I promised the children a picnic this weekend. It seemed kind of cold and wet for an outdoor picnic, so I gave the children some options for an indoor picnic. Erma picked:
The unfinished basement.
After our strawberry-and-hot dog picnic lunch, Erma (pictured above — she’s the not famous one), played a game with herself in which she traveled around the basement, designating different areas as landmarks. One point was Home and another point was Work.
“I’m the mommy and I am going to work. Okay, going to work now. Bye! See you later!” Off she went.
“Okay,” she said, arriving at work. “Now I’m working on my work. Now I’m eating a banana. Now I’m going home.”
Frankly, she’s not that far off.
She went to work about twenty or thirty times before I started to feel a little seasick from my life represented as a ceaseless going to and coming back from work. Plus, all those bananas.
This weekend was also Erma’s first ever swimming lesson. The class meets four times for half an hour each session at our local YMCA.
As much as I have been preparing Erma with how this was all going to go down, she has been preparing me as well. “And my teacher is going to be a girl and she’s going to have long hair. And it will be black hair in a ponytail.”
Lo and behold, her teacher was not a girl with a long, black ponytail. Quite the opposite. I heard her tell her grandma on the phone last night, “My swimming teacher is eight.”
“Not eight,” I called across the room. “Nate! Nate with an ‘n.'” Erma is at the age where she does not appreciate us laughing at her hilarious, unintentional antics.
Also this weekend, the children were invited to a birthday party, which was fantastic, casual, and fun. The parents did such an outstanding job of setting up all kinds of activities for the kids. There were balls and bubbles and face painting and a cardboard house (for decorating, playing inside, and tipping over) and a remote control school bus and food and drinks and horse whistles.
It was a brilliant party. I hope the birthday girl had as much fun as we did.
At the appointed time to leave, two things happened (neither of which would likely come as a surprise to any other parent):
1. Erma had to go to the bathroom.
2. Sigourney had to have a temper tantrum.
It took a long time to get to our car post-bathroom. The flailing child would not walk on her own and graced me with an incredible tantrum in the middle of a nice, misting rain, while we climbed some hills around the apartment complex of the birthday party, trying to find out car. It was seriously the perfect storm of leaving a birthday party.
That was exactly when I noticed that I had left my car lights on for two hours.
I called Flathead to come jump us. Thank goodness he was home and available so that I did not have to talk to any strangers while it was raining, the children were having tantrums, and I still looked like this:
“Let’s sing some songs to pass the time,” I suggested. Sigourney is partial to “E-I-E-I-O” and “Uppa Bubba” (you might know them as Old Macdonald and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star), but Erma wanted to sing a lullaby that is supposed to make her go to sleep at night (never works).
So we sang in the evening rain, in our car that was “out of batteries, daddy has to go to the store to get us more batteries,” with the face paint and the tantrums, “Que Sera Sera.”
Whatever will be, will be.
With all that weekend activity, being back at work sort of feels like a vacation. (Or not at all like a vacation.) I’m going to eat a banana.