2 Cereal Bowls: It Can Only Mean One Thing

I am not judging just pointing out that sometimes the child “experts”  are lacking in ….let’s just say street smarts: parent style.

Case in point,  yesterday was an early dismissal day. One Wednesday every month is early dismissal day. Chris is off on Wednesday. EVERY Wednesday –for 12 years now. What that means is when it comes to house, home, kids, dog, schedules, food, games, practices, dentist if it is Wednesday, I am out. He is in. Thursday is my day. Always has been.

Because this fact is so undeniable, I walk into work on Wednesday morning, put my cell in my bag and get busy. I do this without hesitation because I know, at home, Chris is on it. On Wednesdays.

So, yesterday when I picked my phone up at lunch to see a missed call from a blocked ID, I smirked and threw the phone back into my purse. But something didn’t feel right…not so wrong that I ran and grabbed that phone,  just a little bit wrong. So it was 3 hours later that  I picked up the message.

“Dr. Meyer, hi it’s East Ward Elementary (my heart sinks here). Um you may have missed the announcement, note in the backpack, voice mail, and email voice message but today was a half day so kindergarten was dismissed at 10:30.” Message time: 11:05 am. Time now: 2:05 pm.

I immediately dial Chris on his cell. I am indignant. “HOW COULD YOU FORGET TO GET HER???”  Let’s just say we have “words.” In the end, I have no rebuttal to “…and you were so on top of things that you are calling now–three hours AFTER the message?”  OK, perhaps it was an innocent mistake.

At the end of the day I drag my pounding head and aching feet through the front door. I grab Haddie and kiss her like she has  just come home from the war. “Are you ok honey?” She looks at me forlornly and says “oh, you mean because daddy forgot me? ” And with that she skips out of the room not scathed in the least.

Against my better judgement, I allow Chris to give me my customary kiss on the cheek. But something is different. Never mind a canary, he looks like he swallowed a cow. He is squirming and giggling. I am still not ready to be amused by his shenanigans. But, I am intrigued.

Before I go on,  it is important to know that he has some kind of kitchen OCD…it only manifests in the kitchen. He folds all the dish towels the same way. He lines all the cell phones up parallel to each other, and he cannot sit down to eat dinner until every pot is scrubbed clean. Every night, he spends 15 minutes spraying and scrubbing every inch of granite until it shines.

One of his “things” is setting out the breakfast dishes. For Wednesday morning, the process starts late on Tuesday. Place mats–3 (one for each child) Cereal bowls —2 (one for Sam, one for Hadley). Maisy gets a small plate of pre-sliced cucumbers, a piece of bread and orange juice (really.) These preparations give him comfort and allow  for maximum time for his morning nap (really).

6:35 am He rolls out of bed– I will spare you the graphic descriptions of the groaning stretching and cracking leading up to his  full consciousness.

7:05 am Maisy is up, fed and shooed out the door to her bus.

7:25 am Chris walks over to his favorite family room chair and proceeds to take his first power nap of the day (recall, he has been awake for less than one hour.)

8:05 am He wakes up (again) and gets Hadley and Sam up and dressed. They march down and enjoy the individually chosen cereals their father has meticulously laid out the night before.

8:25 am He walks both children to the bus stop and returns home for his second power nap of the day.

Except yesterday.

All went according to plan and routine.  At 8:25 as he is bustling Hadley out the door –back pack, shoes, head band, extra shoes, pretty jacket, no not that pretty jacket, his eye wanders to the kitchen table. He is troubled. There is something wrong. Mis-folded towel? No. Sticky spot on the granite? No.  Several minutes pass before it occurs to him.

There were two places set for cereal. Hadley’s bowl lay in its spot…nearly empty. But the other bowl….was COMPLETELY empty and dry and clean…as in unused…no cereal had been eaten out of that bowl. No child had eaten cereal out of that bowl.

Sam was still in bed.

In his multi step double checked  preplanned morning process, he had forgotten about his son who was still in bed asleep as the bus screeched to the stop behind our house.

“But Daddy what about Sammy?” Haddie asks climbing aboard.

“Daddy forgot him honey…I will drive him to school don’t worry! Love you! See you at 11:30!!”

Except it is the third Wednesday of the month so, not to be a stickler, but really, he should be seeing her at 10:30.



  1. Anonymous says:

    Have you considered writing a book? You are a born author! Love the stories, keep ‘em coming…

  2. Thank you! I would LOVE to write a book! I just need about 16 more hours in every day..

  3. Anonymous says:

    hahahaa does HE read these?!!

  4. you probably don’t see it…because you’re usually not working the same hours as he, but the OCD presents itself at work AS well as the kitchen…EvERyTHiNg has to be lined up accordingly …pens, computer, (computer screen has to be facing a certain way).. Lego calendar, cell phone..each have a very specific spot… all has to be lined up befor he can even think about seeing a patient…

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