Susan's Blog

Monday, May 8, 2006

Cereal Killing

If only I could get as much of a kick out of the little pleasures stumbled upon in a day the way my kids do; I think I’d be so much happier. Nat and Ben in particular still have the child’s appreciation for simple things. Max is so close to adulthood, he is far more difficult to please; particularly the fact that he’s fourteen makes it all the more of a challenge to muster his smile.

This morning I was reading to Nat the book Henry and Mudge and Puddle Trouble, a book Nat is very familiar with, and just when we got to the parts where Mudge eats Henry’s blue flower, I looked at Nat and he had a big grin on his face. He could not wait to hear about Henry’s profound disappointment. And the same thing happened later when Mudge shakes himself off and gets mud all over Henry’s dad. Big toothy smile for Nat. Made me smile, too, where I might ordinarily have been a little bored, having read it a million times.

And tonight after dinner, Ben said, “Oh, I can’t wait for Tuesday [tomorrow] morning!”
I said, “Why, Honey?”
And then I knew, the moment I asked. I had been told three times this weekend to buy Cookie Crisp cereal. I had been asked this afternoon if I had remembered to buy Cookie Crisp cereal. And now, I could proudly answer my own question: “Oh, you are going to try Cookie Crisp cereal tomorrow morning!”
And he grinned his toothless pirate’s grin.

Can you imagine being so young and easy-to-please that you’d be excited about the next day’s cereal?

I do remember that younger me, being so crazy about Lucky Charms. So was my sister Laura. When we went on vacations, my mother bought the mini boxes with an assortment of cereals (Remember the Kell-Bowl-Pack? So obscure I could not find a link on Google! Where you could eat the cereal with milk right from the box?). The first to go would be the Lucky Charms and it would be a problem because of how much we both loved them. It was so hard not to only eat the marshmallows! But you have to eat the cereal; that’s part of the deal.

Sometimes at home Mom would break down and buy us Lucky Charms. Actually, most of our cereal was junk cereal but there was something particularly egregious, in her opinion, about Lucky Charms. Now a mother, I agree with her. Back then I did not. Every morning we would grab a box and pour a huge bowl and sit behind our designated boxes. We would play “What do you pick?” This was a game we made up — and which Laura liked far more than I did but I was a good sport and typical kid sister so I played — where we would ask the other questions from our boxes: “What do you pick, hearts, clubs, squares, or suns?” The answer was “hearts,” the shape being the Lucky Charm shape she was looking at. And so on. It was a kind of nudgy game.

Dad would come downstairs and find us hunched behind our boxes, scooping and slurping huge spoons of sugary crap dripping with 1 % milk from Stew Leonards and he would say, “Ah, the Dry Cereal Consumption Factory is in operation!” Ever pleased with himself, even though he made the same joke every single day of my childhood.

I guess Dad retained his childlike joy, come to think of it. He probably still gets excited about his cereal in the morning, although because he’s a health nut, it’s something disgusting like Bran buds.


I have an adult friend who, if you wrapped a rock and gave it to her, would be as delighted as if she’d been given the Hope Diamond. Maybe more so, even. (And she would display the rock, maybe on a bookshelf, maybe as a Useful Doorstop, and enjoy it.)

I envy that about her. I guess I should try to cultivate my own sense of delight some more.

— added by Julia on Monday, May 8, 2006 at 10:58 pm

This made me laugh too. I loved the Henry and Mudge books. My youngest son and I read through a swath of the series when he was in 1st and 2nd grade.

I think my kids would feel the same way as you did as a kid–I refuse to buy that awful sugary stuff *they* want in the cereal isle. I know it is just a matter of degree between Captain Crunch and Honey Nut Cheerios, but I labor under the illusion that the cheerios are healthier.

— added by LJCohen on Tuesday, May 9, 2006 at 4:45 pm

Look for
— a few references in Google, but alas no images of the K-B-P in its full, flap-open glory….

— added by Randy Parker on Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 12:19 pm

I actually found your blog as part of a google search to explain the K-B-P to my 14 year old son. I always read the diagram carefully, but Mom would never let me use a real knife and try it. *sigh*


— added by Anonymous on Wednesday, February 13, 2008 at 11:14 am

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