Friday, July 1, 2011


"Hang on...I'm going to grab a cup of coffee for the road." As the family scrambled to get out of the house Sunday morning, a couple of us filed out the front door armed with foam cups of steaming joe.

"Hey, Mom, if you give up coffee, I'll give up video games!" Thomas is so funny, so playful, so mischievous. This boy makes me smile!

I stopped dead in my tracks...hesitated a second... "Okay. You're on."

We locked eyes. A moment of silence. I could tell by the expression on his face the dare had been only a way would Mom ever give up coffee! (No way would Tom ever give up video games!)

"Really?" Tom asked in disbelief.

"Really. No more coffee."

"Hey, I was just kidding!"

"No backing out now, buddy. Your word is your word."

"Well, maybe just video games at home...playing at a friend's house doesn't count."

"Stop trying to rewrite the rules, Buster."

So during the fellowship time between Sunday school and church, I grabbed a doughnut and a cup of juice. Normally, I just have a cup of coffee, no doughnut. The doughnut was compensation for missing that extra dose of caffeine. (Hmmmm, this new undertaking may have some undesirable consequences...)

Wal-Mart keeps a pot of coffee in the break room for employees, and I have to admit that even a bad cup of coffee tastes pretty good after two or three hours at a cash register. But not this week, at least not so far. Now I take my recycled Gatorade bottle and drink about a liter of water during break. ("Code 404," by the way, translates into "Cashier on register 7 needs another bathroom break." This no-coffee thing definitely has some undesirable consequences.)

But, hey, I've made it five days without coffee....never knew I had it in me! Kids can be sooooo motivating. If I keep this up another couple of weeks, I may try cutting out tea and soda - just stick with water and alcohol. (Wine and chocolate, of course, are non-negotiables.)

Come to think of it, maybe Tom's little game could be played out in all sorts of helpful ways...

"Hey, Mom, if you give up desserts, I'll give up the Disaster Area motif I've got going in my bedroom."

"Hey, Mom, if you give up fixing Brussels sprouts for dinner, I'll give up whining about not getting enough drive time in the car."

Bring it on, kids...let's work this thing!

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