Monday, July 4, 2011

Go Fourth and Have Adventures

What a day.

I sort of got up with my alarm...which means I hit the snooze button for half an hour before groaning, evicting Small Fry from her cozy spot, sprawled on top of me.

I had made a list last night of stuff I needed to do this morning.  Amazingly, it got done and we went out the door.  Not-so-amazingly, we left the house half an hour after I'd intended.  (We were supposed to meet Gramma and Boppa out at LFP Lake at 10:30, in order to get there "early enough" to hopefully grab a picnic table.)

I raced through the grocery store, which we'd stopped at on the way out of town, and jumped back in the van.  I looked at Aim-mee (what Hubby "named" our GPS) and was surprised to discover that, despite being half an hour "behind," we were on schedule for arriving exactly at 10:30 on the nose.  Amused, I sent a text to my mom, telling her we were on schedule after all.  They, however, were not.  They arrived 35 minutes after us.  A small part of their delay was that Dad had to stop and take a picture of the street sign for "Leper Farm Rd."

Among today's adventures:

  • Corralling a picnic table out of the, oh, four unoccupied ones, which most people didn't even think were available, because they were under the pavilion, and a number of other tables were already occupied there.
  • Sending the kids out to collect 15 pinecones while Dad and Hubby got the grill going and cooked burgers and dogs.
  • Avoiding the endless questions about "when can we go to the BEACH?"
  • Sunscreening three wiggle-worms who were already covered with sand.
  • Stepping into a very cooooooooooooooooooold, mountain-spring-fed lake...and watching Large Fry shiver while insisting she was having a marvelous time.
  • Quote of the day:  From Dad, to Hubby, when asking about the structure on the stream at one end of said lake and the proposed cardio-vascular activity in seeing it: "Are we taking this dam walk or not?"
  • Keeping track of our three urchins as they made friends with the entire world (or so it seemed).
  • Keeping track of our beachy toys...which, curiously, seem to magically increase every time we go to a beach.  No matter where that beach is, really....
  • Keeping tabs on the little munchkin of the family in front of us, who seemed to be having a not-so-good day and was more than a little peaked, making sure our kids didn't get too close to be germed-up.
  • Taking three wet girls, in wet swimsuits, to the family potty, only to have Large Fry complain that Small Fry went second and she wanted to, and I let Small go first because Large is older and can hold it which Large Fry nearly threw an entire pout-fit because she had to go last.  She nearly had a meltdown over it.
  • Trying to pull three little, wet, sand-encrusted girls from the lure of the shoreline to have them say goodbye to Gramma and Boppa...only to discover that said munchkin from the family in front of us had wandered off...thus resulting in a very panicked mommy, when the munchkin was not within sight, was not in the ladies' room, and wasn't responding to her name.  Immediately, that became priority.  Dad and Hubby fanned out and criss-crossed the beach while the petrified parents searched the picnic area.  Mom stayed put and kept both eyes on our three and their two.  I started walking the beach, by the shoreline, as Dad and Hubby moved to the picnic area.  I was heading back to the furthest right end of the shore when Hubby waved and said she'd been found.  He was the one who found her, chatting amiably with an older couple, and clueless about the panic she'd caused.  "Remember me?" Hubby asked her.  She nodded.  "Your mommy and daddy are looking for you.  What do you say we go find them?"  She readily agreed.  "Want to hold on to my finger?"  No stinking way.  Hubby must have said something about her being lost, because she looked up at him and quite seriously intoned, "I wasn't lost."  I reassured a couple other searching adults, saw my mom-friend (what else were we now?) coming back teary-eyed with her arms wrapped tightly around her middle child, and then caught Dad's eye as he wended his way back from the far left picnic area.  He held up an "okay" sign in question; I gave it right back to him.  He nodded, obviously relieved, even from that far away.  When I told him about her saying she wasn't lost, Dad chuckled, and pointed out that some are never  lost.  "Right," I said.  "Just badly bewildered."  Which is what Dad always used to say, citing Daniel Boone, who purportedly said he was never lost, just badly bewildered a few times.  Mom and I both hugged the mom, and she stood there like a sentry over her little girl until they were finished packing up and ready to go.  One more round of hugs, and they were off--and I hope their Fourth finished better than their beach trip did.  (I really think we could all have done without that particular adventure.)
  • Mom and Dad headed for home earlier than we did, but by the time I'd gotten the girls back from the bathroom adventure (chronologically after the MIA adventure), the gnats and friends were out in such force that I was ready to leave about two minutes after he gave the girls a 5-10 minute warning.  At which point we all traipsed back up to the family potty, which even had a shower, hosed the kids down, got them dressed, and headed for home ourselves.
  • A family-with-small-children day trip isn't complete unless you have to stop on the way home to dispense discipline.  This was no exception, and today's disciplinary recipient was Large Fry.
  • PB&J sandwiches for dinner, and then we killed time and drove over to the middle school to park and watch the borough fireworks.  For our little burg, we don't do too badly.  Not on the scale of the half-million-residents city that we used to live in, but quite good for our borough with a population of less than 19k inside the borough limits.  They were ALL there tonight, and brought at least two friends apiece.  Large Fry almost fell asleep before the fun started, and then watched quietly.  Medium Fry was in Hubby's lap before five minutes had elapsed, and Small Fry told me afterward that the "booms" scared her.  But I didn't hear a peep, and she wasn't insistent on climbing the nearest trusted adult like a tree, so I counted this a success.  They were all so pooped that they fell asleep in the van before we'd even pulled out of our parking space.  That doesn't say much--we were stuck there a good twenty minutes, at least--but they were all conked before we got through the second song on the classical music cd we were playing.
  • Hubby carried the Fries in from the car; I settled the twins in bed, wrestling Small's shorts and undies off and a nighttime Pull-Up on.  Large was able to come up the stairs under her own steam, crawled into her bed, and was out by the time I peeked in on her.

Now I just need to finish the load of swimsuits and towels from today, and I can go to bed, too!

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