Would you like?

Breakfast in our house is an eat as you want affair, which makes it sound self-serve and easy and quiet, which it most certainly is not.

Rick leaves first, and he gets to get ready in a quiet, slumbering house, except for the dogs and cats who are pains in the butt first thing in the morning because they want to eat. But still, he gets an hour of solitude...

I'm up next, at seven, and Lily is usually right behind me. She's a sweetie and has gotten really good at pouring coffee for me and helping me with breakfast as she gets hers. If it's too complicated (cereal, blueberries and yogurt), Bobby gets that for me.

Bobby takes care of himself, but there's lots of Lily and me hollering to get his attention so he can remember his morning routine.

Rosie is always the last to wake up, and often it's because one of us has taken the yorkie back to lick her awake. Rosie needs choices for breakfast, and often none of the choices sound good to her, so you have to go over and over the choices until she caves and chooses one. Lily now takes care of helping Rosie with breakfast.

If you're around for all of the morning fun, which I often am, it's interesting and loud and entertaining, often punctuated by Val's loud barks and constant shifting from person to person in an effort to get breakfast shared with her.

It's a long drawn out process, and yay, lunch, which is also done the same way, is only a few hours away. Thankfully, the girls are on a frozen burrito kick, so Lily skillfully nukes away, trying to get everyone to eat an exploded burrito.

Supper, which Bobby happily makes, is slightly quicker, but there's still a lot of "Would you like?" going on, as everyone gets a custom version of the base meal because Bobby is all about kicking it up a notch.

Okay, so meals and snacks are a bit of an elaborate production, but everyone eats, and the level of cooperation in making sure everyone eats is wonderful to see.

It's also neat to see the girls take on more active roles in their self-care and in helping with the house. They've still got significant gaps in some life skills areas, but because they are often hidden, it's hard to know what to cover until the hidden is made visible. In the meantime, the three kids work as a team, interdependent and cooperative, even if a bit loud and argumentative. It's comforting to watch them work it out together, to sit back and let them. It gives me confidence that together the three of them will be able to navigate the world and be okay.

It's also a lesson for me--to see that asking for help and accepting other people having different skill sets is a perfectly normal part of their world. No ridicule. No belittling. Sometimes wonder, but never judgment.

I want to be like my kids. Interdependent and understanding, willing to ask a dozen times "Would you like...?" until I've found out what others around me need so that I can help them get it.

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