Monday, August 27, 2007

But They Know What I Meant

One of the many challenges in parenting is thoroughly thinking out the various results associated with an edict handed down to the kids. I have been a parent now for 16 years, have five kids within my "span of command". Yet, virtually every statement of guidance I provide the squad results in unanticipated outcomes.

The most recent example.....

As you could probably guess, being five very unique boys, each has his own level of "morningness". A couple are early risers while the rest are spread out between slightly later to extreme laziness.

As a result, the early risers will frequently drain the "good" cereal, leaving Special K and Rice Krispies for the later risers. This usually generates some tough discussions between the boys. (as well as some cereal hoarding in the bedrooms)

Now, you may be thinking that "the early bird catches the worm"....so the cereal was an appropriate reward for the virtue of early rising. However, for two reasons I do not fall into this camp....
  1. The early risers would intentionally overeat in order to deprive the later ones. To me, it's one thing to satisfy an appetite...it's another to do this.
  2. As a kid, I was a late riser....so I have empathy for this group. Growing up, I was frequently left with a choice of either Grape Nuts or Cheerioes. The Quisp and Super Sugar Crisp was long gone when I made it to the kitchen....and it really ticked me off.

Anyway, to fulfill my parental obligations, I decided to try to correct this injustice. So, I told all boys that early risers were not allowed to completely drain a cereal box. The must leave something in the boxes for the later risers.

As I dropped this new law on them a few weeks ago, I was surprised at the global acceptance to it. In retrospect, that should have been a red flag.

Anyway, as expected, a substantial loop-hole was found and exploited almost immediately. As of today, I have five boxes of cereal in the cabinet, each with approximately one tablespoon of cereal in it. In some of the boxes, all that remains is simply cereal powder.

Now, no one wants to mix their cereals (but they have no problem mixing their sodas at Burger King). So, since I made the law, Mrs. WHW (who warned me to think it through more before enacting) has now mandated that I have to empty any box that no one else wants.

Sugar Frosted Flakes + Corn Flakes + Count Chocula + Mini Shredded Wheats + Fruit Loops is really going to suck tomorrow morning. But it should provide a nice sugar buzz until 11:00.

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