I don’t know who told him to say this, but I just wish he would stop saying it. I suspect that some well meaning speech therapist put the idea in his mind. I can almost hear her now, “are you feelin bored honey?” in that oh so soft American accent. Which of his three speech therapists would be the most likely culprit? Debatable. They’re all of that particular mindset. [translation = kindly and concerned] It's so hard to keep a track of the little mind bombs that other people set in your children's heads, once you permit them access to the outside world.
He stands before me, legs astride, clutching a cereal box to his chest, “I am bored honey!”
I am able to understand him of course, because I am his mother, but many people would not be able to understand this sentence. The words and syllables of the sentence run together and sound more like ‘Iyamboardhunny.’ There is no inflection. The tone is completely flat. He sounds like a robot, a very loud robot with the volume control button stuck in the on position. He repeats it three times, takes a breath and then repeats it three times again. “IyamboardhunnyIyamboardhunnyIyamboardhunny.” I have an overwhelming urge to separate the syllables and words with a clever, chop them all up, diced. He shakes the Cheerio’s box at me for emphasis.
At 6:05 in the morning, I am not really in entertainment mode, merely breakfast mode.
“Tell you what, howabout we have breakfast first and then we’ll do something together?”
“Yes I know you’re bored dear, but we’ll fill up our tummy’s first. Give us some energy to play!”
“IyamboardhunnyIyamboardhunnyIyamboardhunny.” He jumps up and down a bit.
“What would you like to do after breakfast? Shall we do some colouring? Painting? Playdough?” Always best to get the messy play out of the way first thing in the morning, as it gives you the opportunity of the rest of the day to attempt to clean it up. [translation = possibility a handy hint for someone]
“IyamboardhunnyIyamboardhunnyIyamboardhunny.” He squeezes the cereal packet to his chest. The pressure is collapsing the centre of the box.
“Do you want to choose your bowl? Which spoon would you like? I think the yellow one is clean.” Why can't I distract this child to the matter at hand?
“IyamboardhunnyIyamboardhunnyIyamboardhunny.” He has a will of iron.
He thrusts the cereal box in my face on taut extended arms. I cannot think how to get over this hump at 6:07 as his sister saunters by. She links her arms round my waist and rests her face on my back.
“Good morning sleepy head.” I swivel round for a hug. She grins, revealing not properly cleansed teeth. “He woke me up,” she yawns.
“I’m sorry dear, I can’t get him to start breakfast, he wants to play.”
“Yes. He’s so bored, but if he doesn’t eat now we’ll end up being an all day breakfast diner.”
“No, he’s not bored.”
“Yes, he is. He’s been screaming about how bored he is for the last three minutes, that’s what woke you up remember?” By now, every neighbour in a three mile radius is aware that I have a bored six and a half year old.
“Oh. Oh I see. No. He saw that advertisement on the telly yesterday.”
“The one about Honey Nut Cheerios. He wants to try them instead of the plain ones.” I release the grip on my daughter and swing the small one up into my arms so that we are face to face over a box of crushed cereal. “Is that it? You want Honey Nut ones? You want to try a new food?” [translation = this is my "neophobic" one who only eats 13 things] He grins to reveal not properly cleansed teeth, and nods his head three times. I squeeze him until I notice that I’m probably poking him with the corner of the cereal box. Poor benighted child! He verbalized his request, kept verbalizing his request and didn't have a meltdown, even though his deaf old mother was too stupid to understand him. Where did he cull this patience gene from? I stroke his sister's hair as she has rescued me, again.
I remind myself that honey has all sorts of wonderful things in it. I refuse to think about sugary snacky food. I remind myself that this is probably the first self initialized attempt at selecting a food for consumption. I will adopt a new mantra, 'honey is good, honey is good, honey is good.'
I refuse to debate the power of commercialism or advertising. I refuse to chastise myself for my lack of supervision such that he was able to see the advertisement in the first place. How did that happen with TIVO? I am unable to size up the harm that television has done to rot his brain versus the benefit of adding an additional 'food' to his paultry diet. I concentrate on all the health giving properties of organic honey, all the additional occupational and oral therapy possibilities that this opens up.
Does that count as a new food?
Tell me that counts as a new food!
3 hours ago