Monday night I offered to take the kids to get ice cream after dinner. I had an errand to run first, though. I quickly calculated the time my errand would take, plus the time it would take to order and consume ice cream cones, and deduced that we’d be be home just shy of bed time. Before setting out, I said to the girls “Look, we’re going to get home around 8:20, so as soon as we get home I want you to put on pajamas and then spend 30 minutes reading silently in your rooms.” I’ve learned from experience that it’s important to set expectations early, and to give the kids ample heads-up about evening plans.

So we set out on my errand, and then stopped for ice cream cones. The kids, as always, hemmed and hawed over what flavor to select. We sat at a table and ate quietly together. It was a calm, pleasant moment together. When finished, we got back into the van and drove home.

As we pulled into the driveway, the LCD clock in the van’s dashboard blinked over to display 8:20. Tayler saw this happen and exclaimed “Wow, dad! You’re a psycho! How’d you know we’d get home at exactly 8:20?!”

I hope she meant “psychic”, but I was too busy stifling my giggles to explain to her the difference.

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