‘You are not leaving me today,’ I informed the professor after Percy had had his third major meltdown in less than thirty minutes. And the Hen had just been released from ‘time out’ for screaming something fierce…..about grapefruit juice being squeezed into a cup instead of a bowl.
‘I have class,’ he shrugged. Gleefully.
‘I don’t care,’ I replied, fully prepared to send at least one boy-child to the University for a day.
But I never win this particular argument. Instead, the professor handed the boys a spray bottle and some paper towel and set them to work ‘cleaning’. Which they loved. Until they ran out of spray. And when I stepped into the kitchen the floor was covered in a quarter inch of ‘mist’.
‘Let’s go sledding,’ I announced. Because goodness knows there was enough snow outside. And, despite, the distinct absence of sunshine, the temperature was hovering around forty degrees. And I love nothing more than taking three boys sledding.
The latter statement being a complete lie, of course. As the three have gotten older, outings have become somewhat easier. Except for sledding. Because a [crabby!] nineteen month old does not share the same fondness for standing knee-deep in snow that his older brothers do. Who are tall enough to only be ankle or mid-calf deep in the vast expanse of white stuff.
So sledding en famille involves two kids eager to speed down a hill while the other is wailing about the injustice of it all. Superfun.
But it spent forty five minutes of our allotted twelve…hours…and it got us out of the house.
After Percy’s nap, he seemed to be in better spirits. ‘We should go to the Chinook mall,’ I decided. Because it’s huge. And they have a cupcake store. And I could get a decent latte….if it came to that.
So we went. The baby was looking super-adorable in his green striped pajama pants paired with a brown and blue striped turtleneck, so I put his coat and snowboots on. The Hen wore the fleece ‘leggings’ he’d worn under his snowpants earlier in the day. And the Gort actually wore a reasonable ensemble of jeans, t-shirt and coordinating new shoes.
We got to the (very enormous) mall. ‘This isn’t the mall,’ the Gort complained. ‘It doesn’t even look like a mall.’ Ser-ious-ly.
The Hen had nodded off during the drive. ‘Do you want cupcakes…do you want to go to the Lego store?’ I whispered in his ear. It was as if I’d set off an alarm in his brain. He jumped out of his carseat and began marching towards the entrance. Like a programmed assassin.
And we took the Chinook mall by storm. Popcorn for the Gort. A cupcake for the Hen. Lego for the older boys. A latte and a coconut cupcake for me. And an empty cup with a straw for the baby.
We got home two hours (yes!) later. ‘Did he go out looking like that?’ the professor questioned, nodding at his youngest lookalike. ‘What, he looks adorable,’ I laughed. Sure, we’d entered the mall elevators precisely as one very well dressed mom exited, pushing a stroller containing her baby son, who was wearing a newsboy cap and some ridiculously cute Gap ensemble. And we looked sort of homeless, but what of it?
The Hen and I sat down to build his Lego set. Ironically it was the Gort’s first set as well. I didn’t know any of this, of course, until we got to the car and my oldest said, ‘I got the same set at my birthday party when I turned 6.’ That sort of memory would have been useful inside the Discovery Hut. Before I purchased something we already have!
But the Hen was so excited to be in the Lego-building-driver’s-seat, instead of just sitting idly watching the Gort assemble everything, that it didn’t matter.
And speaking of assassins, after a marathon tidying operation, I finally sat down at 11.30 and watched ‘The American.’ I’d seen a preview of it the night before when we watched ‘The Kids are All Right.’ The preview showed George Clooney. Driving in a car. Along a deserted road. All spy slash assassin like.
‘I want to see that!’ I announced. So the professor humored me and picked it up, even though he’d heard it wasn’t very good. Sure enough, that was the whole movie. George Clooney. Driving in a car. Looking contemplative. Not able to sleep. All spy slash assassin like. The end.
‘Ugh,’ I groaned when it finally ended. A colossal waste of sleep. ‘Sparse, tense, beautiful….and strangely empty’ I read the next morning on Rotten Tomatoes.
At least the review made me laugh.