Getting Out the Door in the Morning: Am I Sabotaging Myself?

Around 8:15 each morning, I’m running between the bathroom and the kitchen, putting on my makeup, cleaning up the breakfast mess, and urging Mason to get a move on.

Mason, come on, it’s time to go play with your friends at school! Let’s put your shoes and socks on. Meanwhile, Mason continues to zoom around the apartment on his Bat Mobile, completely ignoring me (pictured, left).

Five minutes pass.

Boo boo, time to get your shoes and socks on! Let’s go! Now he’s crawling around on the kitchen floor with his buses, making zooming noises. He pauses, looks up and gives me a huge grin. Then he turns his attention right back to his toys.

Five more minutes pass.

Mason (voice pleading) we’re running late, c’mon, let’s go!

He starts inching toward the door where he shoes are, but his eyes are still glued to his toy cars.

Mason! Would you like a time out? Shoes! Now!

He hops over to the door, helps me put his shoes on, then runs down the hall to the elevator. I trudge behind him, schlepping the stroller and my bag, frustrated that we’re behind schedule once again.

Of course lots of moms have the same experience every day. I met up with a group of friends at a local Mexican restaurant last night–a rare mom’s night out–and we talked about our crazy mornings. One of the women mentioned that her son is starting preschool next week and she’s looking for some ways to simplify her morning routine to get everyone out the door on time.

I shared with her that I still hadn’t figured out any solutions, even though Mason’s been in school now for a year. Breakfast can take up to 45 minutes. If it’s the high chair that’s stressing you out, why don’t you just get rid of it in the morning? she said. Give him something he can eat on the go!

She had a good point. If breakfast is our biggest time suck, why aren’t I making changes to remedy the problem? This morning I pulled together something Mason could take on the train with us–cut up fruit and whole-grain cereal–and gave it to him. He looked at it, looked at me and then ran over to his high chair and said Toast! Apple!  So I fed him PB&J toast (his favorite) with some fruit and  milk. Twenty minutes later than I had hoped, we finally got out the door.

Did I make a mistake by scraping my plans and catering to his demands? Or did I do the right thing? Is it just a matter of changing my mindset and accepting that having a  crazed morning is part of being a mom?

Snapshot from Breakfast This Morning

Mason loves to rub food into his hair while he’s eating. I have no idea why. It’s totally strange. But something about it makes him very happy, so we roll with it! And we take lots of pics.

This morning he mugged for the camera with a bowl on top of his head; it was filled with Cheerios until he dumped them out on his tray. His little face is covered with jam because his “real” breakfast was a PB&J cinnamon-raisin bagel (he only wanted the cereal after he saw daddy eating it). Remember how enamored Mason was with the tiny Os when he was first tried them at school?

There’s a pic of him wearing his French toast during Father’s Day brunch last Sunday on the High Chair Times Facebook page. I’d love to see more of your favorite messy food photos with your kid–the last round was awesome! Share them on FB today.

Granola My Tot Loves

Mason finally likes granola. In the past, he’s refused to eat it, the texture seemed to bother him. But he stuck his little fingers in my dish while I was snacking on it last night, and helped himself.

I was eating gluten-free Kind Healthy Grains Oats and Honey Clusters, so I’m wondering if maybe there was something a bit different about this granola’s texture since it’s gluten-free? No idea. But this stuff might be worth a shot if your tot has rejected granola in the past.

Granola can be a great source of whole-grains such as oats, and some granola also has Omega 3-rich flaxseed. And it makes a great topper for yogurt.

*Note: I do not accept compensation for product coverage. If I blog about a product that my family has personally enjoyed, it’s done purely as a service to my readers.

Photo: Kind Healthy Snacks

Best Gluten-Free Raisin Bread

As an editor, I get samples in the mail all the time. It’s impossible to write about everything, so I only cover the stuff that’s really delish. Enter Canyon Bakehouse’s Gluten-Free Raisin Bread, the latest foodstuff to arrive in my mail.

We’ve been in a breakfast rut, so I was psyched to try something new. I toasted a few slices of bread with a little cream cheese for breakfast yesterday since Mason finally woke up fever-free. No sense having him try something when he’s sick and not in the mood to eat.

The bread was moist and soft, not dry and crumbly like so many GF baked goods. And it wasn’t greasy either (some bakers put extra fat into their breads to try to combat the dryness). Toasted, it was chewy with delicious sweetness from the cinnamon and raisins. I absolutely loved every bite–and so did Mason. It was one of the rare times that I wasn’t crawling around his highchair picking up scraps of whatever he was eating after the meal was over. Bug isn’t gluten-free, but he eats a lot of GF products since I am–and he definitely knows what he likes!

You can pick up a loaf at Whole Foods, or order it online, if you’d like to try it. We’ll definitely be stocking up on it in our household.


*Note: I do not accept compensation for product coverage. If I blog about a product that my family has personally enjoyed, it’s done purely as a service to my readers.

Photo: Canyon Bakehouse

Gluten-Free French Toast From Your Freezer

Lately we’ve been in a breakfast rut. I feel like we’ve always eating some combination of these breakfast ideas or muffins, and Mason seems as bored with our staples as I am. This morning I decided to make, er, heat up frozen, gluten-free French toast sticks that I discovered the last time I was at the grocery store. They toasted up crisp and were lightly spiced with cinnamon. I added a little bit of organic maple syrup…delish! Even Mason ate almost his entire serving. They’re not a replacement for homemade French toast, which we’ll keep making on the weekends, but they’re a great solution for us on busy weekday mornings. Yum!

What are your go-to breakfast ideas for weekday mornings?

1st Day of Daycare: Off He Goes After a Breakfast of Crepes

schoolMason, taking in his surroundings on his first day of daycare

This was it. The big transition that I had been both looking forward to and dreading for weeks was finally here: Mason’s first day of daycare. I woke up at 6:30 this morning and dashed into the shower. If I can get my hair washed before he wakes up then I’m in good shape. If he’s already up then it will be 30 minutes before I can get into the bathroom, which means we’ll probably be late. I was in and out of the shower in less than 15 minutes; Mason started crying for me just as I finished wrapping my hair in a towel.  We whipped through his morning bottle, diaper change, and outfit change, then it was breakfast time — my favorite time of morning. For Mason’s First Day of Daycare Breakfast, he enjoyed a crepe filled with ham, Swiss cheese, and egg with a side of fresh cantaloupe.

I can’t take credit for making the crepe, it was left over from dinner last night. (There were no kiddie meals on the menu, so his plate was filled with two gigantic crepes with a mixed green salad.) Bug and I were both stir crazy from being in the house all day, with the exception of a few trips to our rooftop deck, so I took him to Cafe Henri, where he had his first birthday dinner. He enjoyed a crepe and diced tomatoes topped with scallions, while I dined on mussels with saffron sauce and frites. He washed it all down with whole milk, I opted for sparkling water. Bug was so happy to be out that he dazzled the other restaurant patrons with lots of smiles and giggles. It was a wonderful night, and I fell even more in love with my little boy.

cafehenriMason, waiting for his crepes to arrive for dinner at Cafe Henri

We were out the door by 8:15 this morning. The commute was quite a workout — 6 sets of stairs + a 5-block-walk uphill with 18 lbs of toddler strapped to me, a diaper bag, a laptop, and a purse — but we made it. I felt relieved to see other parents going through the same plight on the subway this morning. In his classroom, I put him down on the rug and he looked around, totally bewildered. After a few minutes he crawled over to me and lifted up his arms. I picked him up, kissed the top of his head, and carried him over to a stack of books. He flipped through one for a minute and then noticed two little boys playing with a pile of toys in the corner. He put the book down and crawled over to play with them. Five minutes there and already Bug was making new friends.

I didn’t linger, even though I wanted to. I took the advice Mandy posted on the High Chair Times Facebook page on Tuesday and slipped out the door without making a fuss. Bug was happy and I didn’t want to make my departure traumatic for him. I walked to work and felt a little empty inside, but I didn’t cry. The other parents had been super supportive and kind, as well as sweet to Mason, which reinforced the good feeling we had when we first visited the daycare. Plus, I need to get used to and accept these changes. My boy is growing up and this is the first of many milestones to come. Our breakfasts together will become even more important, and I’m going to make the most of that time by getting up early and trying new recipes with him. First up: Gingered-Banana Crepes, which I’ll make this weekend. What did your babe eat for breakfast this morning? Did he/she try anything new?