Thursday, February 10, 2011

my mini-man

I've mentioned before that a trip to Costco ends with me saying, "And one churro, please," to the person scanning my items. It is the prize I promise, sometimes through clenched teeth, to bribe my children to not whine or poke/squeeze/torture each other. I hand Donovan the receipt and he runs over and shows the lady while singing, "One churro, please!" I take a massive bite as my tax, and Dono and Gemma split the rest. Once in a great while, we get two churros split between the three of us and we feel like kings.

A couple months ago, I was walking past the meat area and saw those tantalizing rotisserie chickens basking under the heat lamps, their intoxicating scent causing my stomach to groan in protest at the breakfast I had skipped. I considered the soup I was making that night that called for cooked chicken, and the chicken breasts waiting in my freezer at home to defrost, and thought, "Oh why not..." In a rash moment of extravagance, I put a bird in my cart. Turns out, those Costco birds are larger and less expensive than their grocery store cousins. Also turns out, prepared food does not equal expensive. Finally turns out, prepared rotisserie chickens are the most delicious animals on the planet.

When we got home, my inability to delay gratification overcame me and Donovan and I set upon the chicken like sharks to a maimed seal. With greasy fingers and bits of chicken stuck to his cheek, Dono proclaimed it the greatest lunch ever. I couldn't disagree. In our defense, we had our fill, enough for dinner, and more left over.

Fast forward to a couple weeks ago, we walked through the doors of Costco. Dono, with a glint in his eye and a small grin, said, conspiratorially, "Hey Mom. I know what we should get." I smirked back at him and played along, "What do you have in mind?" Almost giggling, with hands framing his mouth in a theatrical whisper, "Chiiiiiicken."

And this is where parenting gets fun. "Well, would you rather have a chicken or a churro?" I'll say it - I never had any intention of walking out of there with anything less than both of them. But it's fun to torment your children.

"Ohhhhhhh," he groaned. "I need to think about this."

It was the quietest trip I've ever taken to Costco with Donovan in tow. He debated with himself on the merits of each, never establishing a front runner. By the time we got to the case of chickens, he was in agony. I handed him a bird and he sat there hunched over, getting a chicken-scent facial, if you will. I made out a barely audible, "I just love chicken. But I just love churros. This is impossible."

By the time I got up to the checkout stand, he raised his mournful face to me, eyebrows knit together, and wailed, "I can't do it Mom. I can't decide. I just love them both."

Some parents surprise their kids with trips to Disneyland. Some parents surprise their kids with a puppy. Maybe someday we'll get to do that. For now, I surprise my kids with food.

"Well," I said, changing my face from sad to giddy, "I guess we'll just have to get BOTH."

We came home and he ate an entire leg and another drumstick. He sat back, licking the grease from his fingers, a satisfied smile playing at his lips. "That is the best lunch in the world. I just can't believe how much I love chicken."

I can. First, it's dang tasty. Second, my Dad's identical love of small birds runs deep (mention the words "Boston Market" and you'll see that same adoring look on his face that he gets when he reminisces about good BYU football games). Third, he's a boy. I don't know why the boy stuff takes me by surprise - his ability to make car noises from birth; how "quiet" isn't really a possibility; same with "sit still"; how any sport with a ball has his attention; how "faster" is always the challenge. And now: rotisserie chicken lover.

So when he hears we're going to Costco and he says, "Hey Mom, know what I'm thinking about for lunch today?" I just smile and love this mini-man of mine more.

Can you guess where we went today?

(pictures are actually from LAST January. I've been spending an exorbitant amount of time going through 80 GB of photos from the year.)


The Learner said...

Little boys are so fun! They push you (or at least me) to the breaking point and then give a kiss and all is forgiven! Loved your thoughts! Charity

PaloAltoCougar said...

Oh man, just reading your post made me hungry for a Costco rotisseried chicken, but we had one last night. Wait, so what? And tell Dono I'm unsure how I would have decided either, and I'm happy he was ultimately spared the agony.


Lisa said...

Man, those Costco chickens ROCK. I love the use them in recipes and make everyone think I make the most delicious chicken for my enchiladas--no need to tell them that Costco actually made it...

laura said...

Hahahaha. Oh little buddy. What a cruel joke, but I'm glad it ended with joy. That is a major Sophie's choice.

Allison said...

Costco chicken is the best lunch--haven't had that in a while! I love seeing Mabes gnaw on the leg. Man, now I want chicken and a churro!

Oh, Dono...

Annie said...

You are such a talented writer Sarah. I wish I could write like you.