All juice boxes are NOT created equal

So this weekend I borrowed a kid from my girlfriend Christy to see what it would be like to have five children instead of only four. Things have been far too calm and quiet around here lately and I’m concerned by the level of compliance our kids have been displaying the past few weeks. It’s just not normal.

Nothing like Getting a New Kid to shake things up.

Darling Spencer is five. He has just started kindergarten and the thing that makes him hot property around here is his ability to play with almost everyone (this excludes Georgia who spent the weekend informing him that he is NOT part of our family and Miss Annie is NOT his mommy). Truly, he was the easiest kid ever to have around because we pretended like he was one of the rest of them. The best way to babysit is to offer the visiting kid no special exceptions, and no fewer hugs than anyone else in the family.

However, by 2 o’clock on Saturday he was finally starting to wilt. He’d eaten a peanut butter sandwich for lunch (a first), been dragged to the horse barn, the soccer fields and the commissary, and had taken all the teasing and the yelling that comes with a day in our minivan in stride. The kid was a trooper.

But there comes a time when a little kid far from home needs something extra to get him through all the crazy (if anyone here ever babysits my kids for the weekend and they get a little homesick and emotional, please offer them some Diet Coke and sing them a drunk sailor song, it works every time).

Spencer needed Apple Juice.

We were sitting at Harry’s soccer game and I was prepared for an afternoon bout of low blood sugar with crackers and craisins and Capri Suns (and yes, we had an impromptu lesson in the car on the letter “c” where I acted like I purposely planned the menu to coordinate) so when Spencer started to frown and drag his feet I immediately offered him a Capri Sun packet. Sugar, you know. Miracle drug.

“No,” he said, “I don’t drink those. Only apple juice.”

And then I thought back on the day and realized that the boy really hadn’t had a drop to drink since we’d left the house. He was probably on the verge of being dehydrated. I tried to peer pressure him into some juice with phrases like “everybody’s doing it” and “it will make you feel sooo good” and “I’ll buy you a pony that doesn’t poop if you just drink some juice” but he crossed his ankles, put his chin down and settled in for a royal standoff.

I know when I’ve been beat.

“Dang it,” I said to Jason who was sitting next to me watching the game. “I really hate this, I don’t want to miss another one of Harrison’s games but I’ve got to go get Spencer some Apple Juice.” I placed the rejected box of Capri Suns down next to me and reached for my keys.

“Oh,” Jason said, “Want me to do it for you?” Sweet apple juice, yes.

“Thank you! Yes, just get me an apple juice for Spencer and a water for Harrison, okay?” He was already halfway down the field, off to save the day. My hero.

Fast forward forty minutes. Spencer is now rolling around on the benches moaning for juice, unable to speak legibly or lift his head (except to yell at Rex every two minutes for  accidentally/purposely touching his coat), and I’m pretty sure we’re in the final stages of thirst before rigamortis sets in. Obviously Jason went to Canada to get juice.

With five minutes left in the game I finally see Jason walking around the field. My hero.

He walks up, reaches into a grocery sack and pulls out…

A Box of Capri Suns.

“I thought these would be better, they’re cheap and everyone can drink them.”


And yes, I’m ashamed to say that I might have huffed and puffed and blowed smoke right there on the soccer field in front of our friends, which was totally unacceptable and out of line. It was so nice of him to go for me and I was mostly ungrateful and rude when he gave me the twin box of Capri Suns that Spencer, once again, refused to touch.

Saturdays. Let it snow already.


  1. Oh dear. I’m giggling like crazy but only because I can soooo picture that moment. I’m assuming that Spencer did indeed get his apple juice at some point & that you didn’t kill Jason. Still laughing. Sorry, but I probably would’ve killed the hubby 😉

  2. Oh my gosh, it’s so sad but totally true. Juice boxes are NOT created equal.