Jaime Franchi's Blog

Jaime Franchi

Jaime Franchi
New York, US
July 07
Misses Write
Freelance writer living in New York. My work can be found in the NY Times, "Big" Salon, Punchnel's, Fictionique, The Broad Side, and on JedMorey.com, where I am a regular contributor. Follow me on Twitter at JaimimiMama. www.JaimeFranchi.com


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JULY 15, 2011 1:54PM

Color Wars

Rate: 16 Flag

There is one red ice pop left.  The bag is full of the unpopular greens and yellows, the last chosen, like the fat, uncoordinated kids in gym class.  I hand them out randomly to my two kids, wincing in anticipation of the screams of the unfairness of the ice pop distribution.  They don’t let me down.


Jacob snatches up the red as Anna lets out a scream that could peel the paint off the garage.  She would not have reacted any less violently if I had stabbed her in the foot with a fork.  


Jacob is unperturbed.


Had I been a novice at this and not the experienced parent that I am, having the battle scars to prove it, I might have joined in the wailing out of pure frustration.  Why can’t we just rejoice at having frozen artificially flavored juice in clear plastic strips?  This should be a celebration, and yet Anna has now moved to the ground, getting the sand that has traveled forty feet from the sandbox in her hair.  She’s kicking her legs and beating the ground with her tiny hands, dirt mixed with tears making brown tracks down her face.  


Jacob’s lips have turned a clownish red, to his obvious delight.


I pull out the big guns.


“You get what you get and you don’t get upset,” I tell her, and that, my friend is how it’s done.


Except she’s still upset.  Maybe she doesn’t hear me.


“Anna!” I say sharply, and she quiets at once and looks at me expectantly.  “You get what you get and you don’t get upset.”


The wailing resumes right where it had taken off, with her body now convulsing in twists and turns in addition to the ground beating and the kicking.


“You get the red next time,” I yell to the gyrating, screaming thing in my backyard.


“You can’t be upset!”


At this she looks up.  She says, matter-of-factly, “I am upset.”


“But you...you can’t.  It’s in the rules.  It rhymes.”


“I want RED.”


“There’s no more red.  There’s nothing I can do here.  The yellow is just as good.” Screams and tears take up the baton that had been handed off pre-break and make for a spectacular end, a swan song, a cry that would catch Wes Craven's attention if he were pedaling down my street, looking to cast his latest bloody thriller.  Her little chest heaves at the injustice, the loss, and the disillusionment of her tender toddler years.  She could probably use a nap.


Jacob walks over to his little sister, and tells her casually, “The white ones are pina colada.”


Anna’s face lights up; there’s a smile through the smudges of dirt and disappointment.  “I want white!” she declares.


Hope rises in my chest.  I see one!  “There’s one more left!” I call out in triumph.  


And as I hand the white ice pop over to my happy little girl, a beacon of hope to what’s left of my nerves and my sanity for the rest of this beautiful summer day, I hear a foot stomp to my left.  “I want a pina colada!”

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open+call, food/drink, family, comedy

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Give 'em the straight rum. They'll both go down for a nap.
I hear that, Bill. I'm almost there ( don't mind if I take a nip myself..) Thanks for stopping by!
Very funny and, as usual, well written. I really like your nod to Wes Craven.

Notice Anna calmed down after she was given another choice instead of getting stuck with with the yellow pop. Anna agrees with my theory! No one want to get stuck with something and told to accept it nor should they have to. Fight for your right to eat better ice pops, Anna!!!!
fm - So funny that you have this theory! This post was written because a friend of mine started a conversation about "You get what you get..." She said it was equal to: "Accept shit and be quiet." Who wouldn't scream after being told that?
Bill, damn it, you got it wrong, parent suppose to get the straight rum, go right down for a nap!! :D

(I know, kids would be unsupervised, that's what basement or closets are good for......what? :D )
My mom would have solved the problem by grabbing all the ice pops and stomping them to smithereens, and we all know what smithereens taste like.
We always said to the kindergarteners, "you get what you get and you don't get upset." It wasn't until I took a yoga training class that I realized it's okay to get upset. You still get what you get. So now I say, "you get what you get, and you might get upset..." Just my own shift in how I deal with large groups of kids! ~r
Maybe they should all be rainbow hued.
Tink - you are speaking my language!

Littlewillie - smithereens taste like brussel sprouts. Yuck!

Joan - that's pretty wise. I can't firgure out the reason why you aren't supposed to get upset (besides it being annoying for the parents/teachers.) Just because it rhymes? Oddly, it worked on my son like a charm. My daughter, notsomuch.

Sarah C - you should run for President.
great, brief look at a world i would SO not have the patience for (love kids, just don't think i would have handled The Popsicle Incident as well as you)...
Haha! I have been there...sadly most of the time in the kids' role. I feel like there should be some trick here, some way to make them see reason...but having grown up doing exactly the same thing with my siblings...I don't know. At least they'll grow out of it one day! Hang in there....
Mr. Comedy - my usual kid routine is to show endless patience, and then yell like a lunatic five minutes later. if you out-tantrum them, you can traumatize them into submission. Just set aside money for therapy.

Alysa - I am the baby of three and remember being too scared of my brother and sister to demand my fair share. Anna does not share that temperament (and I wouldn't wish it on her anyway.)
Hah! My sister still yells at me about how I'd lick everybody's popsicles first---and she's 40!
Do you want the yellow or none?
Do you want the yellow or none?
I want the RED ONE!!
Do you want the yellow or none andifyousayanywordotherthanyellowitwillmeanoneandeveryoneknowsyellowisbetterthanredanyway?

Sometimes - sometimes - this works.
Chicago - yep, my brother, sister, and I still share some very mature rivalry at times.

Keri - spoken like a mother who knows. Want to meet me out for a glass of wine (or seven?)
Now why can't make boxes full of red pops only? Funny, heart warming story. -Rated for...I've been there and glad I'm not now.
I can barely handle one kiddo with a big old stubborn streak...I would have probably brought out the ice cream bars...!
so it isn't just me that likes the red.
No matter how big a box of flavor ice I buy I always have this problem w/ my 3 maniacs. & lil man is just 2 & thinks every color is green anyway. good times.