Okay, so I don’t know how it is at your house for breakfast, but I feel like every damn day I ask them what they want and they tell me and like five minutes later they look at their plates and they’re like WAHHHH, I didn’t want oatmeal!! Or WAHHHH, I wanted a bagel! Or WAHHHH, this smoothie is too cold. And I’m like uhhh, it’s exactly as cold as it is every day because guess where it comes from brainiac, the refrigerator.
Anyways, the other morning was no different.
ME: What do you want for breakfast?
ME: What’s the magic word?
ME: (stern look)
And then I slave over making her a bowl of oatmeal and she sits down in her seat and I put it in front of her and she looks at it like WTF?
ZOEY: I didn’t want oatmeal.
ME: That’s what you asked for.
ZOEY: I meant cereal.
Aww WTF, now I have to go to the mechanic because my mind-reading skills must be on the fritz.
ME: Well, I already made the oatmeal so you can have cereal tomorrow.
ZOEY: Noooo, I want cereal today.
ME: Zoey, you can eat the oatmeal or nothing at all.
Which it kills me to say because:
Kid + Hungry = Cujo10
ZOEY: I’m not eating it.
ME: Zoey, do you know that there are kids all over the world who don’t have ANY food to eat?
ZOEY: Yes, you’ve told me that before.
ME: No seriously, it's true, like there are REAL children who have NOTHING. And some of them even die because they don’t have any food.
She stares at me with a blank look.
Awwww shit, this kid lives her little bubble and has no F’ing idea what I’m talking about. This is ridiculous. So I have two choices. I can either do what I did earlier this year– google “poor children” and sit there on my expensive Mac trying to show her the way many people live in the world while she begs me to google “funny cat videos.” Or I can do what I decided to do.
I took her somewhere very special. A place called Feed My Starving Children. Just one of many AWESOME KICKASS MIRACULOUS organizations that packs up food and sends it all around the world to kids who really need it. Kids like this little boy. Zoey, meet Nelson.
When someone found Nelson, he was sitting in the dirt on his knees because he was dying from hunger and his legs and arms wouldn’t even work anymore. The organization showed us a whole video about this adorable little boy. I could see Zoey watching the video and soaking it all in. She identified with him. He was a kid just like her. Only he wasn't.
Side note, now that I’m a parent when I see kids like this, I think about the mother. How much it must SUCK to have no food for your kiddo. Seriously, stop and think for a minute about your kiddo for a minute. Now picture them sitting in the dirt starving to death while you can't do anything but feel bad and watch it happen. But I digress.
So Zoey and I spent two hours packing up bags of food to send to Honduras where there are lots of kiddos like Nelson. She took her job very seriously, scooping a tablespoon of dried veggies into every bag. And I kept asking her if she needed a break and every time she said no. She could hardly even reach the funnel to pour them in, but it didn’t stop her.
And then afterwards she watched a video about Nelson and how he got the same kind of food she packed that day, and how he started walking again. She saw him smiling. She saw him riding a tricycle. She saw the difference she made in two short hours.
See that number in the heart? 54. That’s the number that really meant something to her. That's the number of kids we fed for a YEAR. In less than two hours we fed her entire kindergarten class for a year. Not for a day. Not for a month. For a whole entire year. Holy crap, amazing.
And when we were done saving the world one kid at a time, I took Zoey out for lunch and told her she could order whatever she wanted on the menu. And guess what. She didn’t complain at all when her food arrived!! Of course that might be because she ordered the Oreo S’mores pancakes.
(Dear world, sorry you are all out of chocolate now)
Anyways, I don’t care what she ordered. Alls I know is that tomorrow she’s not gonna complain about her breakfast or waste it all again. Nahhhh, that’s bullshit. She’ll totally complain and waste food still. But at least now I can say to her, “Hey, I’ll bet Nelson wouldn’t complain if I gave him a smoothie that was too cold.” And maybe she’ll understand a little bit more.
Want to volunteer with your kiddos? Check out this resource guide I found on Parents.com. It looks pretty great.
And if you thought this was funny, it wasn't. It was totally serious. But if you like funny shit too, check out my New York Times Bestseller, I Heart My Little A-Holes. It'll make you laugh so hard, your orifices leak a little. I'm just not saying WHICH orifices.