So I must interrupt all of these peaceful posts about my lovely trip to North Carolina to tell you a story that started a few weeks ago and makes me want to pull my hair out on a regular basis.
A very good friend of mine was going through a rough break-up, and I brought the boys over for a visit with her on a few nights when the Hubster was working. One evening, I made a stop at the McDonald's drive thru to get Happy Meals for the boys.
Later, seated at her dining room table, they each had half a cheeseburger and two chicken nuggets along with apples, fries and their drinks. (They like to share and get a bit of everything.)
Suddenly, Nick looks up at his brother's drink and says, "Hey, Will - how's your fudge milk?"
Nick sees these chocolate chunks and thinks chocolate chunks = fudge.
Will hears this comment, and concerned that he didn't get the chocolate milk he requested, shouts, "I NOT HAVE FUDGE MILK!!!"
Which, for some reason, is the funniest thing in the entire world when shouted by a three-foot-tall three-year-old who is also shooting his brother a look of death. If laser beams could have shot out of his eyes and blasted his brother in the skull, I have no doubt they would have. Apparently, chocolate milk is serious business to a pre-schooler.
"Hey...hey..." I said, trying not to laugh out loud. "Its not fudge milk, buddy...its chocolate milk. Don't listen to him...now eat your dinner. Nick - you be quiet and leave your brother be."
Satisfied that his brother has been chastised, Will resumes dunking his apples in far too much caramel and picking the cheese off of his burger.
Five minutes pass in relative peace, until Nick looks up and hollers,
"Hey. Will. You like that fudge milk or what?" Now he's just being the jerk older brother.
"I. NOT. HAVE. FUDGE. MILK!!!" This time, he actually got up from his seat at the table and was half way around to his brother before I caught him and put him back in his place.
Insert more Mommy-calming words and "there-there's" and "now-eat-your-dinner's". And a few cackles from my friend, who, without kids, doesn't get to experience this type of joy on a regular basis.
(She, btw, strangely does not want to borrow them of any length of time.)
At this point, they're also bickering about who got the bigger half of the cheeseburger, who got more apple slices, and generally trying to make me stab myself in the eyeball with a straw. Because we're not at home, every irritant seems to be magnified - not just between the two of them, but to me as well.
Finally...finally...I've coaxed them to eat enough so that I'm satisfied that they aren't going to starve to death or otherwise ask me for a snack in five minute's time. As I'm clearing the table, I'm wrapping crumbs up in wrappers and shaking drink cartons to see if there's anything left.
Will has excused himself from the table and is on his way to the bathroom to wash his hands when Nick shouts after him,
"You forgot to finish your fudge milk!"
Oh Lordie were there tears. From both parties. And there were punishments. In the form of, "WE DON'T SAY 'FUDGE MILK' IN THIS HOUSE!!!" (Nick's, "But Mom...this isn't our house..." was met with one of those Mom-patented looks that stuns children into silence.)
Afterward, my friend and I and the Hubster joked about the fudge milk episode a few times, cuz later it was absolutely hilarious. Fast-forward a few weeks later when, after a loooong day of work, I dragged my children through the Super Wal-Mart for a few necessities.
Guess what I bribed them into good behavior with?
Without even thinking twice about it. Suddenly I found my exhausted self at the dinner table, surrounded by two crabby kids and a dinner that was thrown together in 10 minutes' time. Imagine how thrilled I was to see a huge smile slowly spread across Nick's face as he looked at his brother and leaned over to shout,
"HEY! CHECK IT OUT! MOM BOUGHT US FUDGE MILK!"