I was trying to reestablish order in my car upon our arrival in the driveway when I discovered something that made my blood run cold as I was picking up juice boxes and apple cores.
The cup holders in the car door next to my son’s seat were all filled with about a quarter inch of murky liquid with tiny floaty bits.
“Why did you squirt apple juice into the cup holders, buddy?” I accused loud enough so his father would hear.
“I didn’t do it, mamma,” he replied calmly.
“Yes. You did! You need to help me clean this up right now. Here, grab this paper towel!”
“No. I didn’t do it.”
“Oh?” I asked sarcastically. “How did it get there, then?”
“It is rain, not juice.”
“Well, I am going to taste it and if it tastes like juice, you are going to get a long time out for pouring the juice out and for lying to me.” I instantly regretted that. Murky liquid with floaty bits? In my mouth? But I could not back down now.
“Fine!” I thought I detected a hint of fear in his eye. He had been a big pill so far this afternoon, so I was really looking forward to catching him in this lie.
I got a drop on my finger, close my eyes, scrunched up my face, and touched it to my tongue. Not sweet. Wait! This can’t be. Maybe I did not get enough on my tongue. I tried it again. Same result.
Damn. It had rained earlier this morning. Could it have been that much? Are my car cup holders that dirty? Apparently the answer to both questions was yes.
I found him sitting on the back porch waiting for me, arms folded across his puffed out chest.
“So how did that go for you, mom?” He smiled at me, beaming. His tone of voice was distinctly grown up, something I might have said. You are only four!
“You were right, kiddo. I am sorry I didn’t believe you.”
He wraps me up in a big bear hug. “I still love you, mommy!”
I hugged him back. “I love you, too!”