The great race
Dad always liked to have his orange juice. Once when I was a kid, about 4 or 5 years old, he challenged me to a juice race. I don’t know if this was a way to get me to drink my juice or not, but I accepted the challenge. My Dad, not having a great understanding of child psychology, gulped his glass of juice down before I was halfway done. I cried. I think Dad was surprised by my reaction. He felt bad.
Mom used to get our juice from the freezer department at the grocery store. The can had tape around the lid, which you had to pull to open. Inside was a big lump of orange stuff that you would dump out into a pitcher. Mom always added water and stirred until the lump was gone. We would have it for the next few days. One day, I asked if I could make the juice. Mom and Dad said OK, so I stood on the combination kitchen stool/step ladder to reach the sink. I thought that I would make more juice so it would last longer. I just kept adding water. I was a bit startled when Dad looked up and said, “What are you doing?’ How was I supposed to know that I was supposed to stop at three cans of water? Live and learn.
My younger brother always used to dawdle. One morning, as usual, he was supposed to be drinking his glass of juice. He must have been daydreaming or not listening. Dad just kept saying, “Drink your juice, drink your juice.” Little brother wasn’t responding fast enough, and Dad was building up quite a head of steam. Finally, Dad had enough. “DRINK THAT JUICE!” he yelled. He didn’t’ see that little brother’s glass of juice was halfway to his mouth. Dad yelled so loud, that little brother’s startle response kicked in. Both his hands flew up in the air and the juice went all over wall behind him. Dad thought it was funny, but Mom wasn’t too pleased.
My older brother Mike was always making a mess. He is autistic, low functioning and nonverbal. When he was hungry, someone would always have to watch that he didn’t make too much of a mess. Mom drew the line at the walls. She was not too upset about messes anywhere but the walls.
We all liked orange juice at our house. Dad didn’t like it diluted; little brother liked to take his time drinking it; Mom didn’t like it on the walls and I’ll never juice-race with anyone again.