I wonder who invented Cheerios. Was it a long time ago? Are they still alive? And if so, could someone be so kind as to give me their address so I can pay him or her a little visit. I would dearly love to first give them a warm hug. And then, with all my strength, put my fist through their face.
This thought occurred to me a couple of nights ago as I watched my toddler attempt to shove handful after handful of Cheerios into his mouth, succeeding only half the time. He steadfastly ignored my sighs of approbation as the round little evil bits of Satan’s breakfast cereal skittered off his round little tummy, the coffee table and all over my living room floor.
It’s not as if I hate them completely. I am ever so grateful that they are the perfect snack food for any car trip. The perfect “emergency food” when all else has been consumed or when one is too tired to make dinner for oneself. I mean, after a full day of working, commuting, feeding everyone else, bathing everyone else, putting to bed everyone else…I dont much feel like cooking for myself. And a bowl of Cheerios is actually pretty good for me. However since part of my every day routine is the repeated stepping or sitting on these crunchy o’s from Hell, usually followed by a half muttered curse, and then an unsuccessful attempt to pick up the brown dusty spot that remains, I have to say that I don’t enjoy eating them as much as I did in my youth.
Now those on the other side of the pond may be wondering what on earth I am talking about. I believe that they have them in Britain, perhaps by some silly slogan of “give those o’s a go”. Since o’s have always been slang for orgasm, that slogan makes me snicker and snort in a most unlady-like way. But I digress…..I meant to say…. If you are from another country and have not yet introduced your children to this seemingly harmless comestible then I would say exercise grave caution. I am not entirely sure what goes into the recipe, but I suspect it consists of whole wheat, some sugar or corn syrup, but not a lot, and crack cocaine. How else can I explain the addiction of thousands, nay millions, of small American children to these unassuming brown circles? Although I hate to admit it, I also indulge in the o’s… My favorite being Multigrain Cheerios. It is not as plain as the regular Cheerios but not as sweet as the Honey Nut Cheerios. Thankfully I have been able to keep my own consumption under control. Unfortunately for my son and daughter I have been reduced to buying it in bulk. And no switching to a generic…oh no, only the finest quality will do. Trying to pass off the cheap stuff that comes in large bags at the grocery store is just asking for a beat down.
I started off with good intentions, really I did. My daughter, the older child at 8, has been a lifelong picky eater (I’ve whined about this before so won’t bore you with too many details). Suffice it to say that of the 5 actual foods she will eat, cereal is one of them. One of her favorites is Cheerios. She mainlines hers, right out of the Tupperware container while she sits on the couch. And don’t EVEN try to add milk! She will cut a bitch–I have scars to prove it. She also has gotten to the point where she will even eat them in the car. I have found them in crevices that I didn’t know existed (again talking about the car…get your mind out of the gutter). And the cost and embarrassment of having the car periodically cleaned! The local car wash will no longer clean my car. I think the final straw was when the poor man responsible for vacuuming the interior became overwhelmed with the fumes and corpse dust of dead Cheerios. I now do the best I can with a shop vac and a filtration mask.
Its not just in the car. It begins to permeate every aspect of your life. There is nothing so humiliating as walking into work with Cheerios dust all over the lapels of your black suit. If I had a nickel for every time I explained that it wasn’t mine, that it wasn’t what it seemed…I find pamphlets left in my chair for 12 step programs like Over Eaters Anonymous. How can I tell the people I work with that it is not my Cheerios but my little angels’? No, better they think I am the deviant than my precious children.
My son, now only 16 months old has already sunk low in depravity (allthough at his age thats not a very long fall). Even after eating a full meal, he often still feels compelled to stuff chubby little handfuls into his mouth. Between meals he wanders around looking for the ones that rolled away and have not yet been crushed to smithereens. The first 157 times I saw him pick one up off the floor and hurriedly shove it into his greedy mouth I scolded him, but to no avail. By the 1,789th time, I could only manage a sigh and a shake of my head. Eventually it was just too much for me to keep up with, each step when walking across the house began to sound like a hundred saltine crackers being crushed…crunch, crunch, crunch! And after the millionth time I saw him do it I surrendered, actually thanking my son for helping mommy clean the floors.
So if you have children or some day plan to, beware of the tasty tiny addictive cereal bits called Cheerios…you will end up hating and loving them. Trust the voice of experience or you too will some day have to explain away the tale-tale signs of brown dust on your clothes.
Note: General Mills, please don’t sue me…my pockets are very, very shallow