February 17, 2010
While my kindergartners were at school this morning, I cleaned my house. The desire to prolong the transcendent experience of having all of the beds in my house made at the same time led me to pick up my sons from the bus stop and drive aimlessly around my town for two hours.
"Where are we going?" they asked.
"I don't know," I answered truthfully.
"How long are we going to be gone?" Cortlen asked.
I shrugged my shoulders and turned into a random subdivision. "Look at those Christmas decorations!" I said, pointing at the house on the corner.
"I want to go home!" Kellen wailed. There was worry in his voice.
Three subdivisions and drive-thru car wash later, I found myself at a stoplight. Straight ahead was a tattoo parlor. On the sidewalk to my right stood a man dressed as the Statute of Liberty. He was gyrating to the music in his i-pod while holding a sign bearing the contact information for a local tax accountant. To my left was a bakery named Dippin' Donuts. If it weren't for the obscenely large hand-painted buttermilk bar on the front window, I might have mistaken the shop for its legitimate relative.
Of course we had to go in.
There were exactly 11 doughnuts in the display case. I would have ordered a dozen, but I didn't have enough cash.
Taped to the front of the register was a large poster board listing the shop's daily specials. Lucky for us, Wednesday was "Kid Day." For 96 cents, children under the age of 10 could decorate a doughnut (and I quote) "just like the pro's."
"We'd like to decorate two doughnuts please," I told the cashier.
The cashier gave me a blank stare and asked me what I was talking about.
When I pointed to the sign, she let out a long, loud sigh and coughed into her hand.
"I have a woman here who wants to decorate two doughnuts," the cashier yelled to someone in the back.
"My kids want to decorate the doughnuts," I corrected.
A teenage girl popped her head around door frame. "What?" she asked. The girl's eyebrows were furrowed into a puzzled expression.
"We'll come back later," I said, shoving my kids in the direction of the car.
"No, it's all right, " moaned the teenager. "I've got the stuff right here." With great deliberation, she wheeled in a cart from the back room. On that cart was a tub of chocolate frosting and a can of candied sprinkles.
"So that's how they do it," I said to myself. My brain almost exploded with this revelation.
What I had hoped would take 45 minutes ended up taking 4.5 seconds.
"Now what?" my sons asked, licking their fingers.
I gave them two choices: they could either chat with Lady Liberty or watch someone tattoo a row of barbed wire around a drunk man's forearm.
What "amazing" things are you doing to entertain your kids this winter?