There are times in your life when someone will point out to you something that seems insignificant at the time, but later in life winds up giving you food for thought. In this case, that food is cereal.
Once upon a time, B.C. (before children), I lived with one of my very best friends in the world, Lisa. She and I have been friends for going on thirty years now and the relationship is a solid one, having survived the ultimate test: being roommates. When we shared our little two bedroom apartment all those years ago, I seriously thought she was overreacting when she pointed out to me what I now call the “Dirty Cereal Bowl” gene.
Honestly, I just did not recognize at the time that eating cereal and milk out of a bowl and then leaving that unrinsed bowl on the kitchen counter could cause anyone grief. Lisa would approach me about the corn flakes hardened onto the bowl, the stench of stale milk; lighten up, is all I could think. Then, I became a mother, and the “Snap, Crackle, Pop” of my teenage years came back to haunt me.
Now that I understand what Lisa was talking about, it has made me wonder—is there a “Dirty Cereal Bowl” gene that you pass along to your kids? My oldest definitely got that gene; it seems that Shannon and Daniel have acquired this trait, too. My step-daughter, Kayla, definitely did not receive this gene which confirms my suspicions: I am the carrier. It is a difficult spoonful for me to swallow, that my biological children are the recipients of my tainted genetics, much like my affinity for skin cancer or my bad eyesight. Of course, it COULD just be lax parenting on my part, but I would much rather believe it is hereditary. Then, at least, I could focus my efforts on this characteristic skipping a generation so my future grandchildren can emerge unscathed.
In the interim, I will continue to harp on my kids to rinse out their breakfast bowls and I’ll keep scraping the old cereal off the ones they manage to get past me and wonder, which of my parents gave me the “Dirty Cereal Bowl” gene?