After a winter with weather that never dipped below a balmy 70 degrees, the first quarter of 2014 rolled in with storm clouds close behind. The northeast sky was a cerulean blue dotted with puffy white cotton clouds. But the southwest city line wore an angry gray wall of rain.
The idyllic peace of ongoing California sunshine was about to shatter.
Inside, I heard the scream. I felt the banister shudder. And I saw Destroy come summersaulting down the stairs.
I crossed the kitchen in two steps straight toward the crumpled heap hiccupping wails slumped against the wall.
“My ba-nilla bar!!!” he sobbed. “It broke!”
As the panic in his voice rose, the heart-pounding thudding in my ears dissipated. Any child truly injured by such a fall would not be solely concerned with the well-being of his Quaker Chocolate Chip Granola Bar.
I laughed. Ah the woes of a preschooler.
The next morning another broken bar of oats was the cause of my precious little one’s wild-ass mood swing. Search flung his snack to the floor and spent the rest of the ride to school in hysterics, “I need a new one! I don’t want a broken one!”
This is a big problem for the 3-4 year old set. If what they receive is not whole to their interpreted expectations, it is deemed worthless – subjected to a derisive hurling to the floor and ideally some enhanced crushing by tantruming stomps.
I’ve heard this is quite common among the preschool set – steadfastly refusing to eat broken crackers. Yet, judging by the packages we go through, cracker factories seem to smoosh them on purpose. I think this may be a capitalistic move on the part of the snack-food industry.
A “small” graham cracker is worthless; only a full sheet is worthy. A Ritz cracker has the addictiveness of its buttery flakes only if not a single ridge is chipped. A bag of Teddy Grahams is only sweetly satiating if no uneven rip tears at the single-serve packaging.
But why are the goodies no good in two pieces when moments earlier they were delightfully delicious as a single enticement?
This attitude may not be terribly far off from the same reactions we have as adults. I’m certainly not a fan when my metaphorical cracker crumbles either. It’s the unexpected that throws us off our game.
The next cracker will taste the same; really, it’ll break into two when you bite into it anyway. There’s some fabled lesson I could end with, “Pick up the pieces and try again.” But really? Sometimes there are just too many germs on the floor where the pieces fall.
So finish the second half of the snack. (At least in our house, no discourse of reason can be had if Destroy’s blood sugar needs those sugars RIGHT NOW.)
Pick up the pieces and throw them into the garbage WITH AUTHORITY for that final crumbling satisfaction.
Then go get a chocolate chip cookie. It’ll go well with Mommy’s glass of wine as we watch the rain come down, soaking the world until it’s time to complain about the multitude of wisteria droppings blanketing the back yard once again.