Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Classic moments in parenting

The best recent moment was on a Saturday, we went for a family walk. When we got back, we decided to make a trip to The Home Depot. We had planted all the seedlings and young vegetables in our garden and realized that our garden hose (a garage sale purchase) had sprung too many leaks to make it through another season. So we hopped in the car.

There's a Dunkin Donuts on Route 1 North in Edison. It's hard to drive by there without stopping to have myself a small iced decaf hazelnut coffee extra light with milk. It's sweet. It has no sugar. And if they make it extra light, it can count as one of those wretched 8 ounce glasses of milk I'm supposed to drink 4 times a day. So as we turned on to Route 1, I mentioned we could stop at Dunkin Donuts.

My husband is programmed at this point that he just nods, rather than saying he doesn't feel like coffee or whatever. He's gritting his teeth a bit as he drives because I had gone out earlier, and not filled the gas tank, so as we turned off of Woodbridge Ave, the car's gas light came on. There's nothing that makes a husband more crazy than no gas in the car. I swear, he'd react better if I used all his t-shirts for dust rags or dropped his toothbrush on the bathroom floor.

At the same moment, his mother calls on his cell phone and he's trying to have a conversation with her, listen to our daughter whine about how it's time for Chicken McNuggets, and watch the needle of the gas gauge sit on "E".

We stop at Dunkin Donuts, he orders 2 iced regular coffees with milk, and I am fuming because I wanted mine flavored, decaf, and with extra milk and how dare he not ask me how I wanted my coffee. As he pulls up to the window, he looks at me expectantly.

"What?" I demand.

"It's $3.45."

"I don't have my purse."

He puts down the phone. "What?!"

"I don't have my purse."

He picks up the phone, "Mom, I have to call you back." He lowers the window and says to the cashier holding out her hand, "I'm sorry. We should've checked before we ordered, but I didn't realize my wife didn't have her wallet." Without waiting for a reply, he pulled out of the lot with a screech.

"How could you not bring your [expletive] purse?"

"Dammit! We were on a walk and we just got into the car. Of course I didn't have it with me. How was I supposed to know you had no cash?"

We continue having this silly conversation until we arrive at The Home Depot where I insist on sulking in the car rather than indulging my mean and cruel husband by accompanying him to purchase a hose. Really.

So, as stupid arguments go, about ten minutes later we realize that it's actually sort of funny that we left the Dunkin Donuts lady with coffee and silly that neither of us had cash and after all, every other chain now accepts credit cards. Once we're able to pin the blame on someone else, we've moved on to talking about how we're going to mount the hose on the house.

We went out that night to see a movie while Jess watched our daughter. When we got home from the movie, Jess said, "She told me a weird story when I tried to put her to bed."

And I said, "Oh. What was the story?"

Jess replied, "She said it would've been a good day today, if only Mommy had remembered her [expletive] purse."


Delphi said...

It's easy to forget they're soaking it all in isn't it? It's like A Christmas Story. I hope you got some flavored coffee at some point.

Epiphany Alone said...

What really amazed me is that *I've* got the family potty mouth. How he managed to be the cuss-er in that story is pretty un-effin-believable ;)

karen said...

Our world (or mine, really, and therefore the rest of my family's) revolves around coffee, too. At five, Lars can already recite the caffeine free choices at Starbucks and will instinctively head toward the door when we pass one. He also knows which hand I like to hold my coffee in and will stand on the other side to hold my hand after we've ordered. Kids really do soak it ALL up! I have this odd feeling that I ought to be apologizing to someone for a lot of the stuff my kids are absorbing but I have no idea to whom I feel sorry; my kids or the rest of the world...

Epiphany Alone said...

I am pretty much a coffee junkie. I manage to get my caffeine consumption down while pregnant, but otherwise...
In one of my past career paths, I was a restaurant manager, and one of my jobs was to "tune" the espresso machine. My boss didn't trust anyone but himself or me to do it - not even his wife. This procedure requires pulling two shots and tasting them to make sure that water levels, ground settings, etc are all precise and produce the right flavors and desired amount of crema. As I'd been taught, I always drank one of the shots to test the machine, and poured the other in my first of 6 cups of coffee. My waitstaff took to calling that first cup "The Speedball".

I think Lars is learning very considerate behavior that will help him greatly in both his personal and professional relationships. And, sheesh, it's not like you taught him to pack your bowl or something [not that *I* or any of my friends know how to do that or what that means, Dad...]