The Ketchup Packet
Driving 4 hours back from a two-day business trip, I tell myself that if my oldest son completed his homework, I would take both boys to Chick-fil-a (our favorite place to dine). I go into the school to pick them up from after-school care to find out that homework was not totally completed (“because I like to do spelling with you, dad,” my son says if he knows that my blood pressure rises when I hear that homework wasn’t done). I tell myself that he will get it done at home after dinner and before mom gets home, so it will be OK. What was I thinking?!?!?
We go in, order our food, and take it to our table. I lay out the chicken nuggets, the fruit cup (yes, I make my kids eat the fruit cup instead of fries), the milk, and condiments and head off to the bathroom. Gone literally one minute, I come back to find ketchup all over my younger, and more troublesome, son’s face and shirt. He is cracking up. He slammed his fist down on the ketchup packet and it shot up across his chest and face. Inside, my mind was running crazy – do I laugh, do I yell, do I just take them home? As I clean him up, a mother comes up to me to tell me that her son was hit with the ketchup. Their table was at least 15 feet away. I look down and see the trail of ketchup leading right to the innocent bystander. Now, I really want to laugh, but know it would be totally inappropriate.
Ultimately, I punish my son by not letting him go into the playground the rest of the night and I cancelled next week’s trip. On the ride home I proceeded to tell the boys about the time I was walking home from school and stomped down on a mustard packet to try and squirt my friend. Ultimately it just got all over me and I smelled like rotten mustard all the way home. Like father, like son!