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Sunday, August 05, 2007

Cereal Killers

As I was in the kitchen mixing myself a stiff on this evening (a little coke, a touch of lime, a bunch of bourbon), I noticed the box of Crunch Berries on the counter, and felt sorry for the Captain.

You see Captain Crunch, along with Tony the Tiger, Tucan Sam, and many of our favorite cereal box characters are probably on their way out, killed by their own success, and parents lack of will power.

You see, advocacy groups "for the children" are horrified that these characters appeal to children, who then want their parents to buy the cereal for them. Evidently, in today's society, it is the children who make the shopping list, and the parents who must comply.

Growing up the only time "The Captain" got into the house was when one of the four boys living there earned enough money shoveling snow or mowing lawns to buy it. Mom never bought it that I can remember. Same with Cocoa Puffs or Sugar Smacks (even though Dad like them). She knew they were junk food, and when we asked for them we were told "NO". Wheaties, Corn Flakes and Raisin Bran, along with oatmeal were just fine.

For today's parents, NO is a word that can be found in the dictionary, and you can use it with your children. Growing up, I heard that word a lot. "No, you may not leave the table, you didn't eat your vegetables", "No, you may not go outside, you didn't finish the dishes", "No, I'm not buying you that sugary crap cereal". And, amazingly, I've lived into my mid-40's and not died from hearing that word.

Even more amazing to some of today's parents might be the fact that I still adore my parents, and thank them regularly for using that horrible word so often. I've used it many times with my own children, who still talk to me, on a daily basis, and they are both grown ups now.

Tony the Tiger doesn't need to be put to rest for kids to be safe from sugary cereals with cool cartoon characters. No, instead, parents need to take back the control of their shopping lists, and homes in general, and get the back bone to use the word NO once in a while. If that word alone doesn't work, try "NO, not in this life time", "Not only no, but HELL NO!", or in extreme cases, "No fucking way, Junior!"

Now, how did my mother (who will be sainted for putting up with me) deal with 4 boys on grocery day? Well it was a family outing, kind of. When we were too young to stay at home Dad would drive to the store (Mom doesn't drive) and sit in the car with the four of us while she shopped.

On the rare occasion one of us did go into the store with Mom we were reminded quite early on that a fit "like that brat over there is throwing" would mean that once we go home we'd be hard pressed to sit for about a week. We never tested the theory, we knew she wasn't kidding.

When we were old enough to not have to go along on shopping day, we waited at home, and didn't complain when Tony the Tiger wasn't in the grocery bags we unloaded. We understood that there were two options when it came to what was served; eat what was on the table or "no one has ever died from missing one meal". Meal time wasn't a negotiation, it was a directive, something many of today's parents obviously need to relearn.

So, all of you weak willed, cave into your children parents, who think it's not cool to be in charge; I'd like you to kiss my ass for trying to take away a part of my childhood because you are too weak to control your own children. Grow a friggin' backbone, and tell the kid NO! for once, you might find out that they actually like the idea of you being the grown up and setting some boundries.

Technorati Tags: Captain Crunch, Tony The Tiger, Cocoa Puffs, Cereal, parents, NO


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