Monday, May 21, 2012

A Simple Stop

The weather is nice and Hanna has been bugging for a smoothie stop for about a year now... well, not really, but when you have to hear about it every day on the ride home, it sure feels like a year! Ella had a school event so I thought, one kid down, I should be able to handle two and some smoothies. My plan was to stop in the Loop, sit outside, relax, drink the smoothies, and then return home (some of you are laughing already...). If you have kids, you know that on most days, there is only a small margin of a few minutes between things being fine and then quickly turning into chaos. We sit for awhile sipping our smoothies and then decide to head back and finish the drinks along the way.  With less than a block to go before making it to the car, I am pulled into Hats 'n' Stuff by a straw hat (technically a fedora) in the window. Hanna seems confused because I was clear to explain that we were not stopping anywhere on our way to the car. Nowhere. I try on a couple of hat and Hanna seems into the whole dress up idea so she doesn't protest the detour. I end up finding a small purse which would be perfect for my upcoming trip to Chicago. I take it to the counter realizing that my margin of control is quickly about to disappear. While exchanging pleasantries with the man at the counter, I hear Hanna crying back by the purses. I round the stack of hats and find her in tears, clearly confused, looking back and forth between her cup and the somewhat large puddle of smoothie on the floor. I am immediately thankful that I split a smoothie into two cups for each of them. Mortified, I ask the man at the counter for paper towels and assure him that it didn't get on any merchandise. Skeptically, he hands me the roll and I get to work, squatting with Silas on my hip. Note to self: next time leave the cups outside... or just go home. Silas is obviously not thrilled by this, and he squirms and squeals enough for me to set him down for a second. That's all it took. He darts out the door. Hanna, who I had told to stay outside, comes back into the store, dripping smoothie from her cup, which I now realize is broken at the bottom. Paper towels in hand, and on my knees, I end up cleaning most of the store floor. Had it been water, the store person may actually have been thankful with the mop job, but in this case, sticky smoothie hardly makes for a good floor cleaner. I manage to hold on to Silas somehow, handing him some paper towels and pleading for his help,"Silas, help Mama?" He did long enough for me to finish up, explain to Hanna that she must drink over the trash can ("Forever, Mommy?"), and go to pay for my purse. This in of itself becomes an ordeal. I am holding Silas' smoothie cup, he is on my hip, and as luck would have it, he manages to extend his arms and grab the sunglasses for the mannequin's head on the counter, which tumbles to the floor. Luckily it is styrofoam, so other than a dent in the head (which the Cardinals hat conceals well), no harm done. On the way down, however, it knocks into the smoothie cup in my hand, which immediately starts dripping on the floor. I look at the man who instinctively hands me back the now almost empty roll of paper towels. "I bet you are going to print up a "no drinks allowed" sign, aren't you?" I say with a nervous chuckle, hoping to break the awkwardness (and embarrassment) with some humor. He remains fairly composed and nicely says,"Don't worry. It's not as bad as some I've seen." Really??? Because it is pretty bad. I hate Smoothie King. Their cups are cheap and every time I see the store, I just see puddles of disaster. Of course it isn't their fault, but I need something to appease my embarrassment. I promised the salesman that I would leave my kids at home next time. Better yet, I'll leave myself at home next time! Sheesh.

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