I was never a big fan of the Slurpee. Give me chocolate any day of the week. But my husband discovered the sugar free Slurpee by chance, and ever since it has been the special treat of choice in the Schuhmacher household.
True-True that the Slurpee isn't really "sugar free." There are carbs in there for sure. But we are in a place right now where all the boys get "free" afterschool snacks or else they go low. We get the smallest size and no one needs to bolus...win/win!
It was a couple months ago that we discovered a new sugar free flavor called Cherry Apple. MAN ALIVE was it delicious! Seriously, I never in my life expected that last sentence to come out of this keyboard...but it was so good I actually had cravings for it after. I kept it as my little secret though. The boys don't need to know I crave junk, right?
It was a hot September day when I casually suggested we go get Slurpees.
The boys, thinking I was the coolest mom ever, enthusiastically agreed.
After we drove a good five miles away from our normal route home, about 10 minutes with the traffic, we finally reached our destination. We all hopped out of the car and headed for the Slurpee corner of the market.
Me: "What's wrong? Oh my gosh, you forgot to bolus for lunch, right? I'm right! Right?"
J: "No, they changed the sugar free flavor to Peach Mango."
B: "That is ok, I like that one too..."
L: "Oh, it's orange, I bet it is good..."
Me: "Stop! Don't grab those cups! Let's go to the other 7-11 down the road and see if they have the Cherry Apple."
B: "It's ok Mo...."
Me cutting him off: "No...only the best for my boys. I don't mind, let's go!" Said in my chipperest best mom voice while already having one foot out the door. (Man, I was craving that Cherry Apple. No judging me! Peach Mango tastes like throw up. It is a proven fact.)
We get to the next 7-11 and go inside.
J: "Noooooooooo!! They don't have any sugar free flavors!"
Me: "Let's keep movin'! There is another one just a few miles down the street!"
We get to 7-11 number 3 and I send J inside to case the joint and see if they have what we are looking for. J pressed his face against the door and gave me an enthusiastic thumbs up!
"Alright boys, let's do this thing!"
I could practically taste the cold tart goodness already. It was almost 100 degrees outside. I was SO ready!
We run in like a herd of buffalo and grab our cups. J fills his first, followed by B.
Me: "B, stop!"
B: "I can do it on my own mom...I've done it before."
Me: "No stop!" I take the cup from him and look at the orange color inside.
"This is not Cherry Apple." I taste it and can't place the flavor. The fountain SAYS Cherry Apple...but Cherry Apple is red...not orange.
I take the incriminating evidence to the front counter.
"Excuse me, can you confirm for me that this is in fact, Sugar Free Cherry Apple? It is orange...I'm concerned there has been a mistake."
I can see a customer in the corner of me eye confused as to why I am so official when speaking of Slurpee flavors. His face says, "What are you? The Slurpee Police?"
"Sure. I'll check for you." The counter guy disappears into the back room and returns fairly quickly.
"It is orange. The Cherry Apple has been put in behind it. Once this flavor is gone, the Cherry Apple will come through."
"Is this 'orange' flavor sugar free?"
Oh H-E-DOUBLE HOCKEY STICKS no! That was the wrong answer.
"Here is what you need to do," I use my fingers to frame the sugar free sign and look him straight in the eye, " You need cover this sign that says sugar free until you are 100% sure it is only Cherry Apple coming through."
"Oh maam, it is there. It will come through soon."
"Oh no no no. It isn't the flavor...it is the sugar free part. You see my boys have Type 1 Diabetes. This full sugar Orange Slurpee is like poison to them. If they drank this, and I didn't give them insulin thinking it was sugar free...well their sugar would be so dangerously high they could end up in the hospital. There are people in this city that count on this sign being correct. We are some of those people. In our world, this sign is VERY important."
(I know...a little dramatic, but I was caught up in the moment. Sugar free Slurpees run around 6g of carbs per 8oz., the plain ol' full sugar variety can hit 47g of carbs for an 8 oz cup. I don't even want to imagine what a 47-carb-fast-acting-sugar-uncovered-after-school-snack-X3 looks like.)
He was very sweet. He even stuttered. It was really hard to understand him between his thick accent and his stuttering, but he said he understood.
"We won't be able to eat those." I gestured over to the two Slurpee cups full of orangy goodness.
"oh no, that is no problem maam."
I start to walk out the door and I see him return to his bench behind the register.
I watch him for a minute. He looks up and gives me an uncomfortable sheepish grin.
I hold my gaze. My eyebrows slightly raised. For the life of him, he didn't know why I wouldn't leave.
"Aren't' you going to make that sign?" I finally ask.
He looks confused.
"The sign. The one that says it is not sugar free Cherry Apple, but full sugar Orange flavor?"
"Oh yes maam! I'll make it now."
He gets up and grabs a pen.
I walk out knowing full well that sign never got made, and sad that all my words seemed to go in one ear and out the other...
Or did they?
I guess I'll never know.
What I do know is I didn't get a Slurpee that day...and we haven't gone to get one since. My heart doesn't trust the signs anymore. I'm sure we'll be back one day, but as the leaves are changing color, and the wind is becoming brisk with fall, it looks like hot chocolate will soon trump the Slurpee anyhow.
Too bad though...that Cherry Apple was da bomb!