Tuesday, October 18, 2011

How things like this happen

If you give a girl a reminder about her after-school FluMist appointment, she will have a tantrum on the daycare classroom floor.

If you appease the girl by reminding her that after last year's flu shot, you took her out for ice cream, she will say she likes lollipops better.

And then you will have to think fast: where can you buy a lollipop near her doctor's office, without buying a whole bag of lollipops?

And you remember the large lollipops at the craft store, and you say, "like those pink ones you love as big as your fist?" and she will counter: if I have to go to Dr. Coleman's office I need one as big as my face!

She will run away to brag to her friends about her flu clinic appointment and lollipop negotiation, and you will remember with a strong sense of doom that you will also have her big sister with you, and you've just promised a trip to the craft store.

So when you take two children to the flu clinic and meet the third there, one sister will immediately say to the other: we're going to the lollipop store! and the other sister will say to the one: you mean the ribbon and stickers store? and two girls get misted and one boy (underage) gets the shot and three kids get stickers and two girls run out of the office building chanting: lolliPOP! LolliPOP! LolliPOP! 

One boy will notice that the yelling girls didn't pick up their treasure chest mini rubber duckies and will try to hug three rubber duckies while running himself.

And you will buckle three kids in the car and drive to the craft store and unbuckle three kids from the car and drop one in the front of the shopping cart, one in the back of the shopping cart, and one in a leash of words and warnings not to deviate from the perimeter of the cart. You will hype the lollipops, ignore stickers and candy and coloring books and ninety-nine-cent rainbow tissue paper, even though, ninety-nine-cent rainbow tissue paper? But adding that to the cart would release a dammed-up torrent of requests, so you wheel/escort three children and a product-empty cart to a checkout line (where the lollipops live), ignoring three cashiers' offers of help while you meander the six aisles of lollipop selections, until the girls by unspoken code speak in unison: I don't like these lollipops. 

And: I want cheese puffs and I want chocolate.

You think you might be getting away with something, leaving the craft store without a single purchase, so you willingly un-cart your children and walk two doors down to the drug store and re-cart your children. And you willingly locate a small chocolate bar and a small bag of cheese puffs, so happy are you that your little loves endured their flu trial with so little fuss. And you re-un-cart your children and strap your children and drive directly into 5pm traffic and crawwwwwl, slloooowwwwllllly, the rest of the way home.

The girls, sweet loyal creatures, decide to share the cheese puffs together, and with their brother as well. And because you are in the car for a pundred years (L's word: a pundred is the mostest all the way to the last outer space, you know), they eat until their bellies are full. Then L discovers that she still has chocolate, and you're not home yet. But she's not hungry, but she has it.

And that's how things like this happen:

You may have called the lovely husband as you pulled into your neighborhood. You may have said something like:

"you're getting the kids out of the car. And bring the wipes."

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