Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Opportunities Missed

Last night was a bit crazy. It was Benjamin's birthday and he had requested Little Caesar's pizza, so dinner wasn't much work. Ken and the boys had soccer practice and Frances and I stopped by the grocery store to pick up some strawberries and a few other odds and ends we needed.

At home, she worked on some homework, while I tidied up the kitchen and set the table. Ken would pick up the pizzas that I had already ordered on his way home and then we could eat.

The boys crashed through the door, still wired from soccer. Ken followed behind with all the bags and two boxes of pizza. I got them on the table and started to serve the food. I asked Ben (knowing that I had ordered a special olive pizza for him), "Do you want...pepperoni {opening the box} or...ONIONS?!?!

I had called and ordered one pizza with pepperoni (check) and one with olives. "Just olives?" the guy asked.

"Just olives," I replied.

And then (I can see it in my head) he circled the "O" for olives and passed along the order to the chef.

Do you see where this went wrong??

The birthday boy was NOT happy!

Ken volunteered to run back to the restaurant, while I called and explained what had happened. The lady on the phone promised to get an OLIVE pizza started right away.

We don't live far from the restaurant, but the waiting time was a bit awkward. The kids and I were hungry, but I didn't think it would be very nice to start eating without Ken. Especially since the main course wasn't even there. We tried chatting a little bit, but everyone was kind of cranky so that didn't really work.

Henry got up to wander the dining room and he found a note on the computer desk.

"Who scribbled on this!?!" he yelled, holding up a scrap of paper with his user name and password for an online game.

"I have no idea, sweetheart. Why does it matter?"

"This paper is important! And they scribbled on it!"

"Honey, they scribbled on the bottom, you can still read what you need to." I couldn't figure out what was so offensive about a little pen mark on his paper.

"But they could have scribbled on my password!!"

I rolled my eyes and took a deep breath. "You're upset about something that could have happened, but didn't?"

I wish I could say that he let go of his annoyance, but the reality is that he was too tired to see clearly and he hung on to it.

I tried not to make it a big deal. I offered him a hug and I told all three kids, "If you look around for things that will make you mad, you'll find a whole lot of them. But if you look around for things to be grateful for, that's what you'll see."

And then the pizza showed up and we had dinner and ate cookies and went to bed. Because the real reality is that sometimes the teachable moments don't show up at a time when the students are ready to learn. But at least Benjamin had a happy birthday!
This post has been brought to you by the #1Word Blog Challenge. This week the words were reality and offensive. You can find more details or link up here:


  1. Aw, glad it ended well, but this is so something that would have happened to me, too here totally.

  2. I'm glad Benjamin's Happy Birthday night ended on a happier note than when it started. O is not always for onions, and you're so right - kids are not always in the right frame of mind to learn the valuable lessons we want to teach. Yours was a good one though - not much point in getting upset over things that don't actually happen. Gratitude is a much better feeling. :)

  3. I need to print this as a reminder to myself: "If you look around for things that will make you mad, you'll find a whole lot of them. But if you look around for things to be grateful for, that's what you'll see." So true, and such an important life lesson. Sorry that things didn't go quite as planned for his birthday, but another teachable moment I suppose. (But perhaps for a later time!)

  4. I'm glad that the pizza worked out even if dinner was late!
    I love what you told Henry about finding stuff that makes you mad if you are looking - so true. I can tell when one of my boys makes a choice to be miserable for the evening!

  5. I'm with Ben, olives are much better than onions. Any day. I love how you tried to turn the situation around, I believe I need to print that out on pretty paper and hang it where I will see it every day. Thank you for sharing :) Happy Birthday to the little man!

  6. Well, I would rather have had the onions, but I'm glad it all turned out happy for Benjamin!!! :-)

  7. I am cranky myself when I'm hungry, so I probably would not have gone back to the pizza place. Then again my son really loves his black olives and I ALWAYS keep some around at home.

    Totally agree with you, there's always stuff to be annoyed about, but we've got to be better than that and look for the positive things :-)

    Happy Birthday to your little man!

    PS: why would anybody note his password on a piece of paper in the first place..?

  8. Sometimes things just don't work out the way we planned. I do love your advice about being mad, that is brilliantly stated. I think I would like to use that with my children. If I focused on it there is quite a bit that would make me mad. It's best not to.

  9. Oh man! At least everything was righted in the end. Olive pizza is my favorite, too (well, add eggplant and then I'm *really* in heaven)! I can empathize with being cranky when waiting for food, that's for sure!

  10. Eww! I'd be so upset about onions over olives. Olives are delicious to me.
    Glad he still had a happy birthday! Ah, to be five. I think I get upset about things that could happen too. Oops!

  11. I don't mind a few onions, but I can't imagine eating an onion only pizza! Yuck!

  12. It was already a late night and we were excited for Ben's birthday dinner. It made the crash even harder when I opened that box, but you're right, it all worked out in the end.

  13. I need to go over that lesson again in a less heated moment. It's an important one!

  14. I could have added olives, but I would have never been able to remove all the onions and that would have been a problem.
    The password is just an online game password for a 7-year old. There's no major reason to make it private. Otherwise they lose it/forget it and have to keep creating new IDs.

  15. Yuck! Just onions? Seems like a gross pizza to me. I don't mind a few mixed in, but Ben would never eat it that way.

  16. Thanks Tia! I need to print it out myself! And re-teach it when things aren't so crazy!

  17. There are days when I choose to be miserable too. I just try not to make everyone else around me miserable as well.

  18. I definitely need to go over that one again! Probably on a regular basis for good measure.

  19. You reap what you sow and you usually find what you're looking for. I prefer to search for gratitude and I'm hoping I can teach the kids to do the same.

  20. It just figures that I thought I had it all taken care of and I didn't!


Thanks for stopping by! I would love to hear your thoughts. Please leave a link so I can return the visit.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...