Boys Making Breakfast in 2019

A Mom Rings Out the Old Year

Rhonda Franz
Jan 8, 2019 · 6 min read

From a room away, I hear my three youngish boys making their own breakfast: clanking dishes and the hum of conversation which includes the phrase “hard liquor.”

(This is kind of funny to me since my husband and I aren’t drinkers, which might actually be why the boys latch onto talk about alcohol. I mean, I have a bottle of red wine in the refrigerator that’s been cooling its cork for two or three years. It gets sloshed in pasta sauce and other recipes. Once or twice a year, I pour a few ounces in a wine-like glass and see if drinking makes me feel like an adult. It doesn’t.)

It’s still winter break in our world, the interim days after Christmas and the new year but before school is back in session. My lively morning has included a workout, a chapter read, a breakfast, and a scroll through the Twitter feed before the house woke.

So far, peace on earth over yonder in the kitchen. I think those kids are making eggs.

The bell on 2019 rang. Some say we’ve turned the corner, started walking down a new street. Others say this whole January thing is arbitrary and that new beginnings — new seasons — can start whenever we decide.

In any case, the New Year Lists have published.

The Washington Post’s In/Out List is a fun read. Not to be taken too seriously, of course, but its curated trends of pop culture have at least some relevancy: something to go along with resolutions and new habits, if we’re into that sort of thing.

This list mentions that Redefining Masculinity is out and that Redefining Motherhood is in, something I’ll ponder as a mom with sons only. And with the background noise of utensils and click-click of the stovetop gas burner and child chatter, I wonder if micromanaging children is in or out. Right now, I’m not managing them, but in what state will I later find the kitchen? Eggs on the ceiling fan? A melted spatula?

There is no burning smell, so that’s a relief. This is Free Range Me: sitting in a different room, writing, oddly remaining physically uninvolved with the preparation of my children’s meal.

And then my youngest child walks in to me and asks if he can have a Sprite.

Back to those trends. I think getting rid of stuff is in more than ever, as I see that this year Marie Kondo has a new show. I couldn’t get on board with her book…too much taking time to swoon and adore and decide. I’ll try one episode, though, just to see what the fuss is about.

(Of course, that is precisely what I said in 2018 about the long-since-ended Downton Abbey. Nine months and two run-throughs of all the show’s seasons later, there are still umpteen repeated playbacks of my favorite scenes. Nine months and two {weeks}: that is what it took to grow each of these three boys.)

Cue: all the clothing. I am surprised to see that boot-cut jeans are (back) in. I knew they were out long ago, though I never stopped wearing them. Not necessarily one to follow the latest trends in apparel, I do pretty well these days wearing what looks good and fits well and is appropriately cute, I think, for someone not 22. (But also not 106.)

I check out “The 8 Most Important Trends of the Spring 2019 Season” by Vogue, published in October 2018. (The industry of fashion demands assignments be turned in well in advance.) Surprisingly, there are a few cute looks, along with the obligatory model in something that resembles an oversized, black lingerie dress with what appears to be a fringed lampshade on her head. Her shoes are bright red mini tire ramps, some fashion designer’s misguided take on the wedge heel, I presume. But hey, it wouldn’t be an adequate fashion piece without something no person on earth would actually wear on any day at any time for any reason other than a runway.

No list would be a list without mention of the food we eat. Reportedly, the Keto Diet will be replaced by a Beto Binge. I’m not sure to what “Beto” refers: Is that a person or an ingredient? I’m just over here wanting people to know what is the actual Ketogenic diet. I mean, if we’re going to use the phrase, let’s just show proper respect one of my graduate school research papers.

There’s the predicted trend of the Pegan Diet: I click and get excited to see a bowl of guacamole and a side of pumpkin seeds. It says to snack on such seeds (and nuts!), and I can handle that. But then I scroll to where it says, “ditch dairy,” as if the alliteration alone will make me obey.

Speaking of diet, these boys, are eating the egg-centered breakfast they made with their hands and only asking me a couple of things that have nothing to do with cooking. I’ve taught them something. Doing pretty good in Parentland, I guess. But I know full and fine well that patting myself on the back comes before mankind’s fall.

At least 2018 seems to have brought a new splash of independence among these brothers.

More New Year lists on the Internet promise that this coming year, I should watch out for these parenting trends:

  • Lawnmower Parenting: where moms and dads “mow down” obstacles for the kids. Well, that’s just another term for helicopter parenting. Moving on.
  • Gender Reveals Making An Exit: Please, let it be so.
  • Real Talk About Miscarriage: I’ve actually real-talked about this more among adults in recent years. I realize my husband and I should make sure our children know it is and that while their birth order will remain the same, their in-Mommy’s-tummy order is not what they’ve assumed.
  • Fed Up Parenting (household work and parent roles and such): hard pass.
  • Flip Phone Parenting: Intriguing. Flip phones making a comeback sounds right and proper to me, as much as my preteen having his own smartphone does not.

That preteen shows up and asks if he can have a juice box, reading to me the ingredients that include “real fruit” and “no added sugar.” He’s smart, albeit manipulative in his own sneaky, respectful way. (I’d like to point out here that my children do not get juice boxes from me; they get those from other people.)

My parenting trend — always on point — is that I worry about what others might think.

That will be enough for now of reading such lists. The words will come around again as I continue to clean up from hosting family over the holidays, returning the six pounds net gain on my body to the atmosphere, and muttering that I have too many clothing pieces — yet finding it hard to get rid of what I should. (Look here, Kondo: I love them all, those bootcuts included.)

Cheers and a toast to your 2019. (Non-alcoholic, of course. We do have Sprite.) I wish you joy among hardships and peace with trends you do not want — or need — to release.

I’m off to the kitchen. Wish me luck.

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