Thursday, October 10, 2013

I Scream at Ice Cream

Wednesday, three of my middle children had after school activities. The high schoolers wouldn't be en route home until five o'clock.  Looking at the odd grouping I had assembled before me, the three youngest and one middle son, I hit upon taking the four kids to Cold Stone Creamery and ordering what I thought would be a treat, something they'd never had before.  

The theory of all things parenting promises infinitely better results than the reality.   I was reminded yet again of the non transitive property of food likes found most prominently in children.  They like strawberries.  They like whipped cream.  They like funnel cake. They like vanilla ice cream.  Purchase a strawberry funnel cake sundae for the four of them to split and amazingly, I went 0 for 4.

 That's right.  I tried to splurge and surprise the unusual set of kiddos I had in tow with a heretofore unknown treat and it was an epic fail.  Everyone presumes a mother of ten is an expert.  I promise you, the one thing I am expert on, is knowing based on the ice cream incident, that no matter how much I practice this parenting thing, I remain clueless. Not wanting to waste it, I tried to deconstruct said ice cream creation and got a few grudging bites from some, a sulky look from the first grader who went over and pointed at the chocolate covered caramel apples. Having already bought a treat, I said "No." This earned me her permanent scowl.  She went to stare at the chocolates.  

"Next time..." my son started to instruct.  My brain already shut down. I would not take this defeat without a fight.  So I kept trying to spoon vanilla ice cream into my youngest son's mouth. He'd eat it, and then spit out the funnel cake or the strawberries or the whipped cream.  How do you divide the ice cream from the whipped cream with your tongue I'd like to know!  Surrendering on the feeding, I did the only thing I could do, try to pick at the funnel cake ice cream and finish it.   It felt weird having one son scanning through the ice cream cakes for order, one daughter sulking at the candies, a toddler begging for the giant stuffed bear and another toddler who simply refused any bites but kept scooping it anyway to feed me.   It was time to leave.

As we exited, to complete the experience, my 5 year old dumped his shoes.  We'd formed a human chain to walk out of the place so I had the two toddlers by the hand.  Next to the street, I couldn't let go of eithers so I couldn't get the shoes.  I tried to hoist my son into my arms but he went boneless in protest.  I used a football hold and my other son grabbed the shoes but his brother was flailing for not getting the teddy bear in the store.  The daughter toddler took this opportunity to also go boneless such that I was holding her by a clenched arm and the other one under the arm.  

"Run for the car!" I shouted.  The car was locked but the older son ran over, grabbed the keys around my neck and pushed the unlocking button.

It was  a compelling instagram type shot. Mom drags shoeless Down Syndrome Boy out of ice cream store. I momentarily envision the news story feed.  The employee confided, "I thought there was something fishy about her.  When she was in the store, only she ate the ice cream."

Bad Parenting Police will be at my door in 3...2....1.  

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