How do they know? How do they know that I went to the grocery store and that the new stock of sugary goodness is waiting for them? I hear the pitter patter of tiny feet as they scurry down the stairs. Their little sock covered feet slip as they go around the corner and they hold on tight to the banister as they are skidding into the turn to make the flight of stairs right at their feet. I hear the cupboard door open followed up the ding of porcelain cereal bowls hitting together and tapping the granite counter top. The slight slam of the utensil drawer shutting and the whoosh of the fridge door closing tells me that someone found some sugary goodness. These are quiet mornings for the most part. Everyone gathering 1 by 1 into the kitchen to see what cereal is out and opened. Is there enough for me? is the biggest concern for all. The old concern of not getting any is a thing of the past. The mornings of the Little's eating bowl after bowl until they couldn't hardly breath is no more. The rule here is as follows... Sugar cereal is 1 bowl only. A reasonable bowl. If I see an over the top greedy bowl than that bowl is traded with a sibling of your choosing and you will get their bowl.
Cereal is a very popular morning food option in this house. I am a coupon and sale shopper so every week we can have varied kinds of cereal in the pantry. I try to mix it up but I have to say when anything peanut butter goes on sale .... I invest. I usually will buy a good amount and often will hide several boxes so that they last longer. We are easily at least a box per morning or even 2 boxes per morning depending on the size of the box.
Everyone plays a role in the sugar goodness. Usually the older ones, since they are bigger, can snatch a box out of the little's hands faster but just when you think you are set and enjoying the comics on the back of the box....another child wakes up and needs a bowl poured. David will often come down and attempt to get his hands on some of the sugary goodness but I often intervene and crush his dreams by setting his box of oat bran or shredded wheat in front of him. "honey you can't eat that kind of cereal anymore..sweetheart". He looks up at me with a look of defeat and disappointment and although he will eat the healthy stuff he looks as if he is depressed that his childhood has gone and he has to abide by the rules of being healthy and conscious. He wants to go back to the days when he was running daily and could eat anything he wanted and it would never stick. The old days that everyone wants to revisit now and then.
I grew up in a house where the most exciting cereal was golden grahams and that was at my Nanny's house. My mom only bought Cheerios, Chex, Grape Nuts and Rice Krispie. I would always go nuts when I would come across real sugar cereal. I decided that when I was a mom that I would allow some sugar cereal. I do go through my moments of . "no more sugar cereal, I'm done buying it"..but then there is a really good sale on it and I get sucked in.
I keep a couple of boxes of cereal in my cupboard that are open. The deal at my house is that you have to finish one in order to get another one out. It forces the kids to eat the non favorites to make room for a favorite. The question I hear all the time, "mom can I get a cereal out of the garage". I always answer with, "Is there room for another one"?. Now lets explain why the cereal is in the garage. I have a boat load of kids who eat a boat load of food and I live in a 1960s colonial and I lack a walk in pantry so all of my extra dry goods are housed in the garage on shelves.
Disclosure/Disclaimer- Health nut people out there. Yes .....Yes .....Yes..... I know.... I know.... this is not part of a healthy balanced diet and the amount of sugar they are eating is so NOT healthy but in the end we all have to live a little. I cook dinner almost every night and pack their lunches so this is a treat they get. I remember the sugar bowl that sat next to my non-sugar cereal when I was a kid. How many spoonfuls could I put on those Cheerios? BTW...I just checked out the cupboard and found a box of Cheerios and Rice Chexs. We clearly are down to the healthy cereals and the request will come soon as to when we will be stocked up again. This is when I notice everyone shifts to cheese toast or bagels. Ha