“No mixing cereals, Nicholas,”  Maggie said, as though it was the most obvious thing.

I had to laugh.

Until recently, we were mixing upwards of five different cereals in a bowl every morning.  Now that I’m putting that into words, it sounds ridiculous.

The kids would empty the cereal cabinet, taking them all to the table.  Maggie would lead the way (imagine that) and Nicholas would follow closely behind.  Then I would receive orders as to which cereals they wanted that morning.

Then I was given orders as to what needed to be put in the bowl first, as in, what layers the cereal needed to be in.

OK, it’s sounding even more ridiculous the more I write.  But at whatever time in the morning, I was all about keeping the peace.  And it seemed such an easy way to give everyone what they wanted.

I think I started it all.  I think I mixed a more nutritious cereal in with the favored, yet not as nutritious one.

Then mornings began to be filled with tears because he got more of a certain cereal, or she wanted five and I only poured four, or whatever trauma can ensue from mixing cereal in the morning.

“Enough!” I said.

So now, everyone gets to choose one kind of cereal.  If they happen to eat a second bowl, they are free to choose a different cereal.  Goodness, something so simple has simplified breakfast immeasurably.

The first few days there were ample protests.  Then they kind of caught on.  Maggie now states it as if there was never any other way.

A few days of kind but firm reinforcement and breakfast has become a much happier time of the day.  At least I can laugh at the absurdity of it all.


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