Sunday, March 22, 2009

Gumby goes to church

This is Peter, moments before his big singing debut at a local church. Apparently Peter has been in a choir at school for weeks; an interesting fact that we somehow did not know about until Peter informed us yesterday that he needed to be somewhere at sometime this morning. Thanks, Mr. Vague. This certainly explains why Peter has been singing like a little choir boy for the last few weeks. I was glad to discover that his group performance is much better than his solo renditions on the toilet.

If you look closely in this picture, you will see that Peter has a big wad of gum in his mouth. If you could have looked closely at Peter as he climbed up on stage to sing, you would have seen the same big wad of gum. I can't believe Angie forgot to take his gum out. Yes, it's her fault. Why? Because it is my blog.

Angie and I waved at Peter as he chomped away. For some reason, he chose that moment to try and learn how to blow bubbles. Let me just say that he is closer to whistling than to blowing bubbles and unless he has made any leaps and bounds in the last day or so, he still cannot whistle.

After waving for ten minutes, he finally glanced over and waved back at us. I exaggerated and pointed at my own mouth and pretended to take gum out of my mouth. Nothing. He shrugged his shoulders and looked at me like I was a complete moron. Anyway, after the first song ended, Angie raced out in front of the entire church to have Peter spit his gum into her hand. She also inadvertently won the Most Embarrassing Mom award.

Speaking of embarrassing things in church, I had a little religious Faux pas myself. The ceremony was in German, so my thoughts drifted. Ok, it was more than a drift; my mind went on a three-hour cruise. I was awoken from my island when the lady in front of me whipped around and shook my hand.

'Friede sei mit dir'

My gut reaction was to point to my wedding ring and remind Frieda that we were in a church. Instead, I decided to be polite and return what I thought was just a rather poorly timed introduction.


She gave me a bizarre look and then shook the hand of the guy standing next to me. I then noticed that the entire church was shaking hands with everyone else. It was at that point that I realized that 'Friede sei mit dir' means 'peace be with you'. I can't believe Angie let me do that. Yes, it's her fault.

After Peter's bubble-popping performance, we hit the road to Stuttgart. It was a two-hour ride, which allowed Angie an hour and half to laugh at me before catching a 30 minutes power nap. Between her snoring and cackling, I prefer the snoring.

The Johnson's Zoo arrived safely at their destination: The Stuttgart Zoo

The zoo was very pretty, but all the 'cool' animals that we don't have at our zoo were taken somewhere else for the winter. It's ok, though. We did manage to see one of the rare animals that we came to visit. It's called the 'Blond Tina' and they are renowned for having no fear of baby-toting moms who snicker at their husbands and snore loudly. Sometimes, they even approach these strange humans and rest their head on their shoulder.

Angie and Tina have been close friends since Madonna was a virgin. Since then, Angie has married the man of her dreams and had three boys. Tina also married and has a boy named Fredrick, who apparently likes to stand at military attention when in the presence of peacocks.
After looking at a few too many empty cages, we decided to hit a cafe for a slight break. We also stupidly decided to follow the zoo signs, which kept directing us to cafes that, like many of the animal exhibits, were closed in the winter. Thanks, Stuttgart zoo! Maybe next time, we'll stop by the donkeys to say 'thanks, jackasses'.

After coffee and no cake, we marched on. Our last stop - the tapir exhibit. Don't ask me why, but the tapir is Peter's absolute most favorite animal next to Mama. We used to have one at our zoo, but it was traded. We made sure to ask at the cafe if the tapirs were actually there during winter before announcing to Peter that we were going to see them. He became as happy as that time we went to the circus. Oddly enough, it almost ended in the same level of disappointment.

What we failed to ask at the cafe was exactly what time the tapir exhibit shut down. As it turned out, it was about five minutes after they confirmed that the zoo actually had tapirs. What didn't turn out was that it was a ten minute walk. We arrived and stared blankly at the empty tapir exhibit. I wanted to laugh, but I realized this would be cruel and unusual punishment that would only come back to haunt me when I am older and Peter is stronger. Still, it was pretty damn funny.

Before Peter's lip could quiver, Angie had jumped into full-combat Commando Mom, leaping over the fence and tackling some poor zoo keeper who was cleaning up poop or doing some other typical 'zoo job'. After yanking his ear and screaming at him to 'take me to your tapir', he grudgingly opened the cages and let the tapir race around a bit more so that Peter could laugh and clap. I told Angie that she might have been a little rough on the poor guy. Angie told me that I exaggerate, which I have never done. Ever.

After Chasing Tapirs, we decided it would be wise to head home. We said goodbye and hit the road. Tom, who had been asleep during Peter's gum caroling, during the entire ride down, and during most of our zoo adventure, was oddly awake. Very awake, to be less vague. Screaming his head off like a little baby, to be less dishonest.

Angie's brilliant solution was to stop the car and kick Peter up to the front seat so she could sit next to Tom. Peter's response to this idea was shouted with a mixture of excitement and fear.

'You mean you want me to drive?!'

'No, genius. If I wanted to take the sidewalks home, I'd let Mama drive. You're riding shotgun.'

'You have a gun?!'

'No, but I'm now thinking of having one installed.'

Peter spent the next hour pushing every button that he shouldn't, including mine. At one point, I reached my limit. I explained to Peter that I had secretly installed an ejection button in case Mama ever pissed me off while driving and that if he kept fooling around with the dashboard, he might accidentally eject himself out the roof.

This solved the immediate problem of button jabbing, but inadvertently resulted in a thirty minute Q & A session with Peter without a lot of A.

'Can you really shoot people out of the car?'
'How does it work, does the roof open?'
'Does it shoot the car seat, too?'
'Is there a parachute in the seat?'
'Can I put my helmet on?'

By the time we made it home, I really wished that I had installed such a device. I also decided that my plans to 'discuss' the trap door in the living room that opens up to the pit of hungry alligators for any young boys that do not eat their veggies will most likely not take place this year. I don't know why our boys are so gullible, but I blame Angie. Why? Because it is my blog.
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When I could be in the front car and when I saw the tapir.
David: When Peter tickled me.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When Tom was crying so loudly in the car.
David: When I cry 'cause Grams and Opa here not.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To play monsters with you and Mommy and David and Tom.
David: When I make a sticker 'cause I pee-pee like a big boy.

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1 comment:

  1. I think Angie sounds like a gem. Why? Because it's my comment. ;)

    And I've only now figured out you are in Germany. How have I missed that?