Saturday, May 10, 2008

Breakfast in Bed: Celebrating Mamas, Wonder Kids, and Togetherness!

(Excerpted from the May issue of Wonderwise)

Breakfast in Bed: Celebrating Mamas, Wonder Kids, and Togetherness!

The light peeks through the curtains and you hear the birds begin to sing just a half-second before the tiny cold feet you’d know at any time of day burrow into the small of your back. You’re a mama, so this is only the beginning of the surprises you have come to expect throughout your days.

There is something very special about kids and beds. Away from the barrage of other activities, household stimuli, and other distractions, the bed becomes a place for connection, one in which children open up, talk about their dreams (literal and figurative), tell stories, ask questions, and listen.

So before you peel yourself up from that wonderfully comfortable nook to go set the table for a morning meal, consider the alternative: breakfast in bed.

Breakfast in Bed Essentials
Breakfast in bed is perhaps the most special kind of meal. It can be simple or elaborate. It can be in celebration of a special day, like Mother’s or Father’s Day, or just be a time to stretch out those precious morning hours where you all meet in bed to connect before the day’s bustle begins.

On the Menu
In our house, the more we bring food into our bed, the simpler the menus seem to become. We might just go for some of our favorite granola bars we made the morning before or some apple slices while we’re reading. We do have a few standing rules now about the kinds of food that can even be carried through the door: nothing too sticky, nothing too crumbly, and drinks get lids. Whether simple or elaborate, the menu for a breakfast in bed can take many different roads. For the mama who plans ahead, less work, and to add a true being served feeling to your morning, use your slow cooker the night before and try a creamy rice pudding or trail mix oatmeal. On those special days, such as Mother’s Day, the menu might get spiced up a bit. For the rest of the month, right here on Thinking Outside the Recipe, I will be featuring some of our favorite Breakfast in Bed recipes, so stay tuned.

Navigating forks and knives, cups and saucers, and all the other little items you might include in your breakfast in bed, can take some real juggling, so make sure you have something you are serving your special meal on. While trays made especially for eating this way, commonly called TV trays, can be a wonderful addition, you can also improvise and serve meals on a cookie sheet. Or try serving it in an appropriately sized box lid, perhaps even decorated to make it extra special.

Serving Stories
An essential part of our breakfasts in bed includes all types of stories and language experiences. While you are eating, share a few fun poems. Bring some light reading in the form of comic books. Or read the next chapter from whatever your bedtime book might have been the night before. It’s also a great time to connect your kids with the newspaper. Plan the rest of your day together based on what the weather page says. Read the funnies, or look for interesting kid-friendly news stories together.

Theme Meals
Etched in my memory is one particular Mother’s Day when we brought Mom breakfast in bed. The foods we served her spelled out MOTHER. Milk for M. Orange juice for O. Toast for T. Hash browns for H. Scrambled eggs for E. And a bowlful of thawed raspberries from the freezer for R. She was delighted with the gift and we all enjoyed the morning cuddling together.

Even if you aren’t celebrating a particular day, consider giving your breakfast a theme, such as High Tea (wear crowns and serve little sandwiches), Rainy Day breakfast (read rain themed books and serve “clouds”, aka tapioca pudding), or try a Jungle Breakfast (bring a few fun noses from your costume collection and serve “Jungle Juice”, aka banana, pineapple, mango smoothie).

Breakfast from Afar
A few years ago, we couldn’t be there for Mother’s Day, and I felt at a loss for sharing that special morning and breakfast with my mom. We still wanted to send our Mother’s Day brunch wishes even though we couldn’t be there with her, so we packed up breakfast in bed and sent it snail mail. The box consisted of some homemade muffins, chocolates, and a ceramic champagne flute my son had painted at the local paint-your-own-pottery place. A simple package, but filled with love. And Mom still got her breakfast in bed.

Breakfast Anytime
It doesn’t need to be morning time for you to enjoy this special ritual. And it is usually a treat for kids to eat breakfast foods for dinner, so consider turning your eating rituals upside down. On a particularly cold or dreary day, take lunch or a snack into bed. Bring your stuffed animals along and let them share in the fun. Have breakfast for dinner in bed, and include the whole family.

As we celebrate family, togetherness, and just being “Mom”, give yourself permission and an invitation to stay in bed a bit longer this month. Begin a new ritual and climb back under those covers and warm yourselves from the inside out.

1 comment:

Lynn said...

Ginger, I am trying to contact you regarding an order I placed.
please could you contact me asap?

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