We had a MDW that was action packed and also leisurely. Since the kids have short attention spans, all of our “action” was relatively short, punctuated with long spans of lounging. On Saturday, we woke up and went swimming at the gym we just joined. Before getting there, we ducked into Walgreens and purchased a floaty vest for Craig, since he hates to be held in the water and prefers to “do it himself”/drown. The vest does float him, just about at nose level, so he bobs around in the water, still unable to breathe, but at least he’s drowning quite close to the surface. Though the thing is quite thick, he can still feel the slightest buoying touch by a concerned parent, which sends him into paroxysms of fury, so we have not resolved our problem of him being a total nightmare at the pool, though we’re getting closer.
We hit the McD’s on the way home for burgers, then relaxed at home for a while. I hit the gym for a couple of hours, which felt great, but now I have a tennis-elbow situation after lifting weights, and so basically I’m too old to go to the gym. After dinner (Cajun tilapia!), we ended up going next door for a drink and chat with the neighbors, while the children frolicked and played. It was quite nice.
Sunday morning, we went on a hike (pictured above), which turned out to be a jaunt to a splash pad. The state park we went to was more of an island surrounded by bayou, with a splash pad and playground nearby. At first, we did walk around the island part a bit. It was a lush meadow, filled with buzzing bees and dragonflies and littered with egg shells – clearly, there was either some major baby chick hatchery happening, or some snake had gotten into a nest and had a snack.
Jack suddenly decided he would freak out at the grass. He declared himself “afraid of bees” and “a city boy,” and practically climbed up me like a tree as we walked around. I didn’t mind. How much longer will my eight year old hold my hand?
Craig, meanwhile, kept stomping on ant hills and saying “Step on this! Step on this!”, after we told him to stop stepping on those.
We exhausted the possibilities of this tiny meadow-island quite quickly, and then put the boys in swimsuits and ducked across the street to a splash pad. Craig took a while to warm up to it, but eventually he was running through the water with the rest of the boys, like a wild thing. They had a great time.
We headed home, eating crackers and goldfish for lunch, and Craig fell asleep on the way. The boys insisted on being shirtless.
Once we got home, Craig transferred to his bed quite nicely, and Jack lounged on the couch and watched tv. I took Liam to a garden center nearby to grab a few plants to fill up our porch pots. Since we’re obviously staying here at least a while longer, I felt it was wroth sprucing up the porch, and Liam seemed eager to go. We had a great time. This garden center is sort of a wildlife refuge as well – right in the middle of the city. It had penned goats, free ranging chickens, docile bunnies chilling in cardboard boxes at each cashier stand. You walk through a tunnel of trailing plants to get to the place where you pay, which itself is a small jungle-like interior of a small building, dripping in greenery. It just thrilled him to death, and I’m so glad I brought him. On our way home, trunk full of plants, we stopped by the grocery quickly, buying some cupcakes and beer for a crawfish boil we would later attend. We got home, planted the plants quickly (using a ladle instead of a trowel because my trowel is in the pod), washed off, then got ready to go to the boil.
The kids played in paddling pools, slip n slides, and traipsed in muddy, nasty swimsuits up into the host-children’s bedrooms. Meanwhile, the adults enjoyed cold hard cider, Stellas, watermelon, and the boil. We chatted, tried to stay in the shade, and had a great time. The kids ate nothing – Jack is allergic, and I don’t want the other boys eating crustaceans til I know if they are allergic as well. So we ordered a pizza on the way home, and then rented a movie via apple tv – Monsters University. It was a busy, fun day, and they basically collapsed into bed mid-movie.
Monday – today – we hit the French Quarter first thing. Given that the temps are rising, I suggested we do an activity early in the morning, and spend the heat of the day at home. So we loaded up and headed into the Quarter for beignets.
The boys were not totally on board with this plan. We kept telling Jack – you hate the country! You’re a “city boy!” Here is the city! And he said – but it’s so loud. Plus all the fetching window boxes full of flowers were also apparently a terrifying source of potential bees. Although they enjoyed playing with a street performer’s accordion (with permission – we gave him some money, so he gave them a chance to play), otherwise it was basically torture. We dragged them on a death march through the horrifically charming French Quarter, even going so far as to purchase a bribe/book in Pirate’s Alley, but we still ended up carrying the two boys piggyback on the way back to the car.
We came home to chill, watching the rest of the Monsters University movie and relaxing for a bit. I made a spaghetti dinner at about 3pm, because we didn’t know what else to do with ourselves, and then the boys began complaining that they’re booooored and we never do aaaaaaaanything. Ha.
The Prof took Craig to Walgreen’s (don’t ever say the “W” word in front of Craig, or he’ll insist you take him there – the Prof usually ducks down there once or twice a week for milk or coffee, and Craig always HAS to go). The big boys played with Play Doh. All three had popsicles on the porch.
We had a little wrestling, a little cleaning of the house, a shower to scrub the French Quarter filth off their little boy bodies, and then put them to bed. And I sat down to get it all down, lest we lose yet another felicitous weekend with our still-little boys. Happy Memorial Day, all!