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November 4th, 1999

Feeling a Bit Flaky

When I was young I really do not recall having so many cereal choices. All I seem to remember is flakes, flakes and more flakes. Do you know what I mean?

"Honey, what kind cereal do you want for breakfast? Flakes or flakes?"

God bless my Mom. She always made me feel like I had a choice.

Now I think the cereal racketeers have spun out of control. There is more cereal on the market out there than one can actually conceptualize and some of it is so questionable I am shocked the FDA has not already stepped in and put an end to this travesty.

Example: Captain Crunch Christmas Blast with pop-rocket candy that dyes your milk red.

Ew. That is all I have to say.

The hardest thing about all of these choices is that it makes my already screwed up mornings just that much more confusing. My four year old will keep me searching for hours for the perfect cereal.

"What cereal do you want, honey?"

"Not the big ones, Mommy. I want the little ones."

Okay. Little ones. That would no doubt be the Rice Crispies. That is the littlest cereal I have.

As I take out the Crispies she goes into override.

"NOT THEM! I WANT THEM ROUND LITTLE ONES"

Round little ones. Aha! Cheerios! They, by far, are the smaller of the "round little ones" cereal group.

So, out come the Cheerios.

"Not those! Those don't have any color! I want the color ones!"

I knock a box of Cornflakes onto my head and I feel as if I am about to cry. Fruitloops? Little, round, colored Fruitloops. I hesitantly grab for the box.

"No, Mommy! Not the birdie ones! I want the Puff ones!"

Puff. Puff. Sugar Puffs! Oh, the bear one. Puff. Of course. Silly me.

I reach for the Sugar Puffs.

Smoke begins to blow from her ears.

I move to the Cocoa Puffs.

She begins to shudder so hard I am afraid her head will pop off.

Fifteen minutes later my husband comes in to find me sobbing on my kitchen floor amidst eighteen boxes of dumped out cereal. As I sift through the Cheerios, my child sits at the table grief stricken and starving. I am a failure as a mother.

"Good Lord, Honey. What are you looking for? I'm pretty sure the kids took all of the decoder rings out of those boxes the day I brought them home"

"The Puff cereal. I need little, round, colored Puff cereal. You know, the Puff ones. Please. Help."

My husband steps over me and, reaching up into the cabinet, pulls down a box of cereal with a dragon on the front.

"See honey? Puff. Puff the Magic Dragon. Here he is."

As my daughter sits down to her bowl of Puff, I call my therapist and try to schedule another appointment. He advises me that he is booked solid due to the holiday season.

He then suggests I go lock myself in the closet.  Sound advice.

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Unless otherwise specified, all material
Copyright 1999 by
Marijke Hildreth

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