My husband looked up from reading the news one evening and snapped his fingers, exclaiming, “I’ve got a tremendous idea. Let’s run to Walmart!”
“When?” I asked.
“Right now! You know, just get in the car, and take a spur the moment trip to Walmart. We could buy something exciting, like – oh, maybe wet wipes! Wouldn’t everyone enjoy that? Maybe the kids could go to sleep in the car.”
“Great idea!” I agreed.
“Good. Then it’s settled.” And he clicked on another news story about two skinny dippers who sparked an emergency land and sea search on the New South Wales north coast.
“Oh, this will be exciting,” I said to our four year old. “back before we had you all, Papa and I used to do impulsive things once in a while, and I thought it was great fun! Okay, Kinsley, can you get your socks and shoes on and help Sophie find hers? Oh, and we’d better leave money for the milk, because the neighbors were going to bring some this evening. I’ll pack the diaper bag real quickly, and we’d probably better feed the sheep.”
“Mama, I’m out of clean socks, and all of Sophie’s shoes are mis-mates!” said my daughter. Which reminded me that I still needed to put the diapers in the drier or we weren’t going to have any clean ones for the car ride.
“Dan, do you think we ought to just put the kids in their PJs, just in case they go to sleep on the way home? And we’d better grab extra clothes for Sophie, because you know how she is with her tiny bladder. Oh, and after you feed the sheep are you going to need to stock the furnace? I’m just asking because the bird and the fish should really be fed also, if you have a second, and the scraps for the dog are on the counter. Oh, Kinsley, can you gather the sippy cups and put them on the counter?”
“Well, Sophie dropped hers in the toilet, because she was trying to fill it for a tea party in our room.” Kinsley replied.
“Oh, well… was the toilet clean?”
“Yeah, it was, but I couldn’t get the cup out and I had to go to the bathroom, so now it’s not clean.”
“Okay, I’ll get that in a second. Dan, would you mind changing the baby, as soon as I can find a dry diaper? And I’d better call and let mom know that we’re leaving, because she might worry if they come by and we’re not here. And we should probably gather up the library books to drop off on our way out of town,” I said.
“Oh yeah,” says Dan, “we probably should drop off the bills at the post office, but that means I need to write a check and find the stamps. Did we leave those in the car?”
“I think they were in Kinsley’s desk, for some reason. I’ll grab them. Oh, their room is trashed, let my neaten it real fast and turn down their bed in case they go to sleep. Should we give them baths? I need to take a fast shower, and I bet you do, too – which will give me just enough time to dry their hair, because we shouldn’t take them out with wet hair.”
“That reminds me,” adds my husband, “I’d better start the car so that it has time to heat. Boy, I hope we have enough gas to get to town!”
“It’ll be great to get out!” I exclaimed. “Isn’t it great to do something spontaneous?”
(To give credit where credit is due: This is actually a retelling of Erma Bombeck’s thoughts on Spontaneity with teenagers.)