I have learned three lessons that I hope stick with me for a while.
1. Never leave an opened box of cereal on the counter when leaving the room to do laundry. Little boys know.
2. The sound of a box of Cheerios being upended on the carpet is unmistakable even from the next room.
3. Cheerios will clog up the vacuum hose if you try to suck up too many at one time requiring the use of a chopstick to poke them on through.
After lesson 2, I walked into the family room to find Winter3 (of course) and Fall21months happily munching on the cereal. When I got out the vacuum, both little boys looked at me, threw themselves on the cereal and started eating as quickly as possible--their little fists bulging with Cheerios. (I really do feed my sons. Promise.) Winter3 added an element of drama by crying out, "MY CHEEEEEERRRRRIOOOOOOS".
After lesson 3 and lots of muttering and aggravation on my part, my carpet was more or less clean again. Winter3 walked over to me, offered me a high five and said, "Good job Mommy!" Next time, I'll just put the box of cereal away.