Roy G. Biv’s Breakfast Smörgåsbord

Around and around the styrofoam Comfort Suites bowl the spoon went, discarding an accumulated Froot Loop here and there as it went in search of the specific one needed. From time to time, there would be a sigh from next to me, and the spoon would be unceremoniously dumped, its contents deemed untenable, and a fresh effort would begin.

This process repeated itself for the better part of ten minutes. I was trying – with glazed eyes from moving one timezone east and then getting up at our NEW six AM – to read USA Today, without much success.

“What are you doing?”

H jumped a little; she does this from time to time when I interrupt an internal reverie, and I sort of regret it every time. Then she grinnned.

“I’m trying to get a complete rainbow in every spoonful,” she said. “Roy G. Biv. See?” She pointed out the current contents of her spoon, which did indeed salute Mr. Biv in his spectal entirety.

Meanwhile, to my other side, E had undertaken making a breakfast sandwich out of scrambled eggs and breakfast potatoes. I’d advised her – before I dove into the Olympic medal standings page – to ‘use a little cream cheese to adhere your eggs and potatoes to.’ I’d meant this more as a sort of sticky layer to be applied to the English muffin, followed by a heap of each substance, but she’d taken it literally, and was now carefully gluing each individual square of potato onto her muffin with Sistine Chapel care.

A wasn’t saying anything, because his mouth was full of Danish, a word he could not fathom being both the singular and plural of a food, and which breakfast item he had been fixated on since we’d left Omaha four days prior.

“Are we staying in Omaha on the way back?” he asked during a long, long stretch of I-80, populated mostly with Hell’s Angels en route to Sturgis and broken-down agricultural equipment.

“Yes,” I replied.

“At the same hotel?”


“Good. That’s the only one that has had Danish for breakfast so far.”

Does it ever stop? Does it ever take a break? Not really. Intensity lives inside every nook and cranny of their existence; they awaken, and there’s an infinitesimally short period – just a moment or so – during which they’re just yawning, sleepy kids who need to pee, and then the Big Machines turn on – and stay on for the day. And that moment is very short; I opened the bathroom door accidentally on E one morning and found her seated on the toilet, reading the back of a shampoo bottle.

“I forgot my Kindle,” she said matter-of-factly, as if that explained everything; who can go to the bathroom and just stare into the porcelain nothingness of a Comfort Suites tile floor? Of course I need something to read, her expression said. Twenty minutes later, she was gluing potatoes onto a cream cheese-slathered English muffin, and then she was lost for the day, in one Agatha Christie novel after another, while H played the Game of Life on the iPad over and over until she triumphantly ended with our exact family configuration – down to our chosen professions – and A took crack after crack at Coconut Mall on Wii Mario Kart racing, determined to beat his previous time. If there was a way to turn gifted-child intensity into usable energy, I probably would never have needed to stop for gas anywhere between Denver and Chicago.

Roy –  our invisible sixth passenger – thankfully remained quiet until the next morning at breakfast.

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Rich & Juley on August 21, 2012 at 5:55 am

    Two comments: 1) We get the shampoo bottle story with depth and a cherry on top. On a brief evening family excursion to Evergreen this weekend past, our daughter says–with intense emotion…enough to make me jump as we’re driving 65 mph on C470–“We have a problem!” Whipping our heads around as if something is dire, we reply immediately “WHAT??” With extreme concern across her face she exclaims, “I forgot my book!” And as her parents, like you being E’s parents, it is expected that we know the magnitude of such a catastrophic event with no satisfying solution other than turning around and retrieving the book.

    And 2) after having breakfast with you and your family recently, you, too, my friend, have great (meaning large AND magnificent) intensities that do not stop. I find that these intensities in my friends and family, while at times can be mentally exhausting, are marvelously enriching to my own life and leave me with a feeling of exuberance and an insatiable desire for more. (Just the intermittent 3-minute heart rate pushes due to laughter over such topics as bacon increased my endorphins tenfold.)

    But we have to say, we love 9:00 bedtime for our daughter so that we can let down our game and exhale.

    We love your blogs. Keep ’em coming. R&J


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