Friday, April 10, 2015

How do you finish your bowl of cereal?

I don't think about it too often, but this morning my mind went straight to it.  Does how a person finishes their bowl of cereal say anything about thier raising, or their level of conscientiousness (is that a word?), or does it indicate nothing at all?  The thing that brings this up is that when I was little--well, that was a big deal!  My mama made us pick--either drink the milk and get rid of the whole contents, or just don't eat cereal.  You see, she despised having to dispose of something that looked like the image here.  First of all, you were wasting milk (you should drink it), second of all who in the world should have to stand at the trash can and pick out the soggy bits you left in the bowl? (she sure as hell was not going to do it, I can tell you that!)  This taught me several things.  The first lesson it taught me was to plan!  Plan!  Please, pick a cereal at the grocery store that makes a yummy mix with milk--for me this was something cinnamony (another made up word), or even raisin bran--b/c it made a good soggy mix.  Things like lucky charms might look enchanting on the commercial, but those wheat bits were not good once they were the left over soggy bits in the milk.  SO, Plan!  Know that Mama was not gonna empty that bowl of leftover bits for you, and plan accordingly.  This also taught me respect.  Why should I sit and half-ass eat something, and then leave something behind for my Mama to have to clean up.  We could not, by the way, dump stuff like this in the sink.  Garbage disposals were not invented then (tongue in cheek), and my Mama was meticulous about not putting any food scraps in the drain.  If one had qualms with this, once could not have milk, one could not have cereal, that was fine.  BUT if you chose milk and cereal, that bowl had better be empty when you put it in the sink.  
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. 
What about y'all?  When I think these things up I also think--that is so crazy!  What did your Mama make you do, if anything at all?  And rest assured if you do not make cereal to life connections I don't care a hair! :).

1 comment:

Bethany said...

Oh gosh I have been remiss in my blog reading!
YES - to this! Exactly right. Eat it ALL. And gosh do I fuss at my kids... although of course garbage disposals in the sink take away the work... but I LIKE the life connection you make here! That's exactly what we're aiming for right? Raising independent responsible humans :)