family · growing up · slice of life

Next Stop, The Milkhouse! #SOL21

I minored in American History with a concentration in war. (Cheery, I know.) I did a semester-long study on the Kennedy Family in my senior year. Therefore, when I tell you that our family finished a 12-day standoff with one of our kids — that was on par with the Cuban Missile Crisis — you must know I do not say this in jest.

March is a busy month for me due to the SOLSC. Therefore, when Ari decided to assert himself as a stubborn human, things got stressful. Conversations didn’t work. Offering rewards didn’t work. Taking away privileges didn’t work. NOTHING seemed to work.

Earlier today, he blinked. As a result, we had to make good on a promise: ice cream for dessert! It didn’t matter that it was a weeknight. A promise was a promise. So, a little after 6:30 p.m., the four of us piled into the car and drove to a local ice cream shop.

As our minivan turned into the parking lot, I noticed the store front was dark. “Why does it look like they’re closed?” I asked Marc.

We drove up and sure enough they’re closed Mondays – Wednesdays. (They’re open seven days a week during the spring and summer.)

“Rolled Cold?” Isabelle asked, mentioning the name of her favorite ice cream store in the City of Lancaster.

As much as I knew she’d enjoy that, it isn’t Ari’s favorite place. Ari loves The Milkhouse at Oregon Dairy. Before driving 15 minutes in the opposite direction, I called to ensure they were open.

When we arrived, I witnessed a smile on Ari’s face even through his mask and despite the fact that we wouldn’t be making use of the Dairy’s playground, which was a favorite in the pre-COVID days.

“Family picture by the cows!” I said.

A beat later, Marc and I told the kids, “Don’t touch the cows!”

Too late! Ari touched the stationary cows all over their bodies. Thankfully, The Milkhouse has had antibacterial hand wipes long before the pandemic. We walked in, grabbed a couple, wiped Ari down, and placed our order.

Even though it had been over a year since any of us stepped foot into Oregon Dairy, Ari rediscovered the model train that rides around The Milkhouse and the restaurant on an elevated track. He stood in awe of it as the rest of us ordered. He took his eyes off of it just long enough to give me his order (i.e., chocolate ice cream, rainbow sprinkles, and whipped cream).

We took our ice cream back to the minivan where we devoured it. Once Ari declared he was finished, he stood up in the back of the minivan and did what can only be described as a happy dance.

I admire kids with strong wills. Stubborn isn’t a good look on anyone. It’s my sincere hope that Ari stays strong-willed and doesn’t show this kind of stubbornness again.

Head over to Two Writing Teachers for more slice of life stories.

20 thoughts on “Next Stop, The Milkhouse! #SOL21

  1. I love the opening of this slice. I was *just* trying to explain ethos to a student & I wish I’d had this at my fingertips. It’s perfect. And I’m glad Ari blinked. Those long standoffs can be complicated. And ice cream on a Wednesday night is a pretty good reward – especially when it comes with a train.

  2. Ice cream his reason for a standoff a kin to the Cuban missile crisis! I love this comparison and the appreciation your children have for the sanctity of ice cream!

  3. Your lead made me laugh! And I could picture your fun family outing – complete with cow touching and antibacterial. Our son sounds as stubborn as Ari…I like to think they’ll be determined adults.

    1. Overall, Ari is a pretty flexible kid. Typically, it’s my daughter who is more set in her ways. That said, if he’s going to be like this again, then he better be a highly determined adult!

  4. Oh, my–the description of the standoff reminds me of my own younger parenting days. I still tend to butt heads with my youngest–he’s at the stage where parents don’t know ANYTHING (my oldest assures me that will change when he enters the workforce). This will be a great story to revisit when and if Ari becomes a parent!

  5. I love this peek into the family dynamic. I also like that you point out the difference between being strong-willed and being stubborn. Ari will continue to assert himself, but he has the good fortune to have parents who know what to do about it!

  6. “Don’t touch the cows!” is just such a random, parent thing to say. Or a teacher, for that matter.

    Love this slice, hoping there’s more ice cream in Ari’s future! 🙂

  7. This lead! I really loved it. From start to finish, not only did I enjoy Ari’s stand (sorry, it’s always easier when it isn’t your own child), but I admired the way you took us with you during the victory celebration. It sounds like you may have won this round in the end, but 12 days is a long stand! Let’s hope the rest of March goes smoothly.

  8. Great opening paragraph – you have captured the situation perfectly! Always love your description of ice cream and places to eat. Your wonderful, intelligent Ari will always have a strong will and the determination to meet challenges. Let’s hope for more ice cream victories!

  9. A perfect post! A great moment in time to capture and hold on it. The struggle and the release into family fun for ice cream. Oh and what a great ice cream place to be able to go to. Thanks for sharing this family adventure!

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