Saturday, July 31, 2010

Cry me a river

This was T-minus 5 minutes as the boys waited for Barbara and Armin to pick them up. They were supposed to be going to an amusement park, but in the end, Barbara and Armin apparently thought it would be more amusing to scare the crap out of someone today. They chose Peter. Yes, it was amusing.

Not so amusing was T-plus 30 seconds, when it finally dawned on Tom that he wasn't going to the big super-duper FUN place that Peter and David had been raving about all morning.

It all started with a little road trip. Barbara and Armin were the adult chaperones who had no idea what they had just signed up for. Peter and David were the wild creatures who had an idea of what an amusement park was but were just too wired to think.

Peter's excitement got the better of him and he busted out a rather interesting variant of the chicken dance. My curiosity almost paused, but Angie and I were too busy waving ba-bye to crazy people.

Angie flashed them a cryptic gang symbol from her days in the hood and I whipped out the international sign for 'glad it's not me'. After watching the car turn the corner, we giggled like school girls and left them to it.

This was the first of what would turn out to be a lot of free marketing for Holiday Park. I should really be charging these places for such blatant ad placement.

Armin had no sense of how to slowly build up Peter's courage. He jumped over three levels of anxiety management and immediately suggested Devil's Barrels. David shouted 'YEAH, WA-HOO!', but Peter took one look at the 20 meter watery death chute and laughed. Nice try, Armin.

Surprisingly, Barbara took a more sensible approach. See, you can't lead a mule to water if it's afraid of getting wet. If the stubborn beast also has a fear of free-falling down a waterfall in a wine barrel, it will die of thirst before it thinks of doing anything that you claim to be fun. The solution was to break down the fear factors and tackle them one at a time. First on the list - water phobia.

Peter could not believe that he was allowed on a boat by himself without a water vest. Had he been a bit older, I'm pretty sure he would have demanded to see someone's supervisor. After finally jumping onboard, Captain Pete held a vigilant watch over the rough seas.

David didn't care - he was already trying to ram other boats by the time Peter had finally mustered up enough bravery to jump in. David eventually spotted Peter's boat and well, it was a bit like a red flag being waved in front of a bull.

David charged, but luckily Pedro the matador escaped safely. He even managed to laugh and by the end of the first ride he was past the first level. Water's not so scary.

Next, Barb worked on his fear of rides on water. You might think this is the same as a fear of water, unless you ask Peter. Please don't.

David was bored senseless, but he doesn't have a whole lot of sense, so at least it was a short ride. It also showed Peter that not all water rides are life-threatening. Next on Barb's shopping list was a gallon of 'free fall'.

Even Armin expressed his thoughts on Barbara's plan.

What Armin didn't know is that Peter is very susceptible to bribery. Barb simply promised an ice-cream to any victorious sliders and Peter's belly stepped up to bat.

Watching the boys eat anything is always fascinating. Peter and David both got identical ice-cream sandwiches. David's was gone in less than a minute, leaving behind a sticky mess that splattered his shirt, mouth, and hair. Peter spent almost an hour; he actually peeled his sandwich apart and began licking away the different flavors so as not to mix them up. I personally think he was just stalling the inevitable. He had overcome his fears of water, rides and elevation - it was time. Right, Peter?

Peter is a freak when it comes to analyzing warning signs. When they got to the front of the line, there was a big sign full of stick children falling on their heads, getting dunked underwater, flying out of the barrel...I think the skulls were what finally caused Peter's knees to buckle.

Barb was quick to pick up on Peter's anxiety attack and assured him that the red lines going through the gory depictions meant that those are things that people are not allowed to do. Aaahh, okay.

Peter didn't question why they would need a sign to tell people not to fling themselves upside down out of a flying barrel into perilous rapids, but that was probably because the people behind them were prodding them that it was their turn. It was time.

Peter hates being rude and almost always follows the rules if he understands them. The line-waiting rule book clearly states that when it is your turn, you do not keep the people behind you waiting for your panic attack to pass; you just death-grip the handles and whimper like a man.

As Peter was kissing the ground and swearing to never trust Barbara again, I was busy congratulating the birthday boy.

Mark is not normally a double-fisted drinker; he was just trying to hide the fact that it was a non-alcoholic beer. Nice try, buddy - I can smell those things a mile away.

I play darts with Mark and can certainly vouch that he is more than a pinky away from being a teetotaler. He babbled out some excuse about needing to party all night and not getting hammered at 2:00 in the afternoon. Whatever.

I kicked the birthday girl out to the porch to share a box of juice with Tommy.

Then I disappeared to drink a real beer with Hatch and Hannes. It wasn't until I noticed what Mark was serving for dinner that I remembered 'Oh shit - he doesn't have kids'.

It didn't actually bother me that our one-year old was shoveling fist after fist of chewy sugar into his mouth. This probably had a lot to do with the fact that Angie was not there; she was stuck at home, waiting for the amused to return.

After his dinner of Champions, Tom's unusually high level of sucrose instructed his tiny brain to steal little toys from big dogs.

Luckily, Mark's dog is a lot like its owner - complete crap at darts, smells funny from time to time, and is great with kids. It also drinks non-alcoholic bubbly water.

I eventually had to leave; Angie had called to inform me that Peter had survived the Devil's wine barrel and that the boys were back home. Peter was still shaking when I returned, but I gave him my highschool calculator and for some very strange reason, this calmed him down. He spent the rest of the night running around demanding that people ask him complicated math problems. Then Houdini would disappear under the table and magically come up with the answer.

I finally put Rain Man and David to bed and handed hyper Tom over to Angie. She was completely baffled and couldn't understand why he wasn't tired at all. I almost explained my theory, but decided to go check on Barbara and Armin instead.

After the third drink, they were okay again. Not normal, just okay, which was fine; it could take several weeks of medicinal alcohol to help them get through today's events.

A few hours later, I thought of Angie and chuckled. It wasn't anything mean, like images of Tom still doing laps around the apartment, although that certainly would have cracked me up. It was actually Walid, a cucumber and a memory of days long gone.

Back in our B.C. (before children) years, Angie used to patiently wait until Walid shut the pub kitchen down. She would then 'sneak' into the kitchen and steal all of his pre-cut cucumbers. She always thought she was sneakier than Nike, but I realized when Walid came busting out of the kitchen and started handing out cucumbers that at some point over the years he had picked up on Angie's super-sly vegetable thievery.

'Hey who am I, everyone? Huh? Anyone?'
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: That we was by the Holiday Park and I got a new little computer - calculator.
David: The park - all of it.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: There wasn't - it was a perfect day.
David: That I don't can't play more in the park.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: I want to cheat.
David: Play with Barbara, okay?

1 comment:

  1. "I want to cheat" Oh Peter, me too, boy; me too. And I love the little do-rag on your head!!