Sometimes I think it’d be grand if I could press the rewind button and zip back to when my two kids were still little. But then I give my head a virulent shake. Would I want to relive the entire thing? Thank you but no. I have absolutely no interest in revisiting certain family vignettes.
A case in point? That time my darling boy personally forced the complete shut down and lengthy closure of the ball room at a McDonald’s restaurant.
Thank you but no.
The day started off so well. It was one of those hot sunny days in June where everything is possible; the ideal day to inaugurate the McKenzie family tradition of picking our own strawberries at a local u-pick. My children were the perfect age
or so I foolishly thought. My son was almost three and my daughter four. Magical.
We arrived at the farm in high spirits. I’d troweled on their sunscreen and remembered the water and sun hats. We tumbled out of the car and waved away the offer of containers, having brought our own. Each one of us clutched a bucket that matched our size. A veritable three bears montage. Small for my lad, medium for my girl and large for me. I was so proud; I’d thought of everything.
The strawberry fields were impressive. Flat, linear and bursting with juicy, sun-kissed fruit. With few pickers on site we had the luxury of choosing an entire row for ourselves.
“Ok troops. Walk along this row and pick on either side. Look carefully – the strawberries like to hide under the leaves. Please only pick the red ones. I’ll go first so you can watch me for the first little while.”
What a model mommy. We’d pick until our buckets were full and then we’d go home and eat. And bake. And freeze. Our perfect little family would not only enjoy just picked berries over the next few days but we would be enjoying strawberry pie in November and scones with strawberry jam at Christmas. Yep, I was one smug little momma
just primed for a fall.
“Mommy. Look at H’s bucket!” ordered my bossy little assistant.
Excuse me? Why were there only six berries rolling around in my son’s bucket? We’d been at it for a good 40 minutes. His sister’s was over half full, mine a good three-quarters. I studied his cherubic face. Normally paler than pale it was currently hinging on fuschia. Particularly around the mouth and lips. The little bugger had been clearly gobbling his way down the row.
I was apoplectic. My back was aching, the sun was beating down and it was long past time to find shade.
“Fifteen minutes. You front. Strawberries bucket only.” I tended to lose verbs when I became evil mommy.
His deeply stained pudgy fingers fell somewhat reluctantly to their task. We lasted just ten more minutes. Enough.
A gallon of water and twenty minutes of driving later I realized I was being rather greedy. Surely my parents would adore a sample of these freshly picked numbers. “Hey guys. Let’s give some of our berries to Gaga and Grandad. We’ll pop into McDonald’s first though so they don’t have to worry about feeding us lunch.” Their backseat cheers were deafening. McDonald’s and grandparents all in one trip? Perfection.
My restored good mood continued after we toddled into the nearest outlet. This one had a ball room! I could slug back a coffee while my two expended their excess energy diving and plunging into the plastic plethora of primary coloured bliss. Indeed, after wolfing down some chicken nuggets and handfuls of fries they settled into some serious play. My daughter practiced her dolphin dives while my son flew down the canary yellow slide multiple times and whizzed about randomly. I leaned back in the hard molded chair, sipped my coffee and grinned over at another mother doing the same. The room was surprisingly full for a mid-week early lunchtime.
“Mommy. H did an uck.” Little Miss Vigilant was right on her game.
Oh well. No worries. He was still wearing diapers.
“Ewwww. Mommy smell!”
Oh. My. God. Just typikel. It was unmistakably diarrhea. A lot of it. I wasn’t alone in noticing. Several parents and caregivers swooped up their startled children and fled for the exit. Strawberry boy had erupted. Mere words can’t convey the collateral damage; not one area of the ball room was left unscathed. Those multiple colours? They’d morphed into one. Mud. Brown. Everywhere. My brain whirled. He had to be changed. The clean clothes were in the car. The staff had to be alerted. They were in the restaurant area far away behind the counter. How to alert them? The right words were crucial. Action had to be swift but I didn’t want to alarm anyone. I couldn’t shout out “emergency” or someone would call the fire department. Kelly make a decision. NOW.
Snatching up my still oozing yet oblivious son I rushed for the door that the one remaining horrified mother was holding open.
“Incident in the ball room. Incident in the ball room!!!”
Three days later, my eyes hidden behind dark glasses, my children’s faces concealed under enormously floppy hats (even though they’d kindly advised me “it happens ALL the time”) we popped by for an update. There was a large handwritten notice plastered on the locked ball room door.
“Closed indefinitely. For disinfection.”
Go back and relive that strawberry day? Thank you but no.
This wraps up my post for Finish the Sentence Friday. The sentence prompt this week was of course “I have absolutely no interest in …” Many thanks to my marvelous hosts Kate’s Can I Get Another Bottle of Wine, Janine’s Confessions of a Mommyaholic, Stephanie’s Mommy, For Real and Kristi’s Finding Ninee. Today’s guest host? Me!