Breakfasting on the couch

What is wrong with this picture? For one, it was not allowed in my childhood home while growing up. For another, it’s not allowed in my home now, while my kids are growing up.

Without my permission or even, at any clear point, my submission, the children have started breakfasting on the couch.

They have perfected the pillow table and I’ve invested in Scotchguard. No one could look at my sofa and guess that a thousand bowls of Froot Loops have sailed across its seas.

Here are the finer points to their technique:

Posture: The first step to a successful pillow meal is to slide all the way to the back of the couch, spine straight, pulling the pillow tight to your belly. Remain still at all costs, being sure to resist reaching for the remote to turn off the TV when Mom requests (shrieks) it.

Core: At no point can you breath, flinch, slouch, nor lean to or fro. Strong abs are key to this operation. One cannot and should not attempt this trick with 38-year-old abs.

Hand-eye coordination: Getting spoon to mouth is tricky enough… but to do this hypnotized by a yellow square and meowing snail on TV? Watching them doing it as if blindfolded is heart stopping. Again, this is a young man’s game.

Pillow: Choose firm and full pillows, stout like a plank of wood. Mom’s throw pillows — especially sentimental ones warned never to be touched, let alone eaten on — are ideal.

Attire: Stripping down to your undies is perfect because if there’s spillage, it’s easier to clean. And there will be spillage.

Wipes: Towels or napkins may be a good idea. A dining room table might even be a good idea. But no, only a box of Kleenex will be used. But do not actually touch Kleenex. Instead screech for Mom to come quick! Watch as each time she is shocked to see spillage, and each time she will grab the first thing she can — Kleenex.

Covers: A blanket wrapped from the waist down, without toes showing, is a must. Any spillage beyond the Kleenex can then be soaked up easily. Huge queen-sized comforters, impossible to put in the washer, preferred.

Waitress: Assume the position on the couch and holler for your mother. When she asks what you’d like for cereal, ignore her. Three times. When she puts the bowl of her choice on your lap (God forbid, with a banana on the side), make sure she knows she picked wrong.

Waitress, part 2: When she explodes, dump your cereal in your lap, thereby creating a distraction.

Waitress, part 3: This time, make sure she knows to bring Froot Loops.

Waitress, part 4: Leave at least ten O’s stuck to the side of bowl, which will turn to concrete by the time she remembers to pick up the bowl that evening.

The finale: Never finish the milk in the bottom of the bowl… because what else would there be to spill when it’s time to get up and get moving for school?

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