Attack of the Crunching Cereal Clusters

At seven o’clock every morning, when the dawn has broken and the sun shows its face in the bright blue sky, and the chill of the air has burned away, it begins. I lie asleep in our bed and dream of the happy pleasures of life, calm and content, oblivious to what is about to happen. It is truly peculiar that every morning I forget, until it happens.
The silence is sweet and fresh. Not a soul is awake within the house, and I cherish those few last moments of blessed sleep before a child’s footsteps creep across the kitchen floor, stealthily approaching the cabinet and removing the object of my doom.
The scraping of a wooden chair on a tiled floor is muffled in the state of my unconsciousness. A cabinet door creaks slightly as it swings open. The moment is coming closer and closer, any second now. The tension is thick and sharp and the still house awaits the dreaded but inevitable routine.
And then –
The box of cereal lands on the kitchen floor with a loud THUD , its contents rasping as they are shaken by the impact. The child hops off the chair and retrieves the cereal box, placing it on the table. Then, with a CLING and CLANG a bowl and a spoon are produced and positioned. The refrigerator is opened with a PTAH and the child heaves and huffs as he carries the container of milk to the table to complete his army.
And now, all is prepared. The moment has come. The morning seems to cover its ears in anticipation.
The box open with two small SNAPS. The bag inside crinkles loudly as it is unrolled and pried open to allow passage to the cereal, which rolls through it like an avalanche echoing in a desert valley. Each piece hits the bowl with a SMACK like a firecracker. The milk gurgles as it is poured. The child yelps as he spills some of it down his front. He rushes into the kitchen to get a paper towel which tears away from its brethren with the sound of a T-Rex which has found a tasty meal. The milk is soaked up and the child returns to his business. The spoon enters the bowl with a CLUNK and the torture begins.
CRUNCH. The cereal is stirred. CRUNCH CRUNCH CRUNCH. Up and down, in and out. All grains must be brought to exactly the same degree of wetness. All the little pieces must touch the milk before the cereal can be eaten. CRUNCH CRUNCH CRUNCH. The sound raps on my eardrums with the force of a hundred spears. I roll over and cover my head with my pillow, but it is no use. CRUNCH CRUNCH CRUNCH. I groan silently. I want it to stop, to end. I want to go back to sleep and return to that wonderful dream I was having. CRUNCH CRUNCH CRUNCH CRUNCH. I have no choice. I jump out of bed and run into the kitchen, adrenaline rushing through me, prepared to face whatever it is that brought me so violently from the state of bliss…
The boy looks up at me from behind his cereal box and shouts, “Daddy!” His pretty little eyes, round face fresh with youth, and milk mustache are so harmless and innocent. My heart dissolves within me, and all is forgotten.


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