A Big Family Means A Big Breakfast, A Big Mess, and A Big Time Commitment

Hungry Kid!
He may look little and cute, but this kid can EAT!

This morning I made french toast for my boys. Luckily they were, “not that hungry,” as one of them put it. The day was such a blur I am not even sure which one it was! 😉

French toast and chocolate milk for the five of them and me this morning meant we used a gallon and a half of milk, almost two full loaves of “giant” size bread, a dozen eggs, and I cannot tell you how much cinnamon (Although some of that may be because Kaleb helped by sprinkling it pretty much everywhere).

I wouldn’t even attempt to measure the amount of syrup my sugar addicted children ingested or attempt to discuss the fact that Troy made a large batch of cinnamon and sugar to pour over his french toast before adding syrup – like it wouldn’t be sweet enough with just the lakes of syrup he adds???

Feeding these kids costs a small fortune, and some days I cringe over the thought of what our food bill will be in a few years when I have four hungry teenagers and a 7 year old! God help us if they bring friends who want to eat too!

Child support does not come close to covering the cost of care for the boys, but there is something else I wish divorce judges realized about feeding big families:  It takes an incredible amount of time to prepare that much food and another large chunk of time to clean up the mess involved.

Our kitchen was spotless – okay maybe that’s a stretch, but it was tidy when I began making the french toast, but by the time I was done it was trashed. Syrup had spilled and mixed nicely with the cinnamon in a path from stove to table. Dishes piled up in the sink (yes, the boys do bring their own dishes to the sink!) Glasses scattered across the table. I can get them to bring their plates, but all five of them have mental blocks when it comes to bringing their glasses over. I’ve given up on that one. Choose your battles, ladies!

By the time everyone else had been fed, I pushed some stuff aside and sat down at the table, hungry and already tired. Only a few of the boys were left. The others had run off to play. Again, I find it somewhat surprising that I am not even sure who was sitting with me.

I ate my french toast, sipped my much-needed coffee (light with at least 3 sugars. Maybe I should consider the origin of the boys’ sugar addiction) and ignored the loud but good-natured ribbing that was already well under way so early in the morning.

I finished eating but could not face the mess right away.

I sat eating and blocking out the mess for about 20 minutes, and I had just poured my second cup of coffee when Noah bounced back into the kitchen.

He had been the first to eat; 5 slices of French toast was his reported number this morning. Last week the two of us were home alone and he ate 16 average size pancakes – seriously! He was fine after, but I had to lay down for a bit! He definitely counts how much he’s eaten. They all do. Eating is like some sort of sick competition between boys that I just don’t get. I gain weight watching them and wish I had their metabolism!

So as I was pouring my second cup of coffee, Noah bounced into the kitchen as his usually perky self. He started touching things, not really saying anything, but just generally getting in my way.

Finally exasperated, I turned to him and asked, “Is there something I can do for you?”

He put on his big old cutie pie smile that I just cannot resist and asked, “What’s for lunch? I’m starving!”

I thought of the judge who reigns over my court case and wondered what he was doing this morning. How many slices of French toast he had prepared. I wondered if he was pushing things on his counter top aside because he hadn’t cleaned up breakfast yet but his kids were already asking for lunch.

I guessed he probably wasn’t. I also guessed he didn’t have a clue about the amount of time parenting a large family really takes even on these easy days.

I guessed from the innocent and expectant look on Noah’s face that he didn’t have a clue that this time I would resist his cutie pie face. “Sorry kid,” I thought, “I know you ate a while ago, but I just finished breakfast, so lunch is on hold. You will survive.”

As I write this, I am just now remembering that I took George to his soccer game not long after Noah had asked for lunch, and I don’t think I ever did actually feed him that lunch – oops!

Lucky for Noah (and all of us) my mom came by and bought us an early pizza dinner.

Now if I could only find time to clean up those pizza boxes!

God Bless…

1 thought on “A Big Family Means A Big Breakfast, A Big Mess, and A Big Time Commitment”

  1. Pingback: Waiting in Family Court | Single Mom Smiling: Life can be rough, but it's a whole lot of fun too...when you have faith!

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