This happens to me every couple of months: I take the kids somewhere and realize that I am the only mother-of-(three)-small-children in tow there. It happened again today, when I took The Boy, The Girl, and The Baby to Just Indulge on North Avenue for ice cream (custard) after an impromptu late-afternoon visit to the Treasure Store. I was feeling pretty cool mommyish today. Not because I looked great or because I was in Bucktown, but because I was letting my children eat frozen custard and cheese popcorn essentially for dinner. The kids loved it and were surprisingly good while sitting in the car, in traffic, in the pouring rain, on the way home afterward. Mommy scored some points with the progeny.
In fact, even before he finished his vanilla custard with rainbow sprinkles, The Boy asked if we could come back again sometime. The Girl had chocolate custard with rainbow sprinkles. They both shared with The Baby, who begged mercilessly for spoonfuls of the cold, creamy stuff. I skipped today's flavor of the day (mocha) and went straight for a chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting. The custard wasn't as fantastic as Custard Cup, but it was good, simple, and surprisingly for that neighborhood, cheap. I actually thought they undercharged me at first because it didn't seem possible to get what we got for under $8 (with nearly 10% sales tax!) in the city these days. Heck, even taking the kids to Starbuck's for a milkbox and cookie each (and a coffee for me) is a $13 outing. But Just Indulge was a bit more reasonable. I hope it's still around for next time.
So how did we end up eating ice cream at 6 p.m. on a Thursday, anyway?
I once offered to take The Girl out for ice cream if she did not complain during a trip to the Treasure Store. In the mind of a nearly 3-year-old, apparently, this created a permanent link. When I say, "Do you want to go to the Treasure Store?" She responds, "Ice cream!" This afternoon, we spent a couple of hours digging through the racks, which is how we ended up eating frozen custard for dinner.
I picked up The Boy from school before lunch today, and we all headed southeast to the Nature Museum, to meet our friend Becky & her three kids, have our packed lunches together, and play. We did all that and after three hours of chasing, Becky and I were beat. Not surprisingly, The Boy, The Girl, and The Baby all fell asleep in the car before I could even get to Clybourn and Fullerton. I parked the car and let them sleep, while I did some work.
When they woke up, we went shopping. The Boy complained nearly the whole time, although he changed his mind when he found a treasure of his own -- the Plan Toys airport, for a mere $5. I think I'll make a convert out of him yet.