A few weeks ago I loaded up the kids in the van before dinner to head over to a local store that was hosting a sale for a local dinner delivery service. I'll admit that we mainly went because they promised lots of yummy appetizers to sample, but I also wanted to look into purchasing some things for our upcoming vacation as well.
*Just a quick disclaimer ... This event was billed as kid-friendly, so I was not taking the wee ones into uncharted territory. They knew that kids would be present and they even welcomed that presence. So I was not taking the kids into an adult only environment. I just want everyone to know that I'm not completely off my rocker.*
So we arrive at the store and the kids all rushed to the door, begging for a snack. I made sure that they understood that this was a "no touching" store, which to them is still a very loosely defined concept. They think a "no touching" store is just one where they get yelled at more for touching things, not one where we're not supposed to touch things. I'm guessing they're not going to perform well in reading comprehension once they hit elementary school.
I released the hounds and they quickly made a beeline to the food/appetizer table. They had things like chips and dip, watermelon wedges, meatballs, and the like all nicely displayed and ready for tasting. They also had a big box of doughnut holes on the back of the table. Now that I think about it, maybe that was supposed to be the kid-friendly portion of the appetizers, oops. At the time I was just concerned about herding the masses, so I just let them eat whatever they put their hands on.
What is it about little kids and only eating one bite of something and putting it back? I think they ate about 36 wedges of watermelon, but only one bite out of each one. They'd take a bite and put it back on the tray ... pick up another wedge, take a bite, and put it back on the tray. I was rushing around trying to find all the pieces that had a bite off the top so I could take them off the tray before someone picked them up to sample. Meanwhile, Luke decided to try his hand at the chipotle ranch dip. He dunked his chip in up to his wrist and shoved the entire thing into his mouth. I watched helplessly as his eyes got really wide and he started screaming because it was too spicy for him. I managed to get there just in time as he spit out a green globby mess into my napkin.
By this time, the kids had demolished the table and all of them were clamoring for something to drink. Luke was still pawing his tongue with tears running down his face from the spiciness of the dip. At this precise moment one of the women from the event walked up to us with a glowing smile and a tray of drinks. I breathed a huge sigh of relief and flashed her a grateful smile as she quipped, "Here you go mom!", in an extra chipper voice. Finally, I thought, someone to help! I thanked her profusely for recognizing my plight of four unruly, thirsty children and quickly distributed the juice to the kids. They started sucking the juice down immediately and then the looks on their faces started to change to ones of disgust.
"Gross, this is yucky!"
"Mommy, this juice tastes funny!"
"I don't yike 'dis stuff!"
"What?? It's apple juice, y'all! You drink it every day. Here let me taste some ..."
Can you see what's coming?
It's not like I didn't know that apple juice and white wine have the same exact pale orange hue, I just wasn't thinking about it at the time. And if a lady with a tray of cups walked up to YOU while all of your children were begging for drinks and said, "Here you go Mom", wouldn't you think she was offering drinks for the kids and not the mom? And wouldn't YOU have just given those drinks to your kids quickly to stop their complaining and to get the taste of chipotle ranch off of their tongues?
So apparently I gave all of my kids their first taste of alcohol at the ripe old ages of 3 and 4. I hope there aren't any studies out there that indicate children who try alcohol in preschool end up being underage binge drinkers or something of the sort. After I realized the mistake, I quickly rounded up the wine cups and hurriedly placed them back on the tray. Then, we hightailed it outta there! I didn't look around to see if anyone noticed my mistake, but you can be rest assured that I will NOT be showing my face there again.