Monday, July 22, 2013

Hunger pangs

Thursday morning, I'm leaving on a road trip with two girlfriends. Well, two of us are riding together, and the other one is meeting us at our destination ... THE BEACH!

Our vacation plans include junk food, Kindles, magazines ... and that's about it.

So when I picked up Biscuit from day care today, I hit a couple of stores to stock up on our favorite treats.

Biscuit was in a really good mood. He got an invitation to a day care friend's birthday party, complete with a character theme that he really loves. We went into two stores, and he was great in both stores. He asked if he could get some salt and vinegar chips at one of the stores, and despite my repulsion for his taste in chips, I told him he could get them.

Biscuit was excited about that and wanted to carry the canister around the store and all the way to the car. He even introduced himself to the cashier and asked if he could have the canister back when she was done with it. She smiled, scanned it and handed it back to him. And he thanked her. 

Then she told him that salt and vinegar chips are her favorite, too. Then he told her that they're not his favorite, but he liked them a lot.

All his usual charms.

Jeff was off today, and when I called to tell him that Biscuit and I were running a couple of errands, he suggested that we go out for dinner.

So Biscuit and I were on the way to our house to pick up Jeff, and Biscuit got really weepy.

"I'm just so sad, Mom," Biscuit said, crying.

"What's wrong?" I asked him.

"I ... um ... I ... I just ...," Biscuit whined. It was like he couldn't come up with a reason for why he was upset.

I was in such a rush that it didn't occur to me to ask him what he had for lunch. Believe me, it's connected.

Biscuit is a picky eater, and he often only eats one of the things they serve at day care. Like maybe he'll have peaches and drink his milk, and that's it. They have an afternoon snack, but even so, as much as he's running around playing, he burns that small amount of food off in no time. I've started carrying peanut butter crackers in my pocketbook in case we need to shop or run errands after day care but before dinner. A couple of crackers is enough to hold him over.

So if I hadn't been so distracted by my own plans, I would've asked Biscuit what he had for lunch. And he would've told me pineapple and milk, and I would've given him a snack until we got to the restaurant.

Instead, we drove to the restaurant while Biscuit cried.

"Mom, I forgot to bring a car," Biscuit wailed.

"Dad brought cars for you," I said, and Jeff handed Biscuit two cars.

Then Biscuit cried some more, "But I didn't WANT two cars. I only wanted ONE car."


"Then pick the one you want, and give the other one back to Dad," I said.

That didn't satisfy him, either. 

We considered just heading back home, but when I asked Biscuit if he wanted to go back home, he thought I was doing the "I'll turn this car around and take us home" thing, and he got even more upset.

Finally ... FINALLY, it occurred to me that the child was hungry. And of course, we had a server who was new to the restaurant. And that means she was slow.

Ordinarily, it wouldn't bother me at all, but we needed to get some food in the kid. And since he ate my stash of peanut butter crackers at the movie the other night, I didn't have anything to give him.

He tried to order his drink, but with tear-filled eyes and a shaky voice, he couldn't even say it loud enough for the server to hear him. He wanted chocolate milk, and she thought he said Dr Pepper. She asked if we wanted bread, and Jeff and I said in unison, "Yes!"

So we got some milk and bread into the boy, and I kid you not, in less than 5 minutes, Biscuit was a new man. He was his usual self, laughing, hanging all over me and asking a thousand questions.

It's funny because when Biscuit was wee tiny, I was so aware of his eating and sleeping and everything else. But as he's gotten older and become so independent, it's getting harder to keep track of him.

I need to remind myself that as grown up as he acts sometimes, he is still a really little kid who, at least for the time being, still needs his Mama.

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