Well, it starts with a seed. It grows into a plant, the grain is harvested, and eventually baked into the one and only Cheerio™. I'd like to tell you the story of some we had here in our household. About a month ago, I brought home a box from the grocery store. I'm sure the box was handled by most of my children, as Cash likes to place it on the conveyor belt, and Jackson likes to unload the groceries. Anyway, about three weeks ago, I began my school activities to celebrate the 100th day of school, which, for us, was on March 27th. One of the first things we did was make a necklace of one hundred Cheerios. I poured a bowl full of this crunchy cereal, got four strings ready, and sat down on the (dirty) floor with my students to make a necklace. As we worked, I put Cash's on his neck and enjoyed watching him eat them through the string. (I didn't really intend for us to eat them, but it was keeping him busy.) Jackson and I finished ours, but Libby did not and so I put the leftover cheerios and her unfinished necklace into a Ziploc™ (too bad I'm not getting paid for product placement) bag and thought I'd let her finish it later.
A few days later I brought the Ziploc bag somewhere so Libby would have something to keep her occupied. She didn't use it, and it ended up in my diaper bag. It lived there for a while and a few more days later again, I took the kids on a walk, and, when I returned, left the double stroller sitting in the living room (by request) so that the kids could play on it. Someone must have gone through my bag because the Cheerio necklace bag ended up in the bottom storage basket of the stroller. The stroller was folded and put away in the front closet later. A few more days later we walked again and this time the Cheerio necklace bag was retrieved from the bottom of the stroller, played with on the walk and when we returned, got left on the floor.
I cleaned up (I do this every once in a while) and placed the necklace bag in Libby and Penelope's "room basket". (I have a basket for each bedroom so when I clean up the living area I can deal with everything without having to go to the back of the house and risk waking up sleeping angels.) We then left, spontaneously, four days earlier than planned on our Spring Break trip. The lonely necklace and Cheerios lay in a quiet house for nine days.
Today, over three weeks after starting the necklace, I finally threw it away. This, however, was something the ring, I mean Cheerios, did NOT intend. Some straggling Cheerios had fallen out of the bag and still remained in the bottom of the basket. Libby and Cash played with the basket of random items today and the Cheerios ended up on the floor of my hall, right in front of the bathroom doorway. I kept meaning to get the broom and sweep them up, but never had the moment to stop what I was doing. Some time after Jimmy got home, I was holding Penelope and couldn't bend down, but so no one would step on them, I brushed them against the wall with my sneaker.
Tonight I put Libby to bed, and sat down to nurse Penelope out in the living room. Jimmy was outside* and I figured he'd be in any minute to take care of the boys. Cash was wandering around and began to go to Libby's room. I hollered at him to leave her alone. He obeyed (thank goodness) and, as he came through the hall, noticed the lonely Cheerios on the ground. He stopped, bent down, and with sheer joy and the grin of a greedy toddler, ate every last one of them. Since they were assuredly stale, and probably 75% dust, 24% germs, and 1% goodness of Whole Grain, I may have tried to stop him did I not have a drowsy baby at my breast. But, then again, I probably wouldn't have. These Cheerios only thought they were unsinkable. Not in my house.
*A few minutes later, Jimmy couldn't sit still any longer, and I heard the creak of my computer desk chair, down here in the "no toddler zone". He had been here all along. He heard me tell the kids he was outside, let me deal with all of them at bedtime on my own, that sneaky punk. When I heard him and called him on it, we had a good laugh. I can't blame him. I come down here all the time to hide and as soon as my chair makes noise, Cash is sticking his head over the gate and around the corner, asking for my attention. I'm going to have to get a quieter chair.