A 19-Step Guide for Parents of Young Children
1. Decide to get yourself a bowl of cereal. This is a big one. Without the conscious decision, it will never happen. You’ve got to approach this whole-heartedly, or the enormity of the task will overtake you, and you will decide it’s not worth the effort.
2. Get out of bed. Ignore the sounds coming from the other room (so as to avoid discouragement at the thought of trying to get a bowl of cereal with all that going on).
3. Put on a robe and glasses. The importance of this will become more obvious later, but yeah, you’re kids don’t really want to see you in your underwear.
4. Take a deep breath, and step out of the room. No seriously, take a deep breath. You’ll be glad you did. Just don’t let it out yet.
5. Change the youngest child’s diaper. Hence the need for the deep breath.
6. Run the dirty diaper outside to the trash. Now, aren’t you glad you put the robe on? Ignore the awkward glances coming from your neighbors. You may want to stand on the heater a few moments when you return to melt the snow between your toes.
7. Wash the bowl of the youngest child. The other kids will wash their own bowls, but not the littlest, and believe me, you don’t want to be eating cereal without supplying the youngest with a bowl of cereal, too.
8. Wash your spoon. I don’t know who got it out and soiled it, but there you have it.
9. Pour the kids some cereal. The order of pouring the cereal doesn’t matter, but the order of pouring the MILK is crucial. Make sure you get milk LAST. In fact, just to make sure, don’t get your milk yet. Just get everyone else’s. Oh, and don’t let the other kids pour their own milk, or it will be gone before you get any.
10. Let the dog out. You don’t want to miss this step.
11. Let the dog in. Potentially you could leave him out while you eat your cereal, but the excessive barking may upset your neighbors. It’s up to you on that one.
12. Pour your own milk. Now the countdown to sogginess begins, so before doing this one, make sure no extra steps have shown up that are waiting for your attention.
13. Put the milk and cereal away. If you don’t, both will be magically wasted and gone before you come back for more.
14. Ignore the incessant demands for bread for toast. The kids can finish their cereal before they make toast. Plus, you haven’t eaten anything yet.
15. Break up the fight between the two middle children. Give them a brief lecture about kindness.
16. Take your cereal in your bedroom. Unfortunately, this is also essential, unless you want 1, 2, or 19 more steps randomly showing up before you get to take the first bite.
17. LOCK THE DOOR. Otherwise step 15 will be useless.
18. Say your morning prayers. Ideally, this would be done before step 1, but if you’re like me, you forgot. Oh, well. That way you can ask a blessing on your meager breakfast at the same time.
19. Eat your cereal.