Rather than while away each day being annoyed that B3 still hasn’t arrived, I’m trying to ‘squeeze the marrow’ out of these last days of summer. Days with no schedules or obligations; days where I wear my pajama pants and tank top for the entire day (unless I have to venture out of the house); days when the Hen can nap when he wants, for as long as he wants, and I don’t have to wake him in order to pick up his brother at school.
Days with only two children to care for.
So, because we’re insanely fun parents at least once or twice a year, we had an end-of-summer-extravaganza-of-fun last Thursday.
It entailed watching ‘Coraline’ and ‘Superman’ on the ‘big screen’ in the basement. The big screen being the white wall against which the projector was projecting. One reason I don’t want my kids to go to school is because they’ll realize other kids have televisions and Wii’s and Playstations. And the gig will be up. To be honest, G already realizes other kids have Wii’s. ‘Remember that Darth Vader game we played at Ben’s house,’ he told me yesterday. ‘Can we get a game like that?’
After watching ‘Coraline’, we announced it was pool time. It sounded like horses running up the stairs, that’s how fast those blondies moved to find their swimming pants.
Only problem….the promised 30 degree weather never materialized; the water was freezing; and the Hen was exhausted. He dipped his foot in the water and began screaming like a rabid dog. Jason was convinced he was mad about having to wear a swim diaper. But the second I placed the boy in his crib, he was content as a lamb. Lying there like a little old man clad in exercise shorts. His shirt still lying on the deck by the pool.
So the Hen took a nap and my oldest halfheartedly played in the pool for a bit, until he reached a nearly hypothermic state.
Then we had a picnic on the deck: tuna fish, sweet pickles, cheddar cheese and Ryvita crackers. G’s favorite lunch in the whole wide world. ‘I don’t think we have a lot of sweet pickles left,’ I informed him after grabbing the nearly empty jar with the world’s tiniest sweet pickle floating forlornly inside it. ‘Well, I guess we can’t share then,’ he said.
His way of letting me know that the tiny sweet pickle would be his, and his alone. So I had tuna fish, cheese and crackers. No pickle.
On the deck, I decided it was time for some ‘Mom lessons’ – not to be confused with ‘Man lessons’. ‘So, let’s talk about Kindergarten,’ I gracefully began the conversation.
‘I think big school is going to be really great,’ he informed me. ‘Really great’? Where does he come up with his phraseology?
We talked about meeting new friends, and having snack, and not getting to ‘play’ as much as at preschool. At which point I had to backtrack a little…I didn’t want to give him the impression that big school wasn’t going to be ‘fun’. So I inserted the world’s lamest parentism: ‘but learning is fun, too’ or something pathetic like that. I made myself cringe, really.
After our picnic, the Hen woke up. And it was time for ‘Superman’ and cookies. Regular-ish cookies: chocolate chip…but with oatmeal (and a little bit of coconut). When Superman finally ended we chased them back outside to play (fight) in the newly constructed sandbox.
And then it was time for faux-camping. Jason brought out the tent-we’d-never-used and, with the boys’ help, set it up by the sandbox.
After being inside it for a while, they eventually lost interest. All the big talk about ‘going camping’ faded into nothing. Instead, I found myself sitting alone on the deck, with nary a Johnson boy outside. Because they were all lying in front of the laptop watching ESPN.
I looked on my watch and realized dinner wasn’t going to make itself. And the professor had a soccer game, which meant he wasn’t going to be around to make dinner, either. So I whipped up some hummus, pita bread triangles, apple slices and mediocre chicken. And lemonade. Because those boys think lemonade is the drink of all drinks.
We ate (the Hen ate his weight in hummus, but avoided the chicken like the plague) and they played and then it was time for bed.
Suddenly the Gort brought out his pillow and announced his intention of sleeping in the tent. Outside.
The upside of a summer extravaganza? Both boys were fast asleep by 7.30pm.
When Jason returned from his game, I informed him that he needed to retrieve his son from the tent. ‘He slept out there…alone?’ he asked incredulously.
When Jason retrieved him from his tent-digs, a very sleepy G protested heavily. ‘It’s too cold out here,’ we told him, all parent-like. Not to mention there was no way in Hades that we were going to leave him out there on his own.
Or, join him in the tent.