Monday, June 2, 2008

I can still hear them taunting him, "Silly Rabbit, Trix are for kids"

We all know my passion for finding the mundane, meaningful. But this might very well be the greatest stretch of that talent yet. My attachment to breakfast cereal.

It started when I was pregnant with John Michael. Breakfast cereal wasn't so much a craving as it was for some reason the only thing I felt I could stomach. Sometimes three times a day. Usually Fruit Loops if I remember correctly. Nothing too flaky or granola-like - I didn't want to risk the chance of anything getting caught anywhere and screaming at the gag reflex to catapult the whole thing back where it came from. But this next part is much prettier: My love for cereal further grew when the older boys were much younger. Drew had just started voicing opinions about things, and it had become apparent that he and John had different personalities. I loved watching that. I love watching it still. It's amazing to see three boys from the same two people be three such different souls. But besides that, it's lovely to watch them trust us enough and feel comfortable enough to be their own people. Michael and I cringe any time it seems otherwise. And like so many other epoch revelations in life, it manifested itself in breakfast cereal. I was completely, almost-to-tears, moved the day I realized that John liked Rice Krispies and Drew Cocoa Pebbles, John hated cinnamon and Drew loved it. Drew lived for donuts, John felt they were simply too messy. It's not like fixing your child a second supper because you're not up for the fight that ensues over the one you slaved over half the evening. Getting each kid their own cereal is a complete thrill, like refusing to name them Michael Jr., Michael, Jr., Jr., and - you know, Junior. They get their own name - first and middle - and their own cereal. And it completely thrills me.

Incidentally, Jake's following in Drew's footsteps so far with the Cinnamon, but you can bet I'll write it in poetry the first time he tells me, "Not that one, Mom. Bring on the Cap'n!"

Other breakfast cereals we love: Honey Bunches of Oats, Honey Nut Cheerios, chocolate marshmallow Lucky Charms (do 5-year-olds invent cereal now?), Golden Grahams, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. When I'm feeling strangely nostalgic for strange childhood cravings, I want Pops or Honey Smackers - those are the weirdest cereals. And any of these that can be purchased in the Malt-O-Meal brand will be. It's way more breakfast for your buck.

7 comments:

Lori said...

I must confess my secret addiction to Lucky Charms (regular please!). It just makes me happy. Oh, and does Cream of Wheat count? It's my second favorite. Harold thinks its gross. He loves grits. I think grits & Cream of Wheat are cousins so don't really see the difference.

Molly said...

I love this post. I love cereal. Peter NEVER liked cereal until Jude came along. And Jude loved it right away. So I totally know what you mean about the individuals thing. It was so cute the day Peter was out of bagels (HIS breakfast food of choice, that or slim fast shakes -- YUK) and Jude talked him into trying his Frosted Mini Wheats. The look on Peter's face was great. Like it just washed over him after the first bite, "The kid might be on to something here."

We also like Honey Bunches of Oats, Honey Nut Cheerios, Life (cinnamon and regular) and the occasional box of the Cap'n's own Choco-crunch. Oh yeah, and I love raisin bran, which is really weird since I otherwise do not like raisins.

Felicity said...

When it comes to cereal, Jesse will only eat oatmeal because cold cereals are apparently "too crunchy."

Claire wants Uncle "Drew's cereal" - Cocoa Pebbles.

Ada will eat anything for breakfast, but she's rather fond of what we call "secret breakfast." That's cookies or brownies or whatever dessert left-over from the night before. Really, it can't be much worse than a big bowl of sugary cereal anyway, but, still, we call it secret and make the kids promise not to tell their teachers!

zanne said...

at our house, with older kids now (12, 17, 21) cereal has for a few years been the portable breakfast/snack/whatever food of choice. i go through a lot more snack and sandwich bags because of it! and and fueled by the portable aspect, i think a much greater amount of cereal at our house is eaten dry rather than with milk. a handful or two of fruity cheerios, or apple jacks while you do your homework--accompanied by mom's voice: at least use a bowl! we also love multi-grain cheerios and the blueberry yogurt burst cheerios (which i've only ever seen at costco). good heavens, i didn't realize how responsible we are for keeping the cheerios family in business!

and, as i sit here with the back door open and the morning breeze floating in, i realize that cereal to me is a very summer thing. getting up at whatever time, finding the cereal (and yes, milk) and eating in front of the tv with no hurry to be anywhere, unless it's meeting friends to continue playing whatever complicated, convoluted game that's been developing for days on end...

oh yes. somehow, cereal is all that.

let's have a moment of silence to remember with gratitude the kellogg brothers!

Kathy said...

Do you remember when Jared came to visit one summer and his Welcome to Missouri party was an entire box of Peanut Butter Captain Crunch for supper? I think he and Joseph had to split it, but even so...

Who would have imagined breakfast cereal stirring such a response among us? Weird.

Simone said...

I LOVE Shreddies. Not Shredded Wheat - Shreddies. You can buy them in Canada. I am still Canadian, you know.

I picked up a box on my last trek northward. I should have bought 2. Not sure why I didn't.

Now, I ration myself on how much I can eat. For the first 3 weeks, I didn't dare touch my precious Shreddies. Even now, I don't eat it daily.

And the kids have been informed that it is mommy's cereal and they can't have any. They seemed so curious today. I wish I had bought that 2nd box, if only to be able to share with my children.

SolShine7 said...

The title, the story...it's great. Cereal does have a way of bringing back childhood memories. Recently, I got a box of Rice Krispy Treats which I hadn't had for years and I felt like I was transported back to the time when I used to watch Saturday morning cartoons as a kid.