There's nothing like shooting down your kids' good mood and wrecking their day, is there?
Today Finn lost his first top tooth--you know, one of the big ones in the middle that make them look so cute. It was really loose after school and we were going to the dentist anyway for Declan's cleaning, so the hygenist helped Finn pull his tooth the rest of the way out. He was so excited (and now is expecting the Tooth Fairy to leave $3. He's going to be disappointed).
So while Declan was getting his teeth cleaned, Finn was with me in the waiting room. New on this visit, the dentist had put in one of these little portable hot chocolate/coffee machines. They seem to be the rage in waiting rooms right now. The health center has one, the orthodontist has one, and now the dentist. (Now, I love my dentist, but I'm wondering what sort of shenanigans they're up to. They bake cookies and serve them at the office, and now sugary hot chocolate? I think they're out for more business, those sly dogs!)
So Finn wanted to make hot chocolate. You just choose a little cup of what you want, insert it into the machine, press a button and there you have it--hot chocolate. Or coffee or chai latte or whatever. I hesitated. It was right before dinner. Did he really need all of that sugar and chocolate? But I say no to treats a lot of the time and sometimes it's nice to be the good guy and say yes.
So we investigated the machine, inserted the cup of chocolate, put a cup under the drippy area thingy (as a non-coffee drinker, I'm not intimately familiar with the names of coffee maker parts), and surveyed the button choices for brewing. There were two cup size choices--larger and smaller. I was confounded. The cups in the waiting room were fairly large, but I always have this horrible fear of a cup of hot liquid boiling over and burning me. Or my kids. Of course, I'm worried about the kids. So should I choose the smaller cup button and just have the cup half full? But I was worried the hot chocolate would be too strong if we didn't use enough water.
But the big cup would make so much. And, Finn has a terrible history with hot chocolate. Last winter, we were skiing and went into the Ritz (to mooch free hot chocolate and cookies at 3pm which should probably only be for guests paying a bazillion dollars a night, but we're low class like that). So we're there in this super nice hotel and Finn fiddles with his hot chocolate cup and spills it. Not once, but twice. I'm not really sure how you spill something twice, but there you go.
And you know, not to bash my kid or anything, but he's one of those people where things just "happen" to him. Things break at his merest touch. He injures himself. Shuts his fingers in doors. He falls down things that don't actually have an elevation. It's a little disturbing.
So, dilemma. Little cup of potentially bad tasting hot chocolate or big cup of scorching hot liquid pouring over his hands and scalding him causing thousands of dollars worth of medical bills.
Hmmm, I actually hadn't thought about the scorching and burning and potential medical bills at the time or else I might have chosen differently because I finally faced my fears and chose the large cup.
It was frickin' hot. So we were letting it cool. Finn walked in and out of the room where Declan was having his teeth cleaned, because Sponge Bob was on TV and it was apparently a dead heat between what was more exciting--Sponge Bob or a cup of hot chocolate. Occasionally Finn came out to check the status of the cup. It was still frickin' hot. So he started blowing on it. And moving the cup around and I don't know what else--I was too busy reading (but not clearly not taking any advice from) Parents Magazine.
It wasn't until I heard the telltale tap of the cup going over and a huge splash of liquid--and remember, I had stupidly made the big cup--that I realized what was happening.
I handled it so well.
"FINN!" I said in a terrible voice that is reserved for mothers who are being horrible to their kids in public, raising the eyebrows of the better, kinder, and more understanding mothers around them.
And then I ran and started cleaning it up. It was everywhere. Soaking into the nice doily they had on the table, all over the table itself, on the floor, on the wall, running down the trashcan, pooling under the hot chocolate maker itself (I'm surprised I didn't electrocute myself). It was just a sticky mess.
And all the while I railed at Finn for his carelessness as he sat there, dejected. If we hadn't been in a public place, I feel certain I would have made him cry.
I made him apologize to the office staff several times.
I informed him he would never drink another cup of hot chocolate again.
Then Declan asked if he could make hot chocolate. Are you kidding me? So I railed at him, too, for good measure.
I barked at them to sit on the bench in the waiting room while I had to do the exam part of my cleaning, which was actually a month ago, but the dentist was in a surgery and couldn't pull my tongue out of my mouth with gauze and check it out. So I went off to do that. There wasn't a single sound from the waiting room the whole time.
As I was leaving the exam room, I apologized again to the dentist. "No problem," he smiled. "What kind of person would I be if I got upset over spilled hot chocolate?"