So, anyone who knows me knows that I really, really don’t like cooking. There is so much I would rather be doing than standing in the kitchen preparing food and cleaning up the dishes that go along with said preparation. There are also far too many steps in the cooking process, most of which I find beyond boring, that I become far too easily distracted, resulting in meal preparation taking me twice as long as it should, adding twice as much time to time I already resent spending on making food. Tired just reading that aren’t you?
So last night I had the brilliant idea of buying take out for my children for supper. It is not like I haven’t bought them take out before but this time was particularly brilliant because it was “Toonie Tuesday” at KFC – or so I thought.
Side note: For those not familiar with Canadian currency, a “toonie” is our two dollar coin.
So all for eight dollars (plus tax) I could feed my three daughters and myself supper! Sounds simple enough right? Wrong!
As we are driving towards KFC we pass the local grocery store, at which point my ten year old, Alison, asks with obvious reluctance in her tone, “Where are we going?”
Beth, my eight year old, quickly realizes why Alison is asking and adds, “I don’t wanna go shopping.”
I assured them we were not shopping and soon after turned right into the parking lot of our destination. The back end of the van wasn’t even completely off the road when Beth voiced, “I don’t like Quickie Chickie.”
Interesting, I had never thought of KFC as Quickie Chickie but really, that’s exactly what it is. Turns out it is the name of a restaurant on one of the television shows she watches.
It also turns out the main reason Beth is not a fan of KFC is because she hates eating chicken off the bone. When she discovered she could order boneless chicken, she was on board. So was her six year old sister, Sarah.
So we pull up to the speaker to order and the first thing I notice is there is no sign advertising Toonie Tuesday. The first thing Alison notices is the sign for Taco Bell. With tacos being her favourite supper, she would not be part of Toonie Tuesday. I studied the menu some more and was convinced there was no Toonie Tuesday anyway. And even if there was I think it only applied to their two-piece meals which have bone in, which means Beth and Sarah wouldn’t eat them. I looked on the menu board for other options as a car pulled in behind me, and then another…
Toonie Tuesday, whether it existed or not, was not gonna happen. So I just ordered what I knew people would eat. That was the whole purpose of supper anyway, whether or not I was cooking it. While ordering, Sarah decided she wanted pop to drink. There were now three cars behind me. I decided I would get her a pop but made it clear that she would not be drinking the full size, just one small glass full. She seemed okay with that which was good since a fourth car had just pulled up.
With our order now completed, we pulled up to the window to pay and get our food. We sat there for a few minutes while the guy in the drive-thru completed another order and Sarah decided that if her pop had ice in it (which it did) that she no longer wanted to drink it. She wanted apple juice instead. The second the drive-thru guy made the half-glass window open to hand me four drinks (it was too late at this point to change Sarah’s drink order which she was none too happy about) and take my payment, doesn’t Alison yell, “Spider!”
Alison, who currently sits in the back row of the seven-seater van, had placed her winter hat on the back of the headrest of the seat in front of her. This is where Beth sits. Beth’s head was resting on Alison’s hat, on the headrest. Before anyone in the van other than Alison knows the location of the spider, pandemonium breaks loose. All of my daughters, being the great rule-followers that they are, have not undone their seat belts since we are still inside the van, even though I have it in park, but are all leaning their bodies as far away as possible from where they were sitting, without unfastening. Alison has her eyes locked on the spider while I can see Beth and Sarah’s eyes moving around and around, side to side, up and down, trying to find the eight-legged intruder.
I quickly grab the drinks from the drive-thru guy, one by one, and stick my credit card in the card reader before attempting to squeeze my body through the incredibly small amount of space I have allowed between the drive-thru window and my van door. As I place my hand on the door handle, Alison answers my inquiry as to the location of the spider. “It’s on my hat.”
Beth’s blue eyes open so wide I can see to the back of her head. She screams, “ahhhh”, unfastens her seatbelt and jumps out of her seat and clings tightly to back of the front passenger seat. Sarah unbuckles her seat belt and jumps beside Beth, making room for me to step into the back of the van. I have miraculously squeezed through the small space without damaging the door or getting stuck. Alison has now unfastened her seatbelt and is pressed against the opposite side of the van, as far away from her hat as possible. I look out the back window and see all four cars are once again waiting for us to be finished. By now all three of my daughters are crying. And I can’t see the spider.
In case you haven’t guessed by now, my daughters are not particularly fond of bugs. They are particularly frightened when they are confined to a small space, like the van, with crawly things. I clarify with Alison that this spider (and at this point I do not know if it is large or small) is indeed on her hat. She confirms it is. I tell her I can’t see it, is she sure. She assures me that is where the spider was. I look again and I cannot see it. The girls are freaking out a little more since they figured they would have been saved by this point. Who knows what the drive-thru guy was thinking. I am sure I know what the people in line behind us were thinking…something about my van moving out of the way and a word that rhymes with duck, possibly with “ing” at the end.
To be honest, I am also starting to freak out on the inside. I am terrified of spiders, but putting on my brave “spiders won’t hurt you” bravado for my daughters’ sake. The reality is I have NO idea where this spider is and NO idea how big it is. I am secretly hoping it is not one of those ones that is too big to squish or one of those black, really fast moving ones. I know that at this point if it had crawled anywhere on me, I would have freaked out quite a bit.
In a minutely panicked voice I say, “Where is it Alison? I don’t see it.” This is when she tells me it is on her hat but it is only little. This immediately calms me and I am able to focus. Within seconds I find it, on the eyeball of Alison’s knitted frog toque. It almost looks like it is trembling, wondering what the danger is that these three young humans are fussing about.
Although small, I don’t like actually touching bugs ever, so I grab the spider gently with the saran wrap I had grabbed from the console (that is all I could find in two seconds flat) and removed it from the van. I resqueezed myself into the driver’s seat, my children buckled up and I grabbed our food and headed home.
We had only half an hour now before it was time to head out for the evening’s activities. Although the food order had taken longer than anticipated and I spent more money than I had planned, life was good. I did not cook and we had survived the spider attack. We would have no trouble getting out the door on time either…or not. Remember how Sarah stated she did not want pop with ice? Even in the euphoria of being protected from the spider by her mother, she had not changed her mind. She tried to push the pop away from her plate, to make room for a glass of apple juice. The bottom of the cup did not slide as expected and the entire medium-sized fountain Pepsi drink came spilling out, ice and all. A black, fizzy stream cascaded over the kitchen table and was slightly absorbed by some papers that were on it, before continuing over the side of the kitchen table and onto the floor. A minor setback in the Quickie Chickie adventure.
What we can really take from this story is that spring is definitely here! The fact that the spider (a symbol that spring is here) was found on a winter toque is telling. Put your toques away, spring is here to stay!
Every moment with kids is an adventure!