So as you know from my last post, our nephews have been staying with us ages 7 and 9. We have been doing many fun things with them they normally don’t get to do and actually our kids don’t get to do either. Like tent camping in our backyard, vacation bible school in the mornings, watching Netflix movies, and having ice cream for dinner. That was a fun night. Side story: We went to Menchies, which is a self-serve soft serve ice cream joint where you can pick from 12 different flavors then choose from 50 different toppings to add. So my oldest nephew, Ben went ballistic in there. For one, it was ice cream for dinner so that is all we had. No protein, no veggies, no bread, only candy, ice cream and hot fudge sauce. So anyway, Ben loaded his bowl with about 20 ounces of ice cream and then topped it with Butterfinger, snickers, white chocolate chips, Oreos, and then my favorites, gummy worms and sour patch kids. So he covered the 4 basic food groups: ice cream, chocolate, cookies, and sour fruit flavored gummies. It was a balanced dinner. Lindsey tried a bite and almost threw up. But he loved it and ate the whole thing. So needless to say it was a week of sugar-filled outings. Which brings me to the final story of the week.
We decided to take them to see the new Smurfs movie at the theater. Since we all wanted to watch the movie instead of chasing around a 20 month old, we got a babysitter for Nate. So we took the 4 oldest boys, Ben (9), Will (7), Zachary (6) and Drew (3). Rather than taking out a second mortgage on our house to pay for movie theater candy we decided to take them to Giant Eagle to pick up some store bought candy. But not just any store bought candy….bulk candy. We had passed the bulk candy aisle earlier in the week and you must have thought we walked past an aisle containing the Ten Commandments, the Holy Grail, and Jesus himself stocking the aisles, the way my nephews looked at the bulk candy. They asked “Is that all candy? Are you serious?” So on movie day, we take them to this bulk candy aisle from heaven, give them each a bag and tell them they have 5 minutes to fill it up and then we are leaving. It was like a scene from Supermarket Sweep. They were grabbing handfuls of this and handfuls of that. Whatever they could grab and move on to the next thing. Everyone was grabbing whatever they could except for Zachary who would take 2 pieces here and 2 pieces there, not wanting to overdo it. As a parent I want to take pride in his humbleness and restraint, but as an American I want to say “Are you crazy? Grab as much as you can. Overindulge. It’s our way. It’s the American way.” We eventually have to tell him to put a little more in his bag because he literally had 4 pieces of candy. Because once that was gone then I would be buying movie theater candy and the Senate would need to vote to raise my debt limit too. So at the end of the shopping spree, we had 6 bags of candy and funny thing was Drew the smallest of them all, had the biggest bag. So I take the candy to be weighed and check out and grand total was 6 pounds of candy for 6 people, 4 of them under 10 years old. What could go wrong?
We go to the theater and put all the candy in Lindsey’s purse, only realizing after the fact that we should have brought a small carry-on bag with roller wheels on it to hold all the candy. So with a strained back and a determined mind to save money, Lindsey hauls the duffel bag, I mean purse into the theater. We get our seats and begin watching the movie with no incident. Everyone has their bag and everyone is happy. Well Lindsey brought the sugary Kool Aid juice drinks to the theater for our drinks. Why not water? I was wondering the same thing too but what could go wrong with a little more sugar? You see where this is going? Yeah but which one? Well half way through the movie, Lindsey who is sitting by Drew cuts him off from his bag. He had been gorging himself on whatever he could find in his bag of treats. But this also made him thirsty. So I come to find out later that in the course of 1 hour she had given him 3 juice drinks, on top of the massive amounts of candy. Well he starts burping. And burping. So Lindsey tells him, “Stop burping or you are going to throw….” Splash!!! That’s all I hear at the other end of the row. I look down and she is doing what every great parent does in a crisis: send them to the other parent. So she is holding up his blanket to his mouth while he is continuing to throw up black, juicy chocolaty, gummy puke and Ben who was on the other side of him is high tailing it out of there toward me, looking back and saying “Drew, quit throwing up on me!” He gets to me crying and I grab the back of his shirt (the only part not covered in puke) and usher him out to the lobby. Now please note, this was during the climax of the movie, Gargamel was about to get his, and no one I repeat, NO ONE made a move when a 3 year old was puking his guts out behind and beside them. They all sat there and watched the movie! Even the family of three that Drew and I had to squeeze past at the end of our aisle even blinked an eye away from the screen to notice the boys with the projectile vomit! I am sorry, but I could be watching Harry battle Voldemort for the final time and I will flip backward over my seat if I see a puking child coming at me in real life. Anyway, I take Drew to the bathroom and clean him up. The shirt is a lost cause so I pitch it in the garbage and I second guess doing the same to the pants but like a good parent I don’t think I put him in underwear today so I can’t bring a naked child out of the bathroom to our car. But I can bring a shirtless one. While I am cleaning up, the other boys show up at the bathroom to shower off from the puke bath. Lindsey gets a large garbage bag from the manager and apologizes for our irresponsibility and puts his blanket in the bag. During this whole cleanup process, Will turns to Lindsey and asks, “So are we going back in the movie to watch the end?” To which she replies, “No buddy. I hope we never see those people in there again.” The humor was lost on him but the truth of it made me laugh. To which I replied, “That was Smurfin’ gross. So you’re telling me there is a downside to 6 pounds of candy.” And she says, “Fa la la la la la…blaaaaauuuuu (vomit noise).”
So it was too bad we missed the end of the movie but in retrospect, it was those around us that lost the most. The first half of the movie was spent having their chairs kicked by 4 super hyper sugar infused children and the second half smelling the stomach contents of a super hyper sugar infused child. So we all learned a valuable lesson. Lindsey learned the sugar limits of a 3 year old and that water is always better than juice. Drew learned that too much of a good thing is a bad thing. Zachary and Will learned that picking your feet up avoids changing your shoes and socks later. Ben learned that he the best way to avoid projectile vomit is to not stand in front of it. And I learned the next time I want to save money; we will go to the dollar theater.
Hoping you know your limits because we now know Drew’s,
The Joyful and Tired Dad