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Ice Cream is a Dish Best Served Cold

Published: February 21, 2014

Sketch of two young children watching a scary movie while a puppy chews on a ballet slipper nearby. Illustration by Karen Donley-Hayes

Illustration by Karen Donley-Hayes

Hello? Oh, hi, Julie! You’ve landed already?
. . .

Oh, the kids are fine, just fine. We all had a lot of fun this week. How was the cruise?
. . .

It was? That’s wonderful! I’m so glad, honey. You and Roger deserved it, with how hard you both work. We can’t wait to see you and hear all about it. And you got lots of rest, I hope?
. . .

Good. The kids are so excited. Sarah made you a welcome home card and Adam picked some daffodils from Dad’s flowerbed for you this morning. He said they’re your favorites.
. . .

Yes, they are really sweet. Little angels, really. Just like you were at their age.
. . .

Speaking of that, darling, do you remember when you were in 4th grade, and you insisted I was the meanest mom ever? Forcing you to do homework, eat your vegetables, use your manners, get to bed at a reasonable hour?
. . .

I know, I know, but it’s probably a good time to tell you that now, after all these years, your Dad and I have come around to your way of thinking.
. . .

Really? No, I think you were right. So while you were gone, we let the kids eat ice cream and candy for breakfast, watch lots of TV, and stay up extra late. Last night they looked up all kinds of funny YouTube videos.
. . .

Inappropriate? I don’t think so–at least most of them. South Park is just a cartoon, right?
. . .

It’s not? Well, it looked like one. Speaking of appearances, just so you’re aware, Sarah decided to trim her own hair. It’s very punk, a fun look for first grade.
. . .

Now, don’t fuss, dear, it’s just hair, it will grow out. And because Adam was feeling a bit left out, Dad taught him how to belch his A-B-Cs and to make that funny farting sound with his armpits. They also came up with eleven different words for ‘snot.’
. . .

Of course we made it clear that type of talk isn’t appropriate at school. At least, not in the classroom. Oh, and the kids have another surprise for you.
. . .

Tell you? I can’t…all right, but make sure you act surprised when you get here. You remember that puppy you begged for when you were eight? Well, there was the most adorable black lab at the pet store this week and I just couldn’t help myself. The kids have named him Booger and they can’t wait to take him home. He’s not housebroken yet, but I’m sure that won’t be a problem.
. . .

What’s that? It is? Oh, dear. Here I thought you’d be happy your old Mom finally agreed with you. Booger’s quite well-behaved for a puppy, though he did chew up one of Sarah’s tap shoes.
. . .

Yes, the leather ones–
. . .

You had to order those online? Oh, that’s a shame. Hopefully they still have her size in stock. Her performance is next week, right?
. . .

No, we can’t possibly keep him. Dad’s allergic, but he’s happy to take some Benadryl when we come visit you.
. . .

Darling, you’re breaking up or the lines are crossed or something, there’s a lot of noise. I’ll hang up now, but can’t wait to see you. Drive safe, the traffic from the airport can be a real pain. Love you, sweetheart!

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  • Alek

    I love this story! I hope that I can be as great of a parent as my parents were to me!

  • Carol Jansen

    Brings back many memories! I am really looking forward to my grandchildren someday! Would like to read more from this author.