As I have grown up it has been a casual habit to observe others and how they eat their cereal. You can imagine that I have had many opportunities. Think about it, camp, college orientation, conventions, etc. When I see cereal finishers I automatically think, "their mama must have been picky like mine was." When I see people who leave scrappy bits behind...I think "they must have had one of those accomodating mothers who tolerated lots of scrappy bits." This might be a fair assessment, but it is the one I make. I can almost predict who will be cereal finishers and who won't be. Now, I get thrown for a loop when I am out and no one eats cereal--I don't anymore, to be honest b/c I don't drink milk.
Sometimes I have to keep myself in check. Every now and then I find myself at the trash can picking out cereal bits out of milk.... This tells me I am slacking on the job. You see I don't want my children to make others have to pick their scrappy cereal bits out the their bowl of milk. Of course I mean this in a very broad sense. These things start out small (cereal in milk), and they end up big--a sense of entitlement that makes one think it is okay to leave a trail of scraps behind for others to clean up.
No one should have to clean your scraps, not even the people who are paid to clean off hotel convention center tables, not even the camp counselors...no one.
When I was little I could go to my aunt's house and eat my cereal how ever I wanted. Was this nice? YES! I could eat it a whole box at the time...I could leave scrappy bits by the sink, and go play in the lake. She would never say a word, but I rarely did--b/c I knew better. Even though Aunt Betty would not yell at me and act crazy like my mama, I knew better. When I did not feel like eating soggy Lucky Charms out of my milk and my sister had chosen Lucky Charms did I want to live in a different house? Maybe. But somewhere in the recesses of my mind I knew that that was silly. I knew that my Mama was right.
This morning I am keeping my friend's children. One of them hinted that she did not finish her cereal at home (i.e. she wanted some more) So, I fixed her a bowl of cereal. She ate it and as she was eating this post came to mind. She finished the whole bowl, by the way. ;).
Could I say that of my kids? Well, lets see, Victor finishes his...Elena does not take milk...and Eva, well I am not sure, to be honest.