Friday, September 26, 2008


I do childcare at the YMCA. In order to make it inviting and somewhat entertaining for our guests, we have an event calendar every month, chock-full of fun things to do like tattoo days and paper boat making. My boss finds ridiculous holidays on the web and my job is to invent activities to do on those days. I secretly love it, but I play it cool because I know I'm already a nerdy underpaid overachiever to my 20-something co-workers. Whatever. Love what you do, I say.

This last week, on one of my days off, it was National Comic Book Day. So before I left the day before, I went to my favorite place, the gigantic chalkboard, and drew up a bunch of blank comic strip pages with the instructions "CREATE YOUR OWN COMIC BOOK".

Today, seeing as how most of our guests are under three years old, the "Comic Book" was mostly a bunch of smeared scribbles. But then on one side was a single drawing of a boy named Hayden and his mini-biography. I have never even met Hayden, but I just thought this was awesome. I didn't have my camera with me, so I copied his drawing and here is my expanded interpretation:

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Melt Down!

A couple of weeks ago, we were on a kick of meeting at IKEA every Friday after I picked up the kids from school and David got off work, both of which happen at 3 o'clock. David works right by IKEA, and IKEA has free childcare, really cheap food, and loads of stuff we like to dream of putting into our house, so as you can see, the convenience of it all just needed to be taken advantage of...and off we were on a date.

Mmmm...can you say "romantic"?

The last time we were there, we decided to get the kids ice cream on our way out because it was like, 90 degrees that day. As soon as we hit the door, the ice cream began to melt faster than any human child is capable of licking and before you knew it there were drips everywhere. Hands are sticky. Cones are getting mushy. Toes and flip-flops are spattered with the good stuff. And the world turned upside-down...

Suddenly there are tears and weeping like you've never seen before! It's woeful! Dreadful! Horrible! Unfortunate! Catastrophic and disastrous! And it's all from the 9-year old!!!

I tell you, I have never seen such discouragement for something so circumstantial. It was hot, and had been for days! We've been rolling with the sweat, the sunscreen, the constant yelling of "SHUT THE DOOR--THE A/C's ON!!!" at home. It's what you do with days like these: you lick faster! But for poor little Korah, it was too much to bear that day. It was like a lifetime of disappointments culminated into this one great misfortune. And the more she stood there and wailed, the more the ice cream melted. WHY, you ask, didn't we stay and eat our ice creams in the air-conditioned IKEA Bistro? I don't know. Maybe the air-conditioning or the magic of IKEA stunted our judgement, and now that we were outside--for whatever reason--we were determined to stay there, perhaps trapped by the melting confections and countenances.

The real reason I share all this is to ask: is it wrong that this whole scenario just gave me the giggles? I could not stop chuckling (not in an evil, or outright way, mind you, just amused) as my usually composed 9-year old carried on like the greatest of social injustices had been delivered to her. She didn't want to get a new cone. She didn't want help licking. She didn't want to lick on her own or to get cleaned up. She wanted to stand there and wail. Just stand there with her diminishing dessert. I tried not to laugh. I tried to be empathetic...but there was no consoling her, and I was keeping 3 other cones in check. We were making it a comical race between the rest of us. It was fun! And she is way too old for this. Something else must be going on. It was so ridiculous, I got giddy. All the stress I'd had building up all week in that heat transposed into laughter, and I couldn't stop. Then Dave said, "talk about a melt down!" and that was it. It was downright funny now. I gave Korah a hug (still giggling) and she trudged off to eat her melty mess between sobs. Micah's ice cream was melting worse than anyone (he always wins the prize for most messy eater) , which didn't bother him a bit, and Morgen thought she'd try drawing on the ground with her ice cream, and then resume licking with a sneaky grin when everyone said, "Hey! HEY! What are you DO-ing????" Eventually we went home and went to bed early, I think.

Maybe I'm just twisted, but sometimes things are so loud and chaotic and messy that I just have to laugh. Because really, there are worse things in life than a melting ice cream cone, but the innocence of a child cannot even fathom such things. Maybe I'm just happy that this is the worst thing that can happen to my kid right now, in her opinion. And that's a good place to be, in mine.