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The Donut Dance

6:45 AM. There is a strange silence in the house and I just can't put my finger on what is missing. Bryce is awake, and has been since 6:30. From the kithcen I hear Kristen's hairdryer through two closed doors. The micorwave hums as Bryce's oatmeal cooks. The dog, Truman, scratches at the sliding glass door wanting back in from his torturous 2 minutes outside.

Setting Bryce's bowl of oatmeal in front of him, I encourage him to to eat more than his usual 3 teeny, tiny bites and then announcing his tummy is full by saying "Wow, look at that yummy oatmeal. I wonder how many bites it would take to empty the bowl? How many bites do you think it would take? Can you count them to see? Maybe we could estimate how many and then compare our estimate to how many it actually takes?" Bryce responds by saying "I don't like big bites." "You don't have to take big bites, just count the bites you do take!"

Then it hits me. The missing morning sound. Hannah! She's not up! She's going to miss the bus and I'm going to have to take her to school! Running through the changes I will have to make to the morning routine in my head, I head up the stairs to wake her. Opening her bedroom door, I cheerfully say "YOU OVERSLEPT! GET UP! HURRY!" and head back downstairs.

Suh-Weet! Taking Hannah to school will add an extra 20 minutes or more to my current 50 minute "scream drive" with my two-year-old. Bryce only suffers half this time, as he gets to exit after the good half of the drive. And funny enough, Quinn usually is rather fun on the the way TO school. Once his brother jumps out, though, he turns into the Can Only Say One Thing Over and Over Cause I Know You Can't Hear Me Kid: "ready to go home, dad. ready to go home, dad. go home, dad go home dad go home dad GO HOME DAD.......GO ......HOME......DAD!" And that's in the first blcok pulling away from the school.

7:45 AM. With a little rushing, we load into the van and head out. Getting Hannah to school is fine, traffic not too bad, kids talkative and happy. We don't have enough time to go home, then leave again to take Bryce to school, so I decide to take an alternate route to add a few extra minutes to the drive so we don't have to park and wait at the school. I choose the Riverside drive. Fewer stop lights, nice scenic view of the river, no commerce - only residential property and parks.

8:15 AM. Then I hear "I have to poop" from the depths of the van. "Can you hold it until we get to school?" I ask with hope. "I really have to go!" is the reply. What was I thinking taking Riverside? The only place to go to the bathroom along this route is a public park bathroom.....uh, no thanks. Not only will I not ever use one, there is no way I would take my kid in one. Thinking fast, I headed to the nearest Quick Trip, thankfully only one backtracking mile away.

8:25 AM. We pile out, go into QT, and do our business. We almost don't make it because Bryce at first insists that he go in the stall alone. As I am telling him all the reasons why I need to go in and help him, Quinn wanders over to investigate the white porcelain "water drinker" on the wall. Grabbing him just before he sticks his face into the urinal, I drag him and Bryce into the toilet stall, yank B's pants down, sit him on the toilet and tell him to go. After a few too many forced grunts for effects after the "plop" is heard, we wash up and exit. Weaving our way through the morning QT coffee crowd, we pass by the donut case. "Can I have a donut?" Bryce asks. In a brief moment of weakness, I say sure. After all, he ate 78 bites of oatmeal for breakfast so what's the harm?

8:33 AM. "I can?" he asks with disbelief, and then immediately breaks out into a ritualistic tribal dance, waving his hands in the air, jumping and writhing as though possesed while singing "I get a do - nut! I get a do - nut" A large burly guy walks by and looks down at Bryce while he is singing and doing the Donut Dance. Bryce stops momentarily, looks him in the eye, and proclaims "I get a DONUT!" and immediatley breaks back into his Donut Dance and song.

8:45 AM. Back in the van, belted in, and in donut heaven (not just any donut heaven, but a cake donut with icing and halloween orange and chocolate sprinkles donut heaven) we make the final leg of our trip to school. Bryce jumps out of the van, waves goodbye, and shuts the door.

8:46 AM. "Ready to go home, dad. Ready to go home, dad. Ready to go home dad. Ready to go home dad. go home dad. gohomedad.GOHOMEDAD!GOHOMEGOHOMEGOHOME........."