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October 21, 2016 / 19 Tishri, 5777
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Breakfast And Happiness (Part I)

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However, one schooled in the fine art of discerning kids’ true inner feelings, and how they pang to subtlety express their overwhelming sense of gratitude, would have no problem discerning verbal protests and vehement remonstrations to really be deep-seated telepathic messages of “Give me more!” Personally, I think this is proof-positive as to how ignorant the population at large is regarding parenting.

The knowledgeable – and there aren’t many of us – aren’t duped by these smoke screen try-and-hide-your-true-emotion histrionics. This is where advanced pedagogic skills, honed through years of not confusing complaints or cries with grievances, has paid off in spades. I think it was George Orwell, or some other noted child educator, who recognized that children’s antics for attention are actually a reflection of their contentedness. Now you see why so many people get it wrong.

In any event, now that I have divulged my parenting prowess, let me afford a little credit to the kids themselves, who – despite myself – keep educating me. This brings us back to the kitchen table quite a number of years ago when I was administering cornflakes.

I had gone through my routine of putting out the bowls (entertaining no possibility of trade-ins or upgrades), fifteen at the time, inserting the cornflakes (emptying out four boxes in the process), pouring the milk, adding the spoons and manning my battle station so that I could peacefully and serenely oversee the breakfast of champions.

That morning the kids had a – pardon the pun – mouthful to say, in total disregard of breakfast’s gag order. The comments were so personality-reflective and kid-esque that I recorded them (never knowing that one day I would share them with the public at large).

(To be continued)

Chodesh tov – have a pleasant month!

Rabbi Hanoch Teller

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