My four-year-old son is not big on breakfast. We’ve struggled to find a food that inspires him to eat in the morning.
During the week, I’m gone before he gets up, but I was able to persuade him to eat a pancake some weekend mornings. When we could find bacon on sale, we might add that to the pancake breakfast. He developed quite a taste for the bacon.
Eventually, his palate tired of the pancakes, but he sensed that they were necessary baggage to his enjoyment of bacon. Unfortunately for him, we are most often without bacon. Sure, it tastes wonderful, but it’s pretty expensive for a food whose main purpose is to clog your heart with goo. Lacking bacon, our morning conversations go like this:
ME: “Would you like me to make you a pancake for breakfast?”
BOY: “If there’s bacon, I’ll have a pancake and bacon. Otherwise, I don’t want a pancake.”
ME: “How about a pancake and bacon, with no bacon?”
BOY: “No. I’ll just have a pancake with bacon.”
It’s rare that I can sell a pancake without bacon anymore.
The last time we had bacon, we were all sitting around the breakfast table, discussing his upcoming birthday. “I think I want bacon for my birthday,” the boy declared. “I want bacon instead of cake.” His mother and I like bacon too; if he wants us to spend the cake money on bacon, that’s fine with us. We shrugged and said it was okay.
That must have seemed too easy, so he made sure we understood. “The bacon is instead of cake. It’s not my present.” Bacon is delicious, but it’s still only food. Food is not an appropriate birthday present for a boy who has seen the wonders housed within the magical walls of Toys R Us.
Later, as we drove to get groceries, the boy piped up from the back seat with another bolt from the blue:
BOY: “Daddy, I think I’ll need a bow tie, if I’m gonna go anywhere fancy.”
BOY: “Yeah. Not one that you have to tie. Just one that you snap on.”
ME: “Where are you going that’s fancy?”
BOY: “I don’t know, but just in case I do.”
I hope he wasn’t envisioning his birthday party as a black tie affair, because bacon and ice cream don’t really wear well on a tux. Besides, if he wants to look like a junior Orville Redenbacher, he’s going to have to finance that fashion statement on his own.
At the end of our shopping trip, we passed through the bakery section of the store. The boy stopped and gazed through the glass at all the sweet treats. “Well, I think I do really want a cake instead of bacon for my birthday,” he said.
“How about a cake shaped like bacon?” his mother asked.
“No. I want it to look like an army vehicle.”
Oh well. Bacon was starting to sound good, but I like cake too.