Thursday, May 01, 2008

I scream, you scream....

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?

18 comments:

Renee said...

Definitely what memories are mad of!!!

I took our 11 children by myself. Dh was preaching at the jail.

I fed the kiddies dinner at 4:30 to try and beat the crowd. It wasn't bad when we arrived, but by the time we left. Whooo--wee!

What we Mamas won't do for a bargain treat :o)

Chef Mama said...

Oh, you had much more fun than we did! We just played thinking games ("Guess what flavor ice cream", "Make a story with each person saying one word to add to it," etc.). Now, we learned LAST year that it takes a good solid hour to get through on 31 cent night. If only I'd known you had planned to go. Also, the one we went to had bags. BAGS, I tell you! AND they put lids on all the cups! That's it. Next year we're taking you to BR with us. I have short people who can run fast to catch wandering children and provide great entertainment. At least we assume so based on the laughter from the young teens in front of us and the mom type person behind us. I suspect you stayed home tonight. And will for a VERY long time. Hugs, but only if you promise you aren't wearing ice cream!

Hofwoman said...

This post was an absolute kick in the pants!

Glad ya'll actually got your ice cream. We saw the ominous line stringing from our local place and decided to forget it. You are one brave woman!

You go girl ;)

Clarisa said...

Hilarious! You brave woman, you! I think I'm craving ice cream now :)

Candace said...

Oh my goodness, Stephanie! I just got the biggest laugh reading this! Too, too funny!

What a good mommy you are....when I received the email about the special, I thought, "NOPE!", because of the lines! But now I'm mourning the "fun" time I just missed out on! :-)

Sanders said...

great story!! i always love hearing you write - so descriptive.

Ashley said...

Oh the things we do for our kids! I learned the mommy mistake of telling my kids before any outing so when we saw the line at BR, we kept on driving. They had no idea and no guilt from our end. We enjoyed our shakes from Jack-n-Box and only waited about 2 minutes!

Shelley Roberts said...

I tried to talk Brian into going to that but he just looked at me like I was crazy! I think a mother's level of craziness is directly proportional to the number of children she has. I know I've become MUCH more "crazy" in the past three weeks.

I do admire your bravery... I hope one day I can be that crazy, oops I mean brave!

Chelsea said...

Next time skip the line and drive to my house. I always stock both kinds of cones and at least four flavors of ice cream.

Michelle B. said...

Yes, Stephanie I too decided to do this. I even told me kids when we were leaving where we were going (I so know better) so off to the Hobby Lobby as we were going to meet hubby in his lunch break. He came saw the line and said he would try the one near his work. I drove over there said we can do it besides I already told them. I saw the line and decided to go to the one my husband was going to. Well he didn't go there either. So I drove up and parked. I suggested we go get cones and ice cream at HEB. All but Andrew were all for this. Well I was going to brave the line than he said he wants to pick so I told him he could pick the ice cream at HEB and he agreed. So we went to HEB and had double scoop ice cream cones at home two days in a row and next time I will delete the 31 cent night e-mail from my computer.

kgmommy said...

Stephanie, not sure if you remember me from HOPE, but I just wanted to say I just love reading your blog. I really got a kick out of your BR 31cent adventure. I thought about it, but I wasn't as brave as you. Thanks for the funny story.

Kim Gonzalez

Stephanie said...

Hi, Renee and Kim! Thanks for commenting!

Actually, guys, truth be told I'm not brave at all...remember? I'm CRAZY! :)

pinkexplosion said...

We went as well to the one by our house, but ours was MUCH less exciting. Since there was a ten scoop per person limit we decided that the oldest as well as mom and dad needed ten scoops a piece. It took almost 10 minutes to get our 30 scoops but the guy was a trooper. They are all nicely stashed in our freezer for future fun days ahead.

April Kuper said...

You make me LAUGH!! Maybe I'll try 31 cent night next time - taking your advice, of course! I'll look for you!!

Stephanie said...

Great, April! I'll see you there...I'll be the one with the ice cream all over my butt!

Neal, Janice, Madeline, Aidan, and Evelyn said...

Love IT! How many times have I done something ridiculously similar? I think I have learned to never tell them what we are doing until we are doing it...once we told them we were going to sea world, packed up the car got everyone ready drove to the gate and they were closed for the season! At least I didn't have ice cream on my butt!

Christine said...

That is hysterical! You really have to be a mother to appreciate that night. You really did a good thing taking them out. :)
I have had a few moments like that too, we have five littles.

Denise said...

I haven't checked your blog for a while, so I thought I'd back track. :o) Glad I did!

And it was ORANGE ice cream??? ;o) Hilarious.