Yeah, imagine that. Here I am posting something positive, without so much as a drop of coffee this morning. (I confess to 4 cups of green tea.)

Saturday I was Mr. Mom, because the real Mom was busy with her business. That meant missing my Saturday morning Al Anon to take my daughter to her horseback riding lesson. My younger son has to come along because he's too young (nearly 4) for his 11 year old brother to watch. Instead, the 11 year old has to suffer through Saturday morning cartoons!

Can't find the riding helmet. Why am I not surprised? I tell her that she can have a lesson in scooping poop for all I care. We get a couple houses away from home and she remembers where the helmet is. We're already late, but I turn back.

Her memory is faulty. We're later. Zoom, off we go. They actually have a couple spare helmets at the farm, and one fits her. A good lesson, and we go see Mom selling her wares at the market.

Bad move. Seeing Mom reminds the kids that they want slushies. So Mom tells me where to get the best price on slushies, and we're off again.

Long story short, the 3 year old gets a warm slushy from a malfunctioning machine. They decide not to charge us. Good, 'cause he drops it on their floor. I pay for a replacement, cherry flavor like his sister's, then his sister drops hers outside when she's climbing in the car. She's covered in iced sugar water and red food dye when she gets in the car. We made the second payment on that car last week! \:\(

It gets better. We're on our way to her guitar lesson when we leave with the slushies. I have to go back home to pick up the guitar. Turning the corner to go to our neighborhood, I hear a terrible commotion in the back seat, and my son starts screaming, but it's muffled. I look back to see the car seat, with him strapped into it, upside down in his sister's lap. I pull over to straighten him out, and he's screaming not because he's scared or hurt (thank God) but because his damn slushie is spilt all over the car now. \:\(

I think one of the kids disconnected the car seat during their climbing in and out. We were very diligent in researching the brands, etc when we bought it, and I have a lot of practice putting it in different makes/models.

Later that same afternoon, I'm driving to find a cash machine so we can buy some lunch while we wait for the guitar teacher (who's late), and there's another strange noise. He's unlocked and opened the door this time. After the car sear incident, this scares me and I pull over immediately. The door swings wide open when I stop, and that scares him. I don't think he'll open doors in moving vehicles again. I had turned off the child safety locks because it's usually the 11 year old back there. Time to put them back on.

We order some food at the restaurant next to the guitar shop. My son orders a chicken tenders dinner, and eats only the fries. \:\) His sister shows up before we're done. I had ordered her food to go, but the lesson must have run shorter than I expected. We climb in the car with his chicken and all of her lunch. Did you know that honey mustard can get slushie stains out of car upholstery? \:D Well, sort of.

A year ago I would have been furious at the kids for being kids right there in our car. And angry at my wife for taking care of her business. How dare she take care of her own business and leave me to deal with the dreaded Slushies! \:\) But I've been around you people for so long now that I'm beginning to realize that "life happens."

Thanks for helping me see the important things as important. We spent hours that afternoon at a neighbor's pool party, and we all had a wonderful time.

Thanks,

Joe

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"Telemachos, your guest is no discredit to you. I wasted no time in stringing the bow, and I did not miss the mark. My strength is yet unbroken…"—The Odyssey, translated by W.H.D. Rouse