Last night was 31-cent Scoop night at Baskin Robbins. Daddy had a church meeting, so crazy Mommy thinks to herself that this would be a great way to pass the time on our evening alone. Crazy Mommy even went so far as to tell her children ahead of time what her intentions were, which is a huge no-no in Crazy Mommy's book. (You should never, never tell small children where you're going until you're pulling up in the parking lot. Not while you're getting them ready, and not while you're loading the vehicle, and definitely not the night before. Otherwise, disaster is bound to strike, and you're left having to come up with a backup plan on the spot. No, better to just have them live out the "ignorance is bliss" plan, and be pleasantly surprised if and when things actually work out as planned.)
So anyway, back to the ice cream story. We go grab a bite to eat, and everyone is in a lovely mood. Crazy Mommy's happy to not have to cook, and the children are happy to be out of the house. A small hiccup occurs when Crazy Mommy realizes she HAS to use the restroom, but has no one to watch the three small children. So Crazy Mommy declares a "Potty Party", and she and her entourage (including one in a stroller) overtake the handicapped stall. Yes, four people and a stroller fit in there, thank God. Crazy Mommy is relieved (take that however you want to), and the children are now singing about their Potty Party. We are off to the races.
After two other minor pitstops (Crazy Mommy is notorious for thinking she can accomplish way too much), the small herd arrives on the scene at Baskin Robbins. But wait...what's this? Why is there a mob outside the building? Oh, never mind. That's not a mob at all. It's actually the line, which snakes out the store, across the front of two stores, and into the nearby parking lot. (Do you see now why not telling the children ahead of time would've been extremely wise? Instant change in plans, no harm done.) But Crazy Mommy figures what the heck? The weather's nice, we've got time to kill, and 31-cent scoops of ice cream at Baskin Robbins is worth a bit of a wait.
So we find our way to the end of the line. As it turns out, who should be in front of us but the world's most obnoxious/hyper kid, who promptly announces to us that "our baby's eyes look weird". (They're BLUE, kid. Ever seen blue eyes?) He is sort of freakily entertaining my oldest daughter, who was a combination of confused and scared about his behavior. His mother, who is evidently the one who passed on the ADHD gene, proceeds to tell us no fewer than five times that she's going to have the Jamoca-flavor, all the while criticizing the Starbucks in front of us, apparently because they sell coffee. Crazy Mommy thinks to herself, "Does she really NEED the caffeine?"
We've moved a few inches, I think. The people behind us are nice, and we visit with them awhile. My kids are hanging in there. I still have a pleasant attitude. Fast forward about 45 minutes. We've entered the building at last! We're just inside the door, when someone who must look exactly like me from the knees down headed out the door. It was five seconds later that I realized that none of the children around me were my son. "Where's Garfield?", I start saying, in an increasingly paniced voice, while scanning the crowd. I'm already running out the door, someone tells me, "I think he went that way", and Crazy Mommy is now sprinting like a Salmon against the flow of the line.
Almost back where we started, I see the kind older grandfather who was in line behind us chasing my son, who was blindly following a lady who was not his Crazy Mommy. He's just reaching Garfield, telling him that "Mommy's back there", when I got to them. Mind you, this kid must've been seriously moving, because he was far away from me in the course of 10-15 seconds. I can't believe I didn't completely melt down (pun intended), but that was only because there wasn't time. I was just amazed at how suddenly I could've lost my son, whether he'd wandered in front of a car (no one was really watching him), or whether someone had grabbed him. I was also so grateful that we'd become best friends with the people behind us, which made them aware of the situation and willing to help out a stranger. I shudder to think of what could've happened if that man hadn't noticed what was going on and reacted so quickly.
We all get back in line, slightly ruffled. It's now been a little over an hour, but we're almost there. At last, the front of the line. Crazy Mommy orders for her children, who choose a flavor that can easily be purchased at the grocery store. Crazy Mommy orders for herself and for Daddy. We pay for all our treats---a little over $2! Success! The kids are licking their cones, the baby is screaming at me to share with her, and I'm balancing the cups of ice cream. I suppose the word "balancing" is giving me a little too much credit, because as soon as we get out the door, I drop Daddy's cup face-down on the concrete. (Ooops...sorry, Daddy. Did I forget to tell you that?) I don't care at this point. We'll scrape the dirt off, but we're NOT going back!
Only, when I stopped to pick up the ice cream, my son must've not realized he needed to put on the brakes, because he ran right into me. He's fine. We keep on walking, passing the still-very-long line of people. We're at the van when Emma tells me, "Mommy, there's orange ice cream ALL over your bottom." What in the world?!? My son's cone must've splatted right onto my behind when he ran into me, because the majority of his ice cream was smooshed into the seat of my pants. Nice. A lady in line apologetically says, "I was going to tell you, but..." It's ok. I really don't mind. These people already saw me frantically running after my lost son, so does it really matter if they see me with ice cream pasted onto my tooshie?
But, as they say, all's well that ends well. We all had our yummy ice cream. We kept our good attitudes throughout the whole ordeal, which is a small miracle in itself. And Crazy Mommy learned some really vital lessons in wisdom, humility, caution, and stain removal. A worthwhile outing, don't you think?