Parents throughout the generations are told to pick their battles from older generations. I try to really take that to heart and not sweat the small stuff. But, when given a choice of battles to pick, I will always pick the wrong one. Always. And I never realize I have picked the wrong battle (or that I am even in a battle) until it’s too late.
Thus, the Great Golden Graham War of….Yesterday.
I have one of those double barrel cereal dispensers in my dining room. I bought it thinking it would prevent the kids from over-pouring cereal for themselves because you dispense cereal like a gum ball machine would with a big crank. Well, it’s actually turned in to a breakfast food free-for-all with the kids turning the crank and grabbing a handful of cereal every time they pass, but that’s another story.
Yesterday the dispenser had shredded mini-wheats in one barrel and Alphabits in the other. The Alphabits were almost out. One more bowl and they would be gone. Robert would have been content to pick a cereal and have breakfast, if it wasn’t for the fact that he had seen me put away groceries and he KNEW there was a box of Golden Grahams somewhere in the house. (Usually in the laundry room. They never think to look behind the towels.)
“I want Golden Grahams,” Robert insisted, holding a bowl under my nose.
“Not today,” I replied. One of my pet peeves is having 500 boxes of cereal open at one time because then it gets all stale and has to be thrown out and I did NOT spend money on cereal for the birds and woodland creatures, for crying out loud!
“Noooo!” Robert howled as he started to flop around. He was going in to tantrum mode.
“Once there is an empty barrel, I will put Golden Grahams in. Maybe Peter or Aili will eat up the Alphabits.”
They didn’t. Of course. I have a feeling they did it on purpose to make Robert crazy.
So Robert whined and fussed and yelled and threatened to stay home from school.
By the time I started considering just giving him the freaking Golden Grahams, we were in WAY too deep. He was in a rage about cereal (because he is the definition of “hangry”) and if I gave in, it would be condoning his behavior. Do I want this happening every single time he wants something he can’t have? H NO. But, it was getting out of hand. I had to figure out something because he was starting to pick at his brother and sister to get them going as well. Rallying allied troupes? That’s fighting dirty.
“Let’s compromise. I will pour the Golden Grahams in the dispenser on top of the Alphabits. When you grab a bowl, you will get some Alphabits and some Golden Grahams, okay?”
Robert grunted. He looked like a ticked off little owl in pajamas. (That was another layer to the problem. He refused to get dressed until he had his cereal and we were quickly running out of time.) But, I took it as a peace agreement. He calmed down as soon as the Golden Grahams came out of the cupboard.
I set up the cereal and left Robert to grumble while he took a bowl. When I walked by, I was pleased to see the Alphabits were no longer in the dispenser’s barrel and Robert was eating….a bowl of Golden Grahams. Just Golden Grahams. There were no Alphabits in his bowl.
After a quick look around the room, I found all the Alphabits behind the cereal dispenser, under a napkin.
He broke our truce. That little…He’d better be glad I still have to uphold the Geneva Conventions…