A question for moms

What is it about Cheerios?  Why do all mothers of really young children never leave the house without a small plastic baggie filled cheerioswith them?  And what is it about them that keeps every wee one I’ve ever seen quiet, happy and occupied, even for hours?

Have you ever paid attention when little kids are around?  Doesn’t matter where you are.  It could be grandma’s kitchen, a restaurant, a doctor’s waiting room, a store, a car stuck in traffic or an every-seat-is-filled-with-tired-cranky-adults-who-have-no-patience-for-crying-babies airplane cabin.

Out comes the baggie, shake shake shake some Cheerios on the highchair or seat tray, the table top, even a blanket on the floor.  Instant quiet.  Instant no more tears.  Instant smiles.  Instant busy.  Instant happiness.   Instant sigh of relief from the adults in the room, as everyone watches, with baited breath, as a pudgy, little finger reaches out, picks up one teensy “o” at a time and delivers it directly into the waiting, open, toothless mouth.  Okay, so some of the mouths have a tooth or two.  What’s the difference?

A delightfully slow process that is repeated over and over again until all the “o’s” are gone or baby gets tired and falls asleep.  Also a good outcome, by the way.

And have you noticed how it doesn’t take a huge quantity to keep Junior happily busy either.  At that age it seems even eight or ten Cheerios will do.

Hard as I try I can’t see the appeal.  I’ve tried them myself and find them absolutely tasteless.  Even the Honey Nut variety.  Even with the addition of ice cold milk and fresh fruit. Of course babies’ palates aren’t as sophisticated as ours are, I get that.  But still, don’t you think they taste like wood shavings (Cheerios, not babies).

I have wondered about this for far too long (should I even be confessing to such a thing lest you think I need a life; and don’t answer that).  So in the hopes you can finally put me out of my misery, I am appealing to those of you who’ve experienced the joy, the peace and quiet, the satisfaction only Cheerios can deliver, to shed some light on the mystery.

That’s right.  Only Cheerios.  No other cereal will do.   Don’t believe me?  Have you ever seen a mother take out a baggie of Corn Flakes?  Or Special K?  Or Shreddies?  Or Rice Krispies?  Or Bran Buds (just kidding, what a nappy nightmare that would turn out to be).  Again, why I don’t know.  Maybe you do and you’ll let us all know.  I, for one, would appreciate it.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was an adult version?  Something that would stop husbands and boyfriends from bitching when the women in their lives force them to tag-a-long on their shopping excursions.  Like, maybe, beer-flavoured Cheerios.  Or rum-soaked Cheerios.  Or bacon-crusted Cheerios.  Or valium-laced Cheerios.

You know, I may be on to something here.  Where do I go to patent an idea?

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14 thoughts on “A question for moms

  1. Very funny, Fransi. I never got the Cheerios thing, either, but if you’d ever smelled jarred baby food, you’d understand why a kid might prefer them. Plus, it’s an easy, cheap, and mobile snack for them. Most parents have heard about one kid or another choking on a grape. Cheerios dissolve quickly into mush. It’s one more worry a parent doesn’t have to deal with.

    • You have a point — I have smelled jarred baby food. Other than the apple sauce, gag-inducing. I guess Cheerios are also not messy, which is another bonus for moms who spend so many hours a day wiping everything from bums to drool to never mind. I’m beginning to see Cheerios as kind of a saviour :). There’s a commercial for ya! Thanks Michelle.

  2. Hmmm. I’d say Cheerios are easy for chubby little fingers to pick up. They’re also low in sugar and dissolve easily in toothless mouths. Plus their palates haven’t yet been biased to sugar and other additives, so they have no issue with the bland flavor. I was a Cheerios-toting mom, too. I guess moms learn from each other, and if a system ain’t broke, why fix it?

    • Yep, it makes sense. They’re safe, relatively inexpensive, easy to tote around, don’t make a mess — why wouldn’t you give that to your kids? And you’re right — moms do learn from each other. We all do for that matter, that’s how trends become trends 🙂

    • I love that. It IS a toy that’s also a food. Considering I’ve always worked in advertising I can’t figure out why the maker of Cheerios has never produced a commercial using these insights. It’s so differentiating from their competition.

  3. We don’t do Cheerios, but I don’t leave home without goldfish crackers in my bag. Works like Cheerios, a toy and a snack, but with a two year old, they are much better choice. Works to bring her out of a two year old melt down in a heart beat.

    • Yes, I have also seen moms with baggies of goldfish crackers as well. As you point out, for toddlers with teeth :). Thank God for this stuff. Not unhealthy, not messy, not heavy to lug around, no need for refrigeration and kids love ’em! What more could a mom ask for?

    • You make a good point. I think it’s popular because it keeps kids quiet and occupied for a while and it’s not messy and won’t spoil. And in the grand scheme of snacks it probably isn’t unhealthy.

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