If I gloss over a few of today’s harrowing events (mostly involving a much-too-long trip to IKEA and a certain three year old who is incapable of staying in his bed at bedtime), I’m inclined to conclude it was a pretty good day.
The Gort took a personal day. Meaning he was ill the previous night and I thought it best to keep him home for a couple of hours in the morning. By 10am I’d concluded he wasn’t ill at all, given that he was running around the house like a maniac and building K’nex as though his life depended on it. But the morning flew by and before I knew it, it was noon and what was the point of driving him to school for two and a half hours? Especially since he wasn’t fighting with his brothers.
This good behavior was, of course, due to the fact that I allowed them to watch copious amounts of ‘Madeline’ on Netflix. So I could finally submit the insurance claim. From the basement sewage backup. Two months ago. Everything gets done…eventually….chez Johnson. (Just not in a remotely timely manner. Ahem. Taxes.)
So, because I’d ruined their minds forever with the lack of intellectual stimulation (Madeline), we went for a walk. By the river. Because I’d spent all of February bemoaning its arctic conditions, and here I’d been handed a nice day on a silver platter and I was spending it taking pictures of damaged belongings, figuring out when and where I got them and how much I might have paid for them.
Occasionally the stars align and an outing with ‘the three’ is downright enjoyable. We get in the car – and no one is crying. I announce my intentions of going for a walk. And no one protests. (Mind you, I bribed them with a treat from the coffee shop and a visit to the IKEA playland.) We chat in the car. They run along the trail by the river, undoubtedly freaking out the first-time moms pushing their sleeping babies in expensive strollers, while chatting with their friends uninterruptedly.
‘Ah, those were the days’, I wanted to tell them. Except it’s all relative, and going from ‘no kid’ to ‘a kid’ is its own chaos.
Now that the Gort spends his days learning Spanish, he fancies himself a member of some exclusive club. ‘Only Daddy and I know Spanish,’ he gloats to me periodically. Which isn’t entirely true. I should get some credit for the hundred words I know. ‘It’s a rolling r in perro,’ he told me the other day, ‘because it’s a double r….p-e-r-r-o’.
We were waiting in line at the IKEA snack counter. ‘Would you like a perro caliente?’ I asked him in my best Spanish. He laughed, the snobby laugh of the pseudo-bilingual. ‘I think it’s just hot dog,’ he dismissed me. They ate their ‘hot dogs’ and then we retraced our steps through the maze to look for a ‘castle’ as the Hen calls the yellow unsupervised play areas. (Note to IKEA, why are most of the ‘castles’ broken?)
Ten minutes later, with a screaming, drenched-from-a-bottle-of-water Percy, I decided it was time to call it a day and head home.
‘Why are you being so nice to us today?’ the Gort asked shortly before bedtime. ‘What do you mean, how was I nice,’ I probed, eager to hear his definition of nice. ‘You let us have a pop-tart,’ he explained. Yes, a hot dog and a pop-tart for dinner. Washed down with two hours of Madeline and the Cat in the Hat. I am pretty nice.
As I began the (much-too-long) process of tucking in the older boys, I asked them if they wanted to read the Fantastic Mr. Fox. ‘Yes, Senora Nicola,’ the Gort giggled before adding ‘yes, Senora Honson…..that’s Johnson in Spanish.’
Just in case I didn’t know.
Percy is drinking a sippy cup….filled with uncooked penne noodles. Yum!
I removed the aforementioned sippy-cup-with-noodles from Percy’s hand, and was waving it in the air, so I could get a picture of the three looking in the same direction-ish.