Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Why my van smells like peppermint

This is an oldie but a goodie that I previously posted on Oh and this is before we knew Hannah was also allergic to soy.

We went with my husband on a business trip. One afternoon I decide to hit starbucks and take John to an office supply store. (Geeky, but he likes it). So on the way I get in the wrong lane and as I try to get in, the truck I'm trying to get in front of, honks at me. I sigh in exasperation and realize I'm not making it before the traffic light. As I drive off to find somewhere to turn around, I look in the mirror. The guy is shrugging in a confused but actually nice way because he had left a huge space for me to get in. (Who on earth actually honks to let someone in???)

So, almost to Starbucks, I spy a Hobby Lobby. Clouds part, angels sing. John readily agrees it is a much better shopping choice. Happily I drive a couple more blocks to Coffee Mecca. You see, it's the only place for me to get something creamy since Dear Daughter has a new-found milk allergy.

I order a tall decaf caramel macchiato extra caramel at 110 degrees for John and a grande decaf peppermint soy mocha no whip for myself. To my continued amazement the starbucks employees are never outdone and can rattle off all those specs like they are reciting the alphabet. As we approach the window John says in this wistful voice, "Mom, in just a moment I'm going to be in my happy place." Ha, ha... in just as wistful a voice worthy of a Calgon commercial mixed with a fairly big hint of amusement I manage, "ahhhhh, me too."

I head for Hobby Lobby with a sense of gratitude for my station in life and the beautiful day and for my amazing children. On the way I fantasize about picking out some dupioni silk to line the brocade pouch I plan to make. I, in fact, have no idea what dupioni is or how it is pronounced. I simply know it's a much adored fabric in the babywearer do-it-yourself forum. But it was a glorious moment.

I park and move to the middle row so I can nurse and offer the baby a pottytunity before our excursion. Things are going so well, I offer the greedy munchkin a sip of the drink I ordered to suit her nursing needs. She doesn't do well with the lid so I took it off. I believe she too finds a happy place.

I set the cup on the tray table/cup holder thingy between the two front seats and start to undress the baby. The diaper bag is in the front so I ask John to hand me a fresh prefold. (He sits in the front to test all the buttons while I nurse.) He tugs smartly on the bag and it doesn't move. He grunts and gives it another go as I realize the strap is wrapped around the release bar for the that stupid tray table/cup holder thingy between the two front seats.

Time slows. I yell in drawn-out, distorted words "JJJJOOOOOHHHHNNN STTTTOOOOPPPP" Apparently time doesn't slow for the eight year old desperately trying to please his mother by freeing the diaper bag.

Decaf grande peppermint soy no whip latte all over the van! A million thoughts race. Most of them involve the hurt and disappointed and fairly angry look my husband is going to have when he sees this. I pick up the fallen cup of doom, open the sliding door, and violently slosh the remaining liquid into the parking lot. I begin to soak up coffee with the clean prefold.

I remember that my dear husband does not like coffee at all. He most certainly detests expensive coffee. And, well, coffee that mars the van.... I clench my teeth, peel back my lips and snarl: "BAD WORD, BAD WORD, BAD WORD!!!!".

Yes, suddenly the maternal instincts kick back in and I actually say "bad word" as if I am spitting vile itself out of my mouth. And then the homeschooling part of my personality which requires that I explain everything says, "Mommy wanted to say a bad word just now but that would not be appropriate."

I calm down enough to nurse. Then I start to get tickled. Especially when I wonder what the owner of the burgundy grand prix next to me is going to think when he finds all that sticky coffee on his hubcap and rear quarter panel.

The mood swing does concern my son a little. But he is relieved we are still going to shop. Dupioni only comes in gold, not black at Hobby Lobby and it is very expensive so I buy some cotton. John enjoys looking at the project kits and balsa wood.

We return to the van and John races ahead as always and hops in his seat. I see him climb in quickly, inhale slowly and deeply and break into the "happy place" smile. He says, "Mom! It smells like..."

I cut him off, "peppermint and coffee. Yes, I know."

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