Chop Sticks

I gave my shopping cart a warm send off then turned around and headed back to the
car. Early AM I was chewing on three pieces of Peppermint flavored Orbit White and
failing at imagining a world with Rick Santorum as president that wouldn't suck.
Carefully--you never know what might fall out--I opened the back door and buckled
Lukas into his car seat. Sophie had already strapped herself in-nice. She knew where
we were heading. Our car pulled onto the highway as if it was on auto pilot, the
course was set for the donut shop. It was right around the corner.

Yellow light--damn, maybe I could have made it. But it was better to stop. Gunning it
through the intersection or not. Either way I was still a cool dude. I was capable of
living life on the edge. I just had to be a well thought out and responsibly sized edge
these days. Aye, no big deal.

"Chopstick!" My son yelled from the back and began laughing.

"It's not chopstick Lukas. It's called Chapstick!"

"Chopstick!"

"Its not chopstick Lukas. It's Chaaaapstick."

"Chopstick!" His four year old laugh suddenly took a more sinister tone.

"Papa! Lukas is putting the Chapstick in his ear!"

I turned around. Lukas had dropped his hands to his lap, but a tube of cherry
Chapstick stuck straight out of his right ear.

"Lukas. Are you kidding me? I thought you wanted to get a donut? You were pretty
good at swim class. Don't mess it up now"

He shook his head and the ear wax tainted Chapstick dropped out of his ear, rolled off
of the backseat, and onto the floor.

Behind us a car beeped it's horn lightly. It was a white mini van, driven by someone
that looked faintly familiar. Dance class? School? The waitress from the fish and chips
place? Whoever she was, she was being nice, the light had probably been green for
some time.

I parked a few doors down because there was a nice spot right at the curb. My
backseat stare down was only half strength as usual. Sometimes I could kick it up a
notch, or two. I waited for a response.

"Soooorry, Papa."

It could have been more sincere but, works for me! We got out of the car. Lukas ran
up to the heavy door and miraculously conjured up enough super human strength to
pull it open on the first try all by himself.

He headed straight to the chocolate glazes without even looking. Sophie took her
time, finally choosing a creme filled. Me, I already had a fresh Jamba Juice in hand.

"Two dollars," the cashier said.

I opened up my wallet and discovered I didn't have any cash. Not even a dollar!

"Come on guys," I said to the kids. "We have to walk over to the ATM first." At least
there wasn't a line behind me.


We huffed it across the parking lot to a bank that wasn't our own. A three dollar
Withdraw Fee! What? This wasn't a Philadelphia Phillies home game! Do I accept this
fee?  The price of these donuts had just tripled. I wasn't sure whether or not they'd
earned that much. Christmas was over and my plan of de-spoiling them wasn't going
exactly by the book.  

I looked them both in the eye for a few seconds and took a deep breath. Searching
my stay home daddy soul I bit my bottom lip and hoped that I was pushing the right
buttons.

YES