I love coffee. I named my freelance operation Coffea after the biological genus of all coffee plants. I enjoy drinking it slowly, at first burning my mouth, but continuing to even after it is cold.
I took a nice long sip… What… What is that? Ugh, what the hell? Ew, um. Oh.
A Cheerio. A mushy single morsel of our beloved Cheerios.
A bit of backstory now: I was a stay-at-home dad for a couple of years, starting with MC was six months old and O turning 2. Those are such great ages. They’re playful, not yet (that) defiant. But, it can be mindnumbing at times.
I didn’t go to the playgroup of the Austin SAHDs group as often as I needed to have adult interaction and had to invent ways to keep myself, and the kids, entertained. On one particular day, nothing was going right. Lunch turned out pretty crummy and neither one of the girls would eat it. They were upset, yelling. I was at my wit’s end.
I had a pile of grapes. Out of pure desperation, I threw one up into the air and tried to catch it in my mouth. Total fail.
My arms, head, and body were wildly moving through the living room, trying and failing to catch grape after grape. The girls loved it. They couldn’t stop laughing. I figured out how to turn the tide of raw, toddler and baby emotion from anger, wailing, and gnashing of teeth into laughter and joy.
Being a stay-at-home parent is hard. It’s really hard. If you do it wrong (like I did), you’re isolated without adult interaction for most of the day. You can easily forget that things can be better and you fall into a trap of simply surviving every day.
Every so often, I would try again when I hit a wall and needed something to get past the wall. With plenty of practice, I’m actually pretty good at it now. I don’t do it anymore when I’m at my wit’s end, but more just to have the girls count to see how many items I can catch in my mouth in a row.
So, this morning, everything was great. I had hit 10 or so Cheerios in a row when 18-mo old T decided to join the fun.
Yes, she threw a whole handful of Cheerios up into the air. None landed in her mouth. And yes, unknown to me until about 20 minutes later, one ended up in my coffee cup.