We used to be cold cereal people. Everyday. It worked out well for us. When someone woke up, anyone, they would simply help themselves to cereal and I could keep sleeping.
That was the upside of the arrangement.
The down side was that cereal boxes, bowls, spoons, sugar, and milk spills sprawled across every flat surface. By the number of bowls and spoons, one would think that I had at least eight children. I often wonder why there are more bowls than children. I also wonder about the nutrition they are getting and lastly, I wonder about the puddles of sugar that are speckled around the table. If that much sugar didn't make it into the bowl, I imagine how much actually did make it in. To top it all off, those boys can eat. A lot. Cereal isn't cheap. Even with price matching at Wal-mart.
At some point, enough is enough.
For me, enough was enough a few weeks ago. I decided I would wake up super early and fix breakfast every week day. Less sugar. Whole grain goodness. Less mess. Cheaper. It has worked out. But today was different.
Then I hear, "Mom, can we just have cereal today?" I'm shutting my eyes tightly in hopes of keeping the scene vivid.
"No. I'll be there in a minute." I say. The race is still happening in my mind.
"Why Mom?" Think whine.
Oh no! The race is fading. I'm letting go of the dream and starting to picture Porter hovering over my bed, on Glenn's side. He jumps and now he's on the bed, even closer than before. I don't see him, but I feel him. I'm still trying to keep the race real, with my eyes closed. I want to go back to it. I really want to know if I can actually win. It was going so well.
"Okay fine! Have cereal. Just close my door when you go out." I can't argue right now. Every word I speak drags me further out of the dream. I've got a race to get back to.
I picture the race course. It has lost its color. Then it's gone. My dream is gone. I try to think of the details so that it will come back.
But it is no use.
I lay in bed and hear hard pieces of cereal clanking as they make contact with an empty bowl.
He forgot to close the door.
I know I wouldn't have won those speedy girls in a real race. But in my dream I could have. I sigh. I get out of bed. I eat more cereal than I should have. I help Porter with his piano. I send the boys off to school. I shower.
Stafford won't go to preschool. I go with him and sit with him. No, he's not staying without me. It is not where I want to spend my morning.
So we leave. Stafford, Warrick and I.
The plan was to get my hair trimmed while Stafford was getting an education. That won't work now.
I go to the Art museum to get Art Ball Tickets. When we walk in, Stafford goes right to a sculpture and hugs it. The volunteer gets after him. He is now clinging to my leg with his face buried in my outer thigh. I think the lady feels bad. We all do. She directs us to the office to buy the tickets. A woman from our ward is working there. She says, "That will be $70." Ummm. I hesitate while thinking, "I thought they were $35." She sees it on my face. I explain. She is really nice about it, though I feel dumb. Dumb that my son hugged a statue and dumb that I don't want to pay that much. I then find myself going on a mini-tour of the museum with her. How did that happen? But she is really nice and I enjoy that. She takes me to the sculpture garden. There is an Indian on a horse, children frozen in a gay (old meaning of the word) frolic and among the grand figures, a naked lady, just relaxing. Like it's normal to be lounging in the nude. Maybe it is. I won't judge. I've seen naked ladies before, but I don't feel like seeing one right now. My sons aren't as familiar with the topic and I don't feel like explaining that it's art, and beautiful and freedom of speech/expression and that we shouldn't be asking why there is a naked bronze person staring at us, but instead we should all be asking why there are not more naked bronze people staring at us. Not really. But before my boys experience a deeper level of art than I want them to, I tell our self appointed tour guide that I need to get going. She chats a bit more. And since she works in our ward primary, she tells my boys that they are the best kids in primary. They say thanks, after I prompt them to.
As we drive home, Warrick says that she's wrong. They aren't the best in primary.
Stafford calls himself a bad boy. I think he's still wounded from the museum reprimand. I tell him he's a good boy.
I suggest he goes to get the mail. It is something that excites him on a daily basis. He wants me to come. We walk down the driveway. No mail. I knew that. It's too early in the morning, but it gave him something to do. I bring our big black garbage can back to the house.
It is 10:30 am.