one of my co-workers was eating cream of wheat in the breakroom this morning, so i thought it would be a good time to tell one of my many childhood trauma stories.
when i was little, like, before kindergarten little, my mom used to drop me off at tom thumb preschool. early. very early. and when she dropped me off, she would also hand off my breakfast and lunch to mrs. polly (and now that i start thinking about it, mrs. polly and tom thumb are a "whole nother" childhood trauma story. shudder.) and that breakfast was always, every single day, without fail – cream of wheat. in one of those tupperware bowls. you know. they were kind of flat, but kind of bubbly, and had a lid (of course).
so, the deal with me is that i hate cream of wheat and anything cream of wheat~esque. sometimes? i can't even eat oatmeal. i don't know if it's the texture or what, but it just does not work for me. so i used to beg my mom. beg her! not to give me cream of wheat! but she always said, every day, "amelia. make sure you eat all of your cream of wheat today, because there's a surprise in the bottom."
let's talk about what might constitute a surprise in the bottom of a bowl of hot, grainy slop. a matchbox car. a fruit roll-up (i don't know if these had actually been invented yet? ugh.). but, my idea of a surprise was M&Ms. don't ask me how i thought they would still be M&Ms when i got to the bottom. i was a KID. a tiny kid who had not yet learned the cruel ways of the world yet – who still hoped against hope and believed with all of her heart that there would be DOZENS OF CHOCOLATE CANDIES waiting for her after she gagged down a cup of cream of wheat.
alas. the surprise my mom always tempted me with turned out to be sliced bananas. every time. and still, i ate it, every day, thinking that ONE DAY, there would be a better surprise waiting for me. a surprise that, although it never melted in my hand, would most certainly have melted in the bottom of a bowl of cream of wheat.
there never was.
dear cream of wheat: i hate you, i always have, and i always will.