Tidbit Tuesday — Survivor Ice Cream

Currently my stay-at-home days are all back-to-back, smack dab in the middle of the week. Towards the tail end of that stretch I find that taking care of four children really loses much of whatever luster the week had started with. The shine and nobility of the task is slowly tarnished with every diaper change, every fight mediation, every drenched shirt because my two-year-old son Roman likes to grab the sink faucet while it’s running and turn it into a flippin’ fire sprinkler, and every, single, godforsaken question about when TV or snack time is.

This is where I found myself last Wednesday. Tarnished.

I had prepared and divided lunch onto three plates. I got three drinks. I dropped three napkins and three forks in front of three people. I spoon fed a fourth person with one hand while I spoon fed myself with the other.

I was feeling the done side of parenting. You know what side I’m talking about. The side where if a stranger came in my home and asked if they could have my children for keeps, I would help them install the car seats.

Once lunch was over the three big kids went to play around the house while I cleaned up three sets of dishes.

Lightning struck. We had a little tub of chocolate fudge brownie ice cream in our freezer. This thought sang to me. A melody that pierced through the tarnish and found my soul. A siren song that, if I wasn’t careful, would sink my ship on the jagged rocks of my kids wanting some also.

Something came over me in that moment. The only thing I wanted, in all the world, was to not have to dish ice cream into three bowls for my three older kids. I didn’t want to share it. Not at all. And besides, they hadn’t earned it. I had! I wanted a reward, given only to me, that said, “Good job meeting the needs of four children by yourself. You’ve made it this far and we are proud of you.” I don’t know who “we” is and why they are proud of me, but I’ll take it.

The kids were playing in their room so I nonchalantly pulled the ice cream out and dished it into a bowl. I heard my daughter Violet’s footsteps two seconds before she rounded the corner. The only play I had was to launch myself to the other side of the kitchen hoping to draw her attention away from the fresh bowl of unbelievable goodness resting on the counter. She asked me some unmemorable questions and I answered them fully distracted by the shiny bowl resting not two feet behind her.

She finally left. I wiped my brow and then put the bowl behind my back and walked to my room. Why my room? Because the door locks. That’s why.

There I sat. On my bed. Quietly indulging in an ice cold pat on the back, like a survivor hiding from zombies just outside my thin bedroom door. I had rehearsed my, “Just figure it out guys!” response for anything that they may have asked me in the five minutes while I ate.

“DAD! We can’t find the remote control for the TV.”
“Just figure it out guys!”

“DAD! We smell smoke.”
“Just figure it out guys!”

“DAD! Roman is trying to split atoms with uranium isotopes.”
“Just figure it out guys!”

All went according to plan. They didn’t bother me once and I got rid of the evidence as quickly as possible. I felt alive.

As stay-at-homes, little rewards like that can go a long way. After the treat, if a stranger came in my home and asked to have my children for keeps, it probably would have been a solid no.

I feel that eating ice cream while hiding from our children behind locked doors is what separates us from the animals.



photo credit: via photopin (license)


  1. Ruth said:

    I 100% do this when I get into my hidden stash of Cadbury Creme Eggs. Your parenting level: expert.

    March 8
  2. carolyorkRED said:

    Until you bend over to tuck them in for nap/bed and they innocently say “Mom, you smell like cookies”. BUSTED!

    March 9
    • Andrea Cerretti said:

      I remember bending down when my daughter was about 3 (she 34 now) and had just finished snarfing a Hershey’s bar, and she looked at me and said, “you smell like chocolate. I want some” AUGH!!!!!

      March 9
  3. Eleanor said:

    That last sentence! Oh my goodness!!! Hahaha!

    Also, notice how no mom on here has commented by saying, “That was selfish not to share with your kids!”
    That’s because none of us actually believe that. 🙂

    Soldier on.

    March 9
  4. nita said:

    Do you remember me hiding under the dining table with the Ben and Jerry’s why you were scurrying the rest of the house trying to find me before it was all gone!!!

    March 9

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