with a cacophony of whines and protests.
Until I held up the box of Very Berry Cheerios, that is. I got an enthusiastic “Okay! I’ll eat those!” from my youngest. I got an “Oh yum!” followed by some weird slurping noise he does when something sounds delicious from the older one. What can I say? Seven year olds are weird!
We poured up three bowls and sat at the table for a not quite so secret super secret bednight snack. My wife managed a picture of us before we shooed her off. This was our time. Just some quiet time with the dudes as we all shared a bowl of cereal in the dark of night. Tummies sated, they brushed up, we read a short story and it was all quiet on the bedtime front.
It wasn’t until we sat there eating cereal together that I was fully taken back to those days with an infant in one hand, a toddler in his ‘big boy chair’ and the peace that washed over us on those special nights. We’re going to have to do this a little bit more before they are too big or too cool to eat a late night snack with their old man. And I promise that I will never take another super secret bednight snack for granted again.
And, if you’re like me and hate having to clean raspberry juice out of clothes and your kids are calling for some berry taste, GOOD NEWS! Coming to a grocery story near you, Very Berry Cheerios. These things are so good! Living in Florida, I’ve grown to really dislike the artificial berry flavors. They just taste wrong. My boys don’t normally choose the fruit-flavored cereals for that reason. So, when I got sent a couple of boxes of Very Berry Cheerios to test drive, I was worried that boys wouldn’t like them. Not worried anymore! These things are amazing. Now, when he asks for berries at night, I can offer up Very Berry Cheerios and that does the trick.
No muss. No fuss. Just like Dad likes it! 😀
Also, Very Berry Cheerios is Gluten Free. No artificial flavors or colors from artificial sources. Whole grain oats are the first ingredient. Bonus!
These are coming soon! Want to learn more about them?
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Where do you like to eat cereal with your kids?