Picture it: Sicily, 1932. Wait. It’s 2018 and we live in the Midwest and my name isn’t Sophia.
Ok. Picture it: it’s 3:52 in the afternoon – school is out and the lunch box with the carefully packed Hank-safe food still in it. The snack is still nestled into the bottom of the backpack, with the library books on top, making the Cheerios a fine dusting. Very bluntly, you have approximately three minutes before the monster appears and takes over for this child who currently is so happy that you are there to pick him up from Kindergarten.
Minute one: Child launches himself at you. Hugs, forehead kisses and a 45 second sentence about his day. Fifteen seconds to look at the uneaten lunch and know that a whole minute has passed and you are running out of time.
Minute two: Child sees his older brother walking from the back of the building and RUNS to greet him. You mentally start to calculate if this is going to work down the three minutes faster.
Minute three: Herd the kids to the car where there are drinks and snacks waiting. Lift up the back of the truck to allow climbing in from the back (it’s a bribe for 30 extra seconds). Get kids buckled and start rummaging through the snack bin.
Offer Cheerios. Yeah, no. Offer carob chips. No sir. Offer jerky, snack sausage, chips, cookies, bread sticks*, everything in the bin. They are all a no-go.
The seconds tick down. 3 … 2 … 1.
There is now a monster in the back seat. He’s hungry, he’s angry and he’s here to stay.
Reasoning with the monster and trying to get actual words becomes the next task as you start to drive them home. After 10 minutes of yelling, singing, seat kicking and raspberries, it comes out. He would like breakfast sausage. NOW. Of course you are in the car, not in your home, not at the grocery where the actual sausage lives.
The temper tantrum lasts for a while. You may have to run to catch him as he makes a break for it – bolting as fast as he can down the sidewalk, you may have to carry a struggling 6-year-old up to his special chair for a medical formula food. You may have to become a slap stick comedian. But finally. FINALLY. The yelling stops, the smile returns and the belly becomes full again.
A hug is given and a sad little sentence: Sorry, mom. I was Hankgry.
*finding Hank-safe food is a task. Finding items like bread sticks without wheat, egg, dairy and soy is a wonderful thing.