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the weakest link, or they don't make them like they used to

this morning i was making paul's snack for preschool (in the past few weeks, i've noticed that i've upgraded his snack from snack-sized to lunch-sized -- must be the collateral damage from that whole nesting thing) when nola started shrieking bloody murder. as a result of feeling rather faint (early morning coffee on an empty stomach), i had just quickly inhaled a slice of cold pizza and was in the process of drinking a cup of milk. since i was feeling a little better, i latched her on and continued to put paul's snack together. hurray for multitasking.

paul came into the kitchen and spied a box of cheerios on a shelf. he had already eaten his breakfast, so he was only interested in the speed racer turbo car that was included with the cereal. he had been whining all morning, so i wasn't exactly feeling all that receptive.

paul: please get the car.
me: no.
paul: [whine]
me: no, i'm sorry.
paul: [whine]
me: [frustrated] call your father.
me: if he says yes, i'll get it for you.

bad move. he ran for the phone and called cam, who told him to give the phone to me.

cam: is that what you said?
me: yep.
cam: okay, give the phone to him.

cam told him yes.

me: thanks a lot.
cam: was i supposed to say no?

i sent paul to the living room with promises to get the car for him. i drank my milk and tried not to think about ulcers.

paul: [calling from the living room] i'm ready for my car now!
me: [quietly] shit.

i pulled the bag of cereal out of the box and shook it. didn't see a car. twisted the bag this way and that way. no car. sighing, i took a big bowl and poured all of the cheerios out into the bowl. no car. i called cam.

me: did you already get the car out of the cheerios?
cam: no.
me: i poured out the whole bag -- there's no car in there.
me: ugh... i better tell paul.

paul predictably began to cry and accused me of not looking hard enough. as i put the cheerios back into the bag/box and then put the box back on the shelf, i noticed a little plastic-wrapped white thing on the table. apparently the car had been wrapped separately from the cereal and must have fallen out of the box when i pulled out the cereal. paul was delighted. nola, still latched on, couldn't care less.

me: yeah well, the car was there.
cam: when we were kids, the toy was ALWAYS mixed in with the cereal.
me: yeah.

cereal manufacturers must have figured out that it's more sanitary and less stressful if we don't have to empty the goddamned box of cereal in order to find the prize. wish i got the memo.

i still can't believe i gave in.

breathe in, breathe out...

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