Who doesn’t love Cheerios? Little circles of oat goodness! The TV show “Glee” pays homage to Cheerios by naming their cheerleading squad after the superior cereal. And since we’re already cheering, let’s whoop it up for the Spoonfuls of Stories program! Cheerios distributes 6 million children’s stories in its specially-marked bookish boxes. Bravo!

Well, I do love Cheerios.

When I’m not hating them.

You see, my love/hate relationship with the ubiquitous toddler treat runs deep—deep in my carpeting, that is.

So for the new parents out there, take heed. Sure, run out and buy What to Expect When You’re Expecting. But then, expect Cheerios to be on your grocery list for a lifetime, so pay attention to these lessons:

  • Do not purchase carpeting that is the same color as Cheerios. My sand-colored shag disguises stray O’s. We’re endlessly grounding whole grain cereal into the fibers and getting little circles stuck to the bottom of our feet.
  • Do not enter the ceramic tile of your kitchen with said Cheerios attached to your heels. You will go flying. It won’t be pretty. (Hey Mom, is that a new dance?)
  • Do not buy Cheerios at Costco. The enormous box won’t fit into any cabinet. You will be forced to let it live on the kitchen floor, within easy reach of a newly-walking toddler. You will soon have 5,392 Cheerios dumped onto your floor…with 5,391 rolling under the refrigerator. All the money saved by buying in bulk will be beneath your icebox.
  • Do not buy fruity Cheerios in rainbow colors to solve the carpeting dilemma. They will not be eaten, these strange, colorful cereal mutations. Instead, necklaces will be made. Bracelets. They look so beautiful glued to construction paper. If you lick them and press them against the wall, look—they stick!
  • Murphy’s Law of Cheerio Consumption: if you place one Cheerio at a time on the baby’s tray to avoid cereal being thrown on the floor, she will eat each quickly and cry for more. If you put more than one on the tray, they will be immediately swiped onto the ground. (Corollary: number of Cheerios provided to your child is inversely proportionate to their hunger.)

I’m sure you other parents have your own Cheerio life lessons. Please share them! (The lessons, not the Cheerios. I have enough all over my floor to make a meal, thankyouverymuch.)

P.S. While I have your attention, please vote for the books to be included in the 2010 Spoonfuls of Stories program. Me, I like Bear’s New Friend by Karma Wilson and The Hair of Zoe Fleefenbacher Goes to School by Laurie Halse Anderson.