I don’t even know how it started, honestly.
We bought a variety box of instant oatmeal one day at the supermarket and it turned out that Violet loved it.
Cool, I figured; another big gun in my breakfast arsenal for the kids.
But as the days went by, my daughter started coming into to my bedroom in the morning, when it was still dark, when I was still sleeping, and she started poking at me and saying stuff like, “Dad, it’s wake up time! Let’s go get oatmeal!”
I would groggily open an eye, try and see her in the predawn black. “Go get my glasses,” I’d grumble, just to buy myself a measly extra twelve seconds or so of pretend rest.
A week or two passed and the fever didn’t subside. Oatmeal this, oatmeal that. “Can I have some oatmeal?” at dinner time. “Can I have some oatmeal?” when I was tucking her in some nights.
One evening, without even thinking about it, I was throwing dishes in the washer and wiping down the kitchen battlefield when I haphazardly went in to the cabinet above the stove and took out the two boxes of instant oatmeal. There was the Spice Family box (Cinnamon and Spice, Brown Sugar and Cinnamon, Cinnamon and Cinnamon) and ther was the Fruit Family (Blueberries and Cream, and you know the story).
I set them up, one on top of the other one, like an oatmeal skyscraper, right in front of Violet’s chair at the island. I tossed her pink plastic bowl into the mix, and a her green cup and a spoon for good measure.
Then I went and had a beer on the couch and watched some TV and forgot about it. As in, I totally and completely forgot that I had just done something that I didn’t even know why I was doing it in the first place. Story of my life, I guess.
Next morning: I get my obligatory 6am oatmeal lover’s wake-up, same as it ever was.
We made our way down to the kitchen, me asleep standing up, Violet already talking up a medium-sized storm as we descended the back steps.
She was out ahead of me, the first one in the kitchen when I heard her squeal.
Dead mouse, I figured.
“Daddy! Oooooohh! Loooook!” She could hardly speak she was so excited.
The oatmeal skyscraper was an unintentional hit. And a big one too, if I do say so myself.
I congratulated ol’ Serge for getting something right, made the coffee, and we started up our day. That night, I happen to remember what I’d done with the boxes and all, and being a creature of habit when something works out for me, naturally, I did it again.
Next morning, more super squeals and heartfelt laughter. It was not much different than a Christmas morning reaction. “Duuuude, you are on to something here!,” I told myself.
And it has, obviously, continued. I am no fool, you see. I like attention same as the next guy. Especially when it’s coming from her.
Now, I keep on wondering how long will it last?
Because, I gotta be honest with you: I don’t want it to end. I invented something. I created something , the Oatmeal Skyscraper and it has one fan in this life and I intend to ride that horse until it drops upon the dusky horizon beneath me.
It’s funny, you know. Some nights I get all ready for bed and slip on my AC/DC boxers and slide up under the cool cottony sheets. I pick the bookmark out of my novel and sigh out the two-mountians-over sigh of a faraway locomotive at the end of his long hard day.
Then, out of noweheres, I suddenly remember that I forgot to put out the f’in oatmeal boxes.
I crawl out of my cocoon and back into the frigid world and I make my way down the stairs in the darkness and bumble around in the kitchen until I have the boxes stacked up,the whole little morning ensemble all set up once again.
Then, I make my way back up to the bed, pretty satisfied, I’d say. In a few hours, she’ll be talking in my ear.
“It’s wake up time, Daddy! It’s time for oatmeal!”
I’ll creak open an eye, try and focus an eyeball.
You’re damn right it is, kiddo.
You’re damn right it is.
You can also find Serge on his personal blog, Thunder Pie.
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