Monday, November 8, 2010

"A Good Reason to Eat Dairy."

I take you to the food court for lunch, slinking between oldsters shopping
and other parents looking to make it to naptime.
It’s an expensive way to pass the day, but it’s worth it to treat ourselves
to pretzels and pizza on daddy’s dime.
You beg me for ice cream, it’s a special occasion, the chocolate looks heavenly,
and you both need a post-carousel sugar rush.
I acquiesce, I’m a quick sell, and with enough dark chocolate, you might
stay up until I settle you into your beds.
As I fish for a five dollar bill, I dream of the moment I lift you from the car,
your heads on my shoulders—you might survive the transfer.
Two kid-sized cones please.  Hand her the money.  She pops—pop— her gum
and hands me the cones without looking.
I hear small feet beat rapidly on the marble floor of the mall, tap tap tap tap,
the excitement is contagious.
We sit down on a bench, you with your sleeves pulled up and small hands
opening and closing in anticipation.
I am armed with baby wipes when the moment arrives, tongues like tiny
fans flicker and slurp, you yell, Brainfreeze! Bayfeez!
Your palettes hurt, so you slow down.  It’s understandable but I urge you on.
I’d like to avoid the shame I’d forgotten.
Your ice cream begins to drip, slowly onto your shirtsleeves and patterned tights.
Slide.  Drip.  Plop.  I look around.  Panic.
I want to scream, I don’t eat dairy, Out of principal, but I know that would
be a shade crazier than what I’m about to do.
I make a slight scene, saying too loudly to kids too young, Too bad mommy can’t have ice cream.
I circle the edges of your cones with a wipe.
I am aware that I look batshitcrazy.  That mom with the near-buzz-cut looking back and forth,
talking in an outside voice,
tidying up cones with
a cloth untongue.

1 comment:

  1. I read this and laughed from the start, knowing it would end with you wiping down a cone. Oh, how lovely it is that you have reintroduced dairy into your life. So many dripping cones to look forward to now!