Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Lemonade out of Lemons

Yesterday I was just settling into a nice afternoon nap on the couch when Emma came downstairs to announce she needed a box so she could make a lemonade stand. No wait, I wasn't really settling into a nap...it was more like a nap came and grabbed me by the maternity t-shirt and wrestled me onto the couch. I think this is one way that being pregnant is sort of like being narcoleptic. Sleep just descends on you out of nowhere and you have no choice but to submit to it.

In my weakened state all I could muster up to say was, "a box?"

"Yes, Mommy," Emma was already growing impatient with my lack of knowledge and lack of consciousness.

I lay there, hoping that this was the end of our conversation.
"Mom-yyyyyyy!" Her not-so-subtle emphasis on the "eee" part of Mommy made it clear my nap was over. I could either get on board with this lemonade stand or spend the rest of the day regretting it.
Lemonade, anyone?

It ended up being pretty darn cute. We actually squeezed our own lemons because being the neglectful Mommy I am, there was not a grain of Country Time or Minute Maid powder to be found in our townhouse. We did have lemons, though...and sugar...and water, which apparently is all you need to make lemonade. Who knew? The kids helped squeeze the lemons and I couldn't help thinking about all the things they were getting out of this little project (developing their hand muscles by squeezing the lemons, measuring, pouring, a lesson in the power of advertising and the importance of product placement, how not to harass costumers, etc.) We made the lemonade, Emma made a sign and actually wrote the letters "L-E-M-O-N-A-D-E" across the sign in large yellow crayon letters from left to write instead of all over the page seek-and-find style as she sometimes does with her writing. I asked her how much the lemonade should cost and she said simply, "one."

"One cent?" I asked.
"Yes, one cent," she said clearly having no idea what that meant.
We took their little table and chairs downstairs along with the cash register, our sign, the tape, some dixie cups stolen from the toothbrushing station upstairs and the pitcher of lemonade. We set up shop on the sidewalk in front of our house and waited. Our house faces a hike and bike trail, so if we really wanted big business, we could've moved our little stand to the entrance of the trail and made a killing, we're talking like fifty, maybe fifty-three cents here. But, pregnant mommy didn't want to carry everything quite that far, so the sidewalk in front of our house worked just fine.

We had maybe four customers and all of them insisted on giving us a quarter for their tiny toothbrush cup shot of lemonade. We offered free refills to sweeten the deal. I think Charlie drank the rest of the lemonade himself. Between potty breaks for him (apparently lemonade is processed differently from other drinks in that it goes straight from mouth to potty/underpants in about two minutes flat) and breaks to bring out toys to play with, we probably spent a good hour or so attempting to sell lemonade. Every time the kids would see a car pull up near our house, they would yell, "a customer! a customer!" and I had to practically strap them down to keep them from running out into the street and accosting the poor person with lemonade. A few people walked right by us and either pretended not to hear their pleas to buy lemonade, or said a curt "no thank you" and kept walking. How, I ask you, can you say no to this?

We never did end up needing the aforementioned box. I'm not sure where Emma came up with that one. We did end up having a lot of fun...and meeting a few of our neighbors...and I think we made a whole dollar. Not bad for a Monday afternoon.


Anonymous said...

Bravo, Emma, for insisting. And, bravo, Elizabeth, for following her lead! That was a lot of work, but I'll bet they both remember the experience forever and appreciate how supportive you are as a mom.

Too cute!!


Robin said...

Too adorable. What (albeit tiring) fun! But you better watch out...sounds like a home-school project if I've ever heard one. :)


kelly said...

Sooooo cute. Watch out for that little Emma....I think she is going to be a super entrepenuer and definitely running her own business one day! How could anyone ever say no to those sweet faces?!?!

Anonymous said...

Takes after her Uncle Bradley!!!