Wednesday, May 16, 2012

When I Was Little: Ritz Crackers

When I was little, I wanted to eat some Ritz crackers. I must have been about three years old. I asked my mom if I could eat some Ritz crackers so she gave me the box. She gave this word of caution, though, "Make sure you eat them at your table, and make sure you don't eat them and put them back." I said ok, and I toddled off with my Ritz cracker box.

I remember all of this so vividly. My brother and I had our own little, wooden, kid-sized table in our living room. We had our own little chairs for our little wooden table, too. The table was stationed between an 80's dusty blue recliner and a 70's piece-of-furniture television set. You know the sets I'm talking about - the ones you had to dust. Our set was somewhere between cherry and walnut, and the speaker screen was a 70's gold piece of diamond weave fabric. I sat down at my table in front of the TV. I happily watched cartoons as I took the cracker sleeve out of the box. I set the box to the side, and I opened the twist-tie on the cracker sleeve. Without thinking, I popped part of my cracker into my mouth as I watched cartoons. I would not stake my life on it, but I am pretty sure I was watching Yogi Bear and Huckleberry Hound.

As I munched on my bite of cracker, I started to put the other part of the cracker on the table when I remembered what my mom had told me, "...don't eat them and put them back." A sudden moment of confusion and panic swept over my three-year-old mind as I held my half-eaten cracker. All I could think was Don't put it back where?! In the box? Who would put a half-eaten cracker back in the box? On the table? Oh, ok. No problem. I can just hold the cracker. But what if she meant back in my hand? Oh no! What to do?! And with that thought...

...I stuffed the rest of the cracker into my mouth. My three-year-old mouth was not very big, and I had a huge wad of cracker inside. I was trying very hard to concentrate on Huckleberry Hound, but I really had to concentrate on this cracker to keep from choking. I swallowed my cracker, and then I picked up another. Without thinking, I took a bite of cracker, and then in a much quicker panic - I popped the rest of it into my mouth.

I concentrated on this cracker while making sure to rake up any crumbs even though this cracker had never had contact with the table. I did not want my mom to think that I had put it back. I still did not know where back was! Still determined to eat the crackers, I popped one in my mouth whole. This task was even more difficult than getting one started before putting the rest in my mouth. This cracker had to be washed down with Kool-Aid. The combination was less than desirable.

I gave up after only three crackers. I carefully twist-tied the cracker sleeve back into its neat little twist. I carefully placed the sleeve in the box. I made sure there were no crumbs on the table, on my Osh Kosh B'gosh's, or in my hand. I closed the box. Then, I marched my toddler little self into the kitchen, and I handed the box to my mom to which she replied, "Did you even eat any?" I nodded and went back to my table. Eating crackers was too much work.

My mom still cracks up anytime I tell that story. She does not remember a bit of it.

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