Early Independence

My dear ones, you both know that I don’t like to be awakened before 7 AM. Of late, I said that if you woke me up early, there would be no screen-time that morning. That mostly worked. There are mornings when you’ll be making lots of noise outside my room, including yelling at each other to be quiet, but you at least try.

Now, with it being summer and near the longest day of the year, Lucas, you recently asked “How come 7:00 is getting farther and farther away?” But the real challenge is not earlier daylight, as much as the fact that you start to get hungry once you wake up. For a while, I left cereal out for you, and that worked. But your favorite breakfast food is a toasted waffle. I gave you the rule that only mom and I change the dial on the toaster, and for a while, that worked.

But on this fateful morning, my loves, you ventured into the cupboard with canned goods, none of which you could open. Well, except for the Mandarin oranges, which have pull-tops, and you both love those. My concern would be the sharp edge on the lid, but on 2 of the three cans you opened, you were successful. Well, except that I noticed that the kitchen floor was wet in places, and then also quite sticky. You see, that third can posed a bit of a challenge for you. You managed to pop the top enough to break the seal, but were not able to lift the tab enough to pry the top all they way off. In your attempts, you apparently spilled quite a bit of the juice.

However, I didn’t even KNOW about the third can… I just assumed that it was the juice from one of the open cans that you each had before you. So when I rhetorically asked about the spill on the floor, you told me that it came from the one still in the cabinet. I looked, and that’s when I found the partially open can with less than half of the juice still in there.

RaccoonAnd so, my loves, while I do indeed appreciate and value you growing early independence, I could not help but recall a story from my grandma about raccoon when she lived on Sanibel Island in Florida. You see, she loved to watch those little creatures, and there was a family of them that would walk across her porch each morning. She made the mistake of leaving some marshmallows out for them, and would delight in watching the family devour them in the early morning. That is, until one morning, after weeks of having done this, Grandma forgot to leave the marshmallows out when she was sleeping in. So she was not up up to see the raccoons searching in vein for the sweet treats that had now become an entitlement. In retaliation, they took everything that they were able to carry – shoes, flip-flops, a small planter or two, and summarily destroyed them. The plants they knocked over, the shoes they chewed on and left in the back yard for the alligators, and a handful of ceramic items they broke. I suppose it was the hearing the latter that alerted grandpa to their dissatisfaction.

Now while grandma was known to spoil Darron and me rotten, she was nowhere near as understanding with the raccoons. They had eaten their last marshmallow, and grandma set up a more defensible perimeter by bringing more of her stuff inside from the porch until the young family of bandits learned to move on.

So for you, my dear ones, I just added to the list that includes “no touching the toaster dial” that canned foods are off limits for breakfast until I’m awake. We’ll see how long that works.

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