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Why Can't Our Family Be More Like The Entenmanns?

What's going on with us? James came home with terrible grades in algebra and biology last month. Michelle just quit the volleyball team. I'm always stuck working late and my wife feels like she's a thousand miles away.

You only have to look at their empire of fresh-baked products to know the Entenmanns must have the happiest home life of any family in America.

Every morning, their kids probably come trundling downstairs, lured by the the fresh smell of an Ultimate Crumb Cake or an Old Fashioned Apple Strudel or some Frosted Mini Donuts cooling on the kitchen table. All cozy in their pajamas and slippers, the Entenmanns likely spend their early morning talking, reading the paper, and eating a wide variety of delicious, uniformly sized treats with their coffee or milk. Together. Like a family ought to. Like we used to, or at least used to talk about doing before we had the kids.

I hate to think what'd happen if our family tried to have a breakfast like that, all together. The kids'd complain about something or other, and one of them would be on their cell phone or playing their Pocket Nintendo or whatever you call it. Why can't we take a cue from the Entenmanns? Are they so much better than us?

Maybe so.

I bet the Entenmanns look forward to waking up together each morning. They kiss each other and say "I love you" before they go off to work and school, carrying lunch bags filled with Strawberry Cereal Bars and Glazed Chocolate Popems. I'll bet their kids don't need to be woken up six times each day, or whine and gripe about having to get up at that. Mr. Entenmann probably doesn't get a call from the principal saying his daughter is skipping her first-period class for God knows what. In the Entenmann household, the kids are well-behaved. The prevalence of delicious boxed cakes that the whole family bakes themselves creates that kind of environment. One of mutual respect and love.

The Entenmanns probably take family vacations together and live in a nice part of town where their kids can play outside. They've probably got a yard and a healthy dog and two cars. Life must be so simple for them. Just by the way their breakfast pastries taste—so wholesome and moist—you can tell a family like that knows how to have a calm, rational discussion without everyone getting emotional over nothing all the time.

It really means something to be an Entenmann. Their kids must be so proud on the first day of school to stand up for homeroom attendance and answer to that good name.

Every night, they probably sit down to a nice, hot dinner together and talk about what happened at work or school that day. The children are rosy-cheeked and smiling. And Mr. Entenmann gets plenty of respect for all the hard work he does in order to put irresistibly tasty treats on their table every night. Tonight maybe it's a Marshmallow Devil's Food Cake.

Late at night, if Mrs. Entenmann does something really sweet like bring a tinfoil platter of Soft Baked Chocolate Chip Cookies to her husband while he's watching TV, she probably doesn't ruin it by guilt-tripping him about the diet he's supposed to be on the whole damn time he's eating them.

Everybody loves the Entenmanns, and for good reason: their hundred-plus sweet, baked products bring joy to people's lives. I have no doubt that they get invited to far more parties, potlucks, and fancy events than they can attend. Of course, they always know what to bring: one of their delectable loaf cakes, like a Chocolate Chip Crumb Loaf or a Sour Cream Pound Oval. And everyone compliments Mrs. Entenmann on her breads and cakes, which are the best of anyone's. We bring Entenmann's to the church potluck sometimes, but it's not the same if your name isn't the one on that box.

Maybe there's still hope for us. Maybe our family can change. I've got my doubts, to be honest. I can tell you one thing, though: I'll bet Mr. Entenmann doesn't spend his days going on about how he wishes his family was more like the Arosteguis, that's for damned sure.

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