Everett is one. I know this age comes with its fair share of shenanigans. I should write a book on his many improptu adventures. But this past week he took it to a whole new level. I should have taken a picture but I was too overwhelmed. I was not sure of what emotion I was feeling. Laughter felt like a good choice so I just rolled with it.

You see it all started before he was even born. We found out Clara has food restriction requirement. At any given time, my kids can be found eating any number of unusual things. But there is a shelf in the pantry that is kid height. It holds a basket full of goodies like applesauce and peaches. Normal kid food that is reasonably healthy. The children know it is their one indulgence. To the right is an assortment of Chex cereal. The kids are allowed to help themselves to whatever their heart desires whenever they desire it from this shelf. I am lenient because we all need to learn how to make choices and why not start young. The more choices you make the more practiced you will be in making the correct choices.

The second condition required for this adventure to have happened is a planned, parent dispersed, tv watching privilege. The one time I generously dole out cartoons is when the dishes need to be washed. This daily chore usually happens after breakfast when unloading and loading the dishwasher require kid hand free work. Calliou is my biggest ally in this endeavor. The sound of running water and dishes clanking allowed Everett to work in stealth mode. Every time I glanced at him he appeared to be happily watching tv.

Little did I know……

Everett has discovered a post-breakfast bag of cereal Clara has left out on the couch in the living room. It’s almost full. He has systematically removed the cereal from the bag onto the floor. Now you need a visual. Imagine a small creature wearing a T-shirt sans his pants. Fresh diaper. And just to make it sassy, a pair of his sisters princess dress up shoes.

I stood in awe as his half clothed body was reenacting a scene from river dance. Crunching the cereal with pure joy into the rug. He was so excited and immensely proud of himself. I am sure whatever happiness hormone his body was producing could be sold as a black market drug because he was in pure ecstasy.

Read that last paragraph again. It was complete cuteness and well deserving of continued pondering.

As a parent, what do you do? The colossal mess has been made. Cleanup is inevitable. But the happiness is continuing. Right before your eyes. I was getting to watch the rare moment when the mess was worth it. I did not have the heart to stop him from crunching. Who wants to be the reason his smile was gone. I knew this would come to an end in its own time. I did however stop him from retrieving more cereal from the pantry. Not sure why he stopped crunching but I have a good idea his little legs were fatigued.

I wish I had a picture for my scrap book. He is my angel baby who can find joy in the smallest of things. He inspires me to make the most out of everyday life. To not see the mess, because life is always messy. But instead to see the joy. It did take 6 hours of cleaning to get all the cereal out of the house but I will have this moment for an eternity. Small price to pay overall.