August 28, 2012


After a pleasant day at work, let me just tell you how the first hour home has gone:

4:59--driving down our street with Hope, I pass the Ice Cream truck. As I pull into the driveway, Mr. Ice Cream Man turns the corner to go around the block behind ours.

5:00--enter house.  Grant is eating mini pepperonis as his 'supper' because he was too lazy to heat up the Tuna Helper Tetrazzini that only HE likes.  He needs to eat because a friend's dad is picking him up in 20 minutes to take him to football practice.  I remind him of this, and I ask him if his football gear is packed up yet (we covered this in my phone call to him at 4:10 today). 

Grant: "You never told me to get my stuff together!"
Me: "What the hell, Grant?? Yes, I did!" Then I repeat verbatim what I said on the phone. Grant sulks but gathers his gear and gets to the tetrazzini.

5:02--find Ross in the living room surrounded by his pile of piggy bank nickels and pennies, frantically trying to gather money for the Ice Cream Truck.  I don't have ANY cash, so I quickly help him count out $2 for the overpriced spongebob ice cream treat, and then walk him part way down the block to try to find said truck. In my mind I silently hope against hope he finds it; we've been through this routine three other times this summer and that damn truck always disappears on us.

5:03--try to get dinner started, but truly, Hope and I just snack on Pringles and sour cream while Grant eats.  Go to the bathroom. 

5:10--Ross walks back in, stomps to the living room sofa, and buries his head in a blanket.  He's sobbing. He could hear the truck but couldn't find it until he saw it turn four blocks away.  I try to console him and ask him if he wants me to come out to look with him.  He agrees, and Hope insists on coming. This leaves Grant alone, and he absolutely HATES being alone. I tell him he has to stay; friend's dad will be here any minute to pick him up.

5:15--Ross, Hope, and I walk two blocks east.  We hear snippets of Mr. Ice Cream man's song playing, but not consistently. It's like the wind wafts it to our ears for a few seconds and then it fades away. We give up after a few minutes, and Ross is devastated. That is to say, his is thoroughly angry.  I see friend's dad pull into our driveway, so I jog back home to meet him and say goodbye to Grant.  This is when Ross starts calling me a meanie. 

5:20--back in the house. I have told Ross I will take them to Tutti Frutti after supper so we can have some frozen yogurt instead. Hope is standing on her barstool at the sink washing her hands.  Then--"Mommy, I'm peeing!"  Hope grimaces, screams, and stands there peeing all over the stool, her clothes, into her tennis shoes and onto the rug by the sink. I grab her and carry her to the bathroom, but not before urine drips onto my feet and sandals. We peel off her underwear and (new) skirt, I wipe her down, and reassure her (with a teeny bit of edge to my voice) that it's okay. Accidents happen. Next time, don't wait to go--go as soon as you feel the urge.

I head back into the kitchen to absorb the pee and then scrub the barstool. Ross comes to the kitchen counter: "Hey, where's my Doritos?!" he scolds.  I ate the three Doritos sitting there when I first got home. I tell him so and apologize, and he starts to scream-cry.  And THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is when                                          
                                                                    I   lose   it.

I scream back at Ross. He screams back and me (this kid doesn't back down). We scream at each other.  "I am NOT a meanie! I think I am pretty nice to try to find the ice cream truck, clean up pee, feed the dog, and try to get dinner on the table!"  Oh, the indignance is flowing now. "I'm working really hard around here, and it hurts my feelings when you call me a meanie!"

Ross:  "I worked really hard all day too, Mom!  I worked harder than you did!"

And so it goes.  I shut up; Ross quiets down. I heat up some stupid fish sticks and feed the kids. Then I unload the dishwasher, feed the dog, and apologize to Ross for yelling.  I decide I'm not eating supper; I'm just going to have a healthy (read: large) serving of Tutti Frutti yogurt. 

6:00--Hope and Ross are finishing dinner. I take out the garbage. And guess what's coming down the street?  The goddamn ice cream truck.


I come back in and close the door. Miraculously, neither child hears it.  As I finish this post, Ross heads outside to play...and he hears it.  He opts for Tutti Frutti.

Thank God.