As we are almost into week five of my wife’s project at Disney with two weeks to go, I’ve acquired a special nickname from my boys… Mr. Momdad. It’s been an interesting journey and despite the occaisional bout with fatigue, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
One of my favorite frequent rituals with the boys is to head down to Einstein Bagels on Jackson Avenue on either Saturday or Sunday morning for some bagels. While most kids dream of doughnuts, mine clammor for the chewy and shiny shellacked faux doughnut-like bread inner tubes. My New York side of the family cringe in blasphemous disgust at Einstein’s creative variety of what they consider “gummy bagels” but my boys and I love them. Not to call her out or anything, but I’ll let you in on a little secret between you and me… my wife loves them too. Shhhhh, don’t tell anyone.
My little guy is our epicurean minimalist in his regular order of a schmear-free plain bagel, not cut, not toasted. On this particular visit, he became preoccupied as the gigantic bagel dangled from his little fingers. For all the parents out there, I think you know what happens next. The spongy bagel lept to freedom from his distracted clutch and seemingly in slow motion plunged in a downward-spiral to the ground-level graveyard of fallen bagels. Futile recovery efforts were quickly abandoned as more than five seconds flashed before our eyes before we discovered the final resting place of the rolling baked good.
Given the fact I had used a credit card, had no cash and was staring at a long morning bagel line, I decided to throw myself at the mercy of the cashier and plead a persuasively compelling case of hardship and despair on behalf of my pint-size client. I argued he had yet to reach the adequate developmental capacity to differentiate a firmly clutched bagel from a dangling bagel and pointed to his hysterical crying to show my client’s genuine remorse. With all credit to Einstein’s great customer service, the cashier secured a fresh new bagel to replace the fallen without hesitation. Catstrophe averted.
As for my oldest, he’s a sun-dried tomato, cut but not toasted, cream cheese schmear guy with a side mountain of blueberry muffin. He can always be counted on to secure his bread wheel but sharing is another matter all together. Nonetheless, he always stands at the ready to assist the rest of us in random product sampling… purely for quality control of course.
For me, it is perhaps the most blasphemously blasphemous examples of bagel exploitation… the roasted red pepper, tomato and pesto bagel and a large cup of my morning Diet Cokefee.
On this particular morning, as we often do, we took a seat at one of the large communal tables which may comfortably seat a family of quintuplets, but for the rest of us typically means sharing with others. Shortly thereafter, two families with children arrived and the two wives asked if it was okay to sit with us as their husbands braved the long line to hunt for spongy faux dougnut-like bread. We were, of course, more than happy for them to join us as they were just in time for the little guy’s bagel juggling act. Within a matter of moments, I realized that I had fully made the transition to Mr. Momdad as I became engulfed in a conversation of secret obsessions with our kid’s puffy banana-flavored rice finger snacks, growth phases, the unique personalities of our children and defensive parental strategies. By the time the husbands arrived, we were all old friends already and my little bagel juggler had already completed his big finish.
I now have much greater respect the my wife’s close network of momfriends and can easily see how addictive it is to get together to laugh and commiserate. Thank you Einsteins Bagels for providing a source for so many fun family memories… especially for your most recent support in the epic saga of Mr. Momdad. See you soon. SM