Monday, March 10, 2014

Lemon Ice Cream Has Soured Me Forever

The Hunspergers vs. Italy 
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

In 2006, my family had the opportunity to travel to Europe. It was for my brother-in-law's wedding, which was happening in Lyon, France.  After the nuptials, my father-in-law took us on a cruise of the Mediterranean Sea.  We began our trip in Venice, Italy and here's one of my favorite stories of the trip...

We were heading to the taxi to get to the cruise ship.  Outside the hotel, there was an ice cream vendor.  The kids wanted a cone.  So did my in laws.  We were slightly rushed, but figured we had time to stop.

St. Mark's Square
My oldest son, Ethan, who was six at the time was looking at the selections.  He asked for a lemon ice cream cone.  Seeing as how the boy had never had lemon ice cream, I reminded him of that and told him to pick something else, because lemons are sour and he won't like it.  There was cookies and cream, chocolate, and chocolate chip. I figured since I would probably have to finish the cone, why not get something I'd like too.  But he didn't want anything but lemon, so I gave up and ordered him the lemon.

After a couple of licks he declared, "I don't like it."  I remind him that moments earlier I told him he wouldn't like it.  He continued to whine about the cone and my mother-in-law offered him her ice cream, which I think was butter pecan.  He says he would, but she's already licked it.  Now my patience is gone.  We still had to drag our luggage to the taxi station and make it to the ship.  Time was ticking away.  So I told him that it's his loss and he gets nothing.

I had to run back into the hotel lobby and get the rest of our bags.  My father-in-law asks if he can buy him a chocolate chip cone.  At that point, I was frustrated and didn't care and let Lisa decide.  So with a new cone in hand, and a couple of licks later he tells us "I'm still mad."  That's when I finally had enough. I told him he was being ungrateful in a voice louder than I probably should have.

Then he reacts to my anger (I know I was wrong) by stomping around.  I'm mad as I'm dragging our suitcases through the streets of Venice.  Just as we were about to climb a set of steps that lead to a bridge to the taxi station, Ethan's cone broke and most of it fell to the ground.  That's when the tears start ad when I truly snapped and started stomping on the ice cream cone.  

I was so mad, I had an out of body experience.  I could see my rage, my stomping, my yelling and thought it's time to stop.  But I couldn't.  I know people were looking at me.  I know my kid was just getting more upset, but I couldn't stop. I finally calmed down and apologized.  We all laugh about it now.  And just so everyone knows, Ethan got plenty of ice cream on the boat.

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