Xavier, my almost 9 year old grandson(with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder): “I want oatmeal for breakfast.” Later: “What are those things in my oatmeal?”
“Peaches. Pick them out if you don’t like them. No complaints. No whining. No crying. We go through this every morning. And I want you to be aware that, because of the FASD, you have had a problem with textures. But you can overcome that. You just have to work a little harder at things sometimes. Also, grumbling and complaining is a sin. God doesn’t like it, so work on that, too.”
“But I hate those things! They just don’t taste good to me.”
“You used to LOVE that kind of oatmeal. You just hate the texture.”
“Well,” he continues with tears in his voice, “I have grown and my taste buds have changed.”
“Pick the peach parts out!” I say, exasperation raising my voice, “And suck it up! You are tougher than this! You can do this. You have to quit falling apart over everything.” ugh. Suck it up? Jeesh. Not my best moment.
“I guess I am a wimp.” Xavier is saying.
“NO! You are tough! And with God’s help, you can do anything. Anyhow, like I said, you used to love those things.”
“Well, now it tastes like I’m eating a rat.”
“We cannot afford to waste food! EAT THE OATMEAL! Get a fork and move all the peach parts to the side.”
“Ooooh,” (more whining), “I really wanted eggs.”
As I scrape the oatmeal into the trash later, I wonder whether to laugh or cry. Maybe a little bit of both.