It's all fun and games, til someone puts an eye out......

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Serious Cereal Problems

Ok, so,  is there such a thing as a "cereal" problem?

And if there is one, is there a category there called "serious"?

I am answering YES to both of those questions.  Of course, since I am the one with the serious cereal problem, I am not sure you should consider my opinion on much of anything.

Let me tell you what my problem is and you can decide for yourselves if I do indeed have a problem, and if it deserves this highly esteemed title.

I LOVE cereal.  I mean, I really love it.  Every kind.

I have had a bowl of cereal for breakfast every morning since I can remember.  I was even known to have the occasional "cereal dinner".  I don't really care what kind of cereal it is, although I do have my favorites.

Let me start from the beginning.

When I was growing up, I was raised in a household where sugared cereals were not allowed.  My mother did not like us to have sugar cereals, as she believed, firmly, that they were the root of all evil.

Ok, not really the root of all evil.  But pretty close.

She would let us have any cereal, as long as there was no sugar in it.  Oh, did I also mention she would not let us wear jeans to school?  Another story....

So our choices growing up were these delightful cereals:  Grape Nuts, Cheerios (plain), Wheat Chex, Corn Chex, Rice Chex, and anything else that tastes like cardboard. When really, these were the ones we wanted:

The only good thing about eating the no-sugar cereal was we were allowed to put brown sugar on it.

You read that right, brown sugar.  You know, like white sugar, only brown?

Now, if you are like me, you are asking yourselves, why is brown sugar allowed on top of the cereal, when acual "sugar" cereals are banned?
Alas, my mother always had an answer for that:  "My grandmother ate brown sugar on peaches her entire life and lived to be 105 years old."   Hmmmm....does that have to do with the brown sugar, or could it be that she never sat in the sun, took her vitamins, and exercised daily?  Plus, she just had good genes.  Thanks, Nana D.

Either way, my sister and I did not complain about the discrepency, because, heck, it was sugar!!!

So, we piled it on.  Oh, and we never let Mom see it.  We disguised it under the cereal, ate a few bites of the sugar before we poured the milk, etc. 

In fact, while she is reading this, I am sure this is the first she has heard of this sugar thieving.  And currently, she is gasping and saying "oh, I don't believe it.  you girls....."

So, my love for cereal runs deep, even underneath a pile of brown sugar....

This cereal obsession continued into my adulthood, and has now come to affect my children.  My three boys have a bowl of cereal every morning.  They do occasionally stray and have the ineffective Pop Tart or Eggo, but they always come back to the cereal.  Always.

My boys also have their "cereal phases" where they enjoy one particular cereal for a month or so, then have nothing to do with it anymore.

We have been through many phases:  Cookie Crisp, Apple Jacks, Fruit Loops, Cap'n Crunch, Cinnamon Toast Crunch.  They even went through a Frosted Mini Wheats phase.  Our most recent phase, Rice Krispie Treats, was the most challenging, as the only store that carries it (and is often sold out) is WalMart. 

By the way, if you have not tried this cereal, please go to WalMart right now and buy some.  Better yet, buy two or three.  You will want the extra boxes after you try it.  Trust me.  It is unbelieveable.

So, each boy goes through their various cereal phases at different times, which requires my pantry to be stocked with several boxes of cereal, at any given time.

Which leads me to this story.  And my serious cereal problem. 

Have you ever seen Seinfeld, where his cabinet is stocked with ridiculous amounts of cereal boxes? 

Check out all the boxes of cereal in the background.  I loved that cabinet.  I wanted that cabinet.  And what I never realized, is that I HAVE that cabinet.  And then some.

This is my pantry currently.

 I have actually scaled it down a bit, as I was embarassed by the sheer volume. (If you are wondering about the three boxes of Cocoa Krispies, it is because my oldest is going through a cocoa phase.  Oh, and they were on sale for $1.48 a box).

I combined cereal kinds and squeezed them close together, so as not to look like so many.

My pantry has too many boxes of cereal (according to my husband) so I have deemed it a Serious Cereal Problem.

What do you think?

My solution?  Being the crafty person I am, I did a bit of research.  I can recycle. 


That will make the universe feel better. 

I can turn the cereal boxes into crafts for the kids. 

Here is my idea:

Cereal box bookmarks. 

Just in time for school.

I think I will go out and buy some more cereal.........