Sunday, February 28, 2010

Olympic Hopeful

Being the third of four children, Isaac rarely gets to be alone with me. He is my funny kid, with a dry humor that sneaks up on me every time. So far his first year as a teen has been pretty smooth (someone please knock on wood) and he still makes me laugh just about every day.

So yesterday it was a treat for all of us when Isaac ended up going on an errand alone with me, and as a bonus, dad came along too. Just Isaac and his two parents. He couldn't get over it and I couldn't get over how he still thought it might be a good thing to be seen alone, in public, with your parents.

On our way to the grocery store we passed a brand new fish place. There's an old building that sits on our main drag in little East Greenbush New York, that seems to be a different restaurant or ice cream shop every time you turn around. That's when it's not being a vacant, boarded up building, which seems to be how it spends most of its time.

So we decided to stop and try out this new-old place. I have to give credit to anyone who will try opening up a fish fry place in the middle of the long cold New York winter. We drove through the snow plowed parking lot, tromped through the slush of melting snow and entered the stark, but warm little place. We were not disappointed.

A couple of fish and chips baskets later, and some great conversation with our newest teen, and we were on our way to the discount grocery store.

I love it when I get help at the grocery store. You can imagine how much food gets hauled into this house on a weekly basis, when I am in charge of feeding two adults, three teens (and their revolving friends) and a rapidly growing nine year old boy. It's a lot of hauling of groceries...from the shelf to the cart, the cart to the conveyor belt, the bag to the car, from the car to the kitchen, from the counter to the get the idea. It's a lot of work.

So I welcome help. Especially help that makes me laugh.

We had made it halfway through the store when Isaac noticed the canned cat food. Our animals are lucky to get the good brand of DRY dog and cat food. I have never bought them anything wet (the treat for our dog is putting tap water in her kibbles). And the only reason they get the good brand of dry food is purely selfish on my part, so I don't have to visit the vet that often. My philosophy, based on nothing scientific, is 'healthy in, healthy out'. So far it's worked pretty well.

But this doesn't stop my Dr. Doolittle child from picking up a can of fancy cat food and putting on his 'please mama?' face. I have to admit, I got caught up in the moment. It was so fun just hanging out with hubby and this one easy going kid, that I caved. The "it's just sixty nine cents, mom!" argument won me over. I got myself a few peanut M&Ms every now and then...didn't the patient, loving kitty at home deserve a treat now and then too?

But just to cover my own butt, I had to add, "But you can only give him half the can at first. We don't know how he'll react to a different kind of food and I don't want to be cleaning up any messes."

"Oh.." Isaac says. And with a totally straight face he adds, "So who's going to be eating the other half of the can? If my name's on that list I'm switching my choice from salmon bits to tuna medley...."

It still makes me laugh, even as I type that sentence.

Then our second great moment came when we were hauling our load of groceries out to the car, through the slushy snow. I had lagged behind, checking out next weeks ad on the store window, and when I looked ahead to see my man and my boy with their grocery cart snow sled I couldn't figure out what Isaac was doing. He was half bent over in front of the cart, making a weird motion with his hands. I picked up my pace a bit, trying to find a clue to explain his behavior.

Finally I yelled out, "Isaac! What are you doing?"

He looked up, with that goofy grin, hands held out in front of him like they were holding some invisible stick, and said proudly, "Curling!"

He had been scurrying along in front of the grocery cart, imagining he was in the Olympics, sweeping his cart to victory. How do I deserve this child?

As we loaded the canvas bags into the van Isaac asked his dad how he'd done, with his curling form. Just as straight faced as his son, my hubby answered, "Great job, Son! You got the Silver Medal."

"But dad, I was the only one in the race...did someone else get disqualified?"

"No," replied his dad, "but later we'll discuss the difference between disqualified and unqualified."

It was the best shopping trip I've had in weeks.

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