Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sunscreen and Aspirin

This morning started out like most weekends - with sun screen and aspirin. And not necessarily in that order. 

See, last night Angie had arranged for Tommy's Ute to watch the kids so that we could rock my 40th proper. The problem was that my liver apparently missed the memo explaining that it wasn't 21 anymore. My head got the message loud and clear this morning, though, and I can guarantee that there will be a body-wide correspondence going out shortly.

I downed the aspirin with coffee and coyly asked my life planner if a power nap was included in her birthday package.

'You didn't seriously forget that we're going to the park today?'

Over the past decade or so, I have been programmed to ignore certain tones; it's kinda like Pavlov, only instead of salivating, I silently started packing a picnic.

Me being an American, I didn't just pack a picnic. No, no, don't be silly. I packed a five-course meal. And I didn't stop there. In my ripe old age, I simply ignored the fact that we didn't have paper plates and decided instead to pack glass plates. Eleven of them, to be exact, even though Marie is not old enough to use one. I also packed glasses for everyone, silverware, salt and pepper, and a portable radio. Like I said, I'm an American; you don't skimp corners when it comes to a picnic.

The first thing I noticed when I was staging the two very full IKEA bags by the front door is that they were pretty freakin' heavy. At some point, Angie felt compelled to weigh in.

'You're not seriously bringing THAT to the park?'

Instead of salivating, my brain convinced me that getting the car would be far wiser than responding.

As we entered the Schwetzingen Palace, the gate guard peeked into the two IKEA bags full of Tupperware containers, glass plates, and paper towels.

'You do realize that you are not allowed to picnic on the grounds.'

I ignored Angie, who had started cackling like Broom Hilda.

'Picnic? Ha! Don't be silly! We're, uh, just meeting some friends later tonight for a barbeque. Yeah, friends. After the park, of course. And we don't have a car. No, I'm just lugging this stuff around for our barbeque. Later. With friends. After the park. Without a car. Yeah.'

'Ah, okay. Enjoy the park.'
Shortly after the gate, my aging shoulder broke down and Nicole came to the rescue by grabbing one of the two IKEA bags. My back thanks you!

As soon as we got out of sight from the guard tower, I tried convincing everyone that they must be super hungry. When that didn't work, I informed everyone that they WOULD be eating, whether they liked it or not.

Something about the twitching in my left eye convinced everyone to look for a suitable picnic locale.  We went with the garden maze, mainly with the assumption that the Park Rangers patrolling the grounds would not venture off of the main path.

Shortly after getting started, I thought I would test everyone's readiness with a friendly evacuation drill.

'Shit! Here comes one of the guards!'

I absolutely love Angie's 'totally busted' look. Shortly after this shot, Angie demanded that I delete the photo, which I then convincingly convinced her that I did. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

I offered to give Angie mouth-to-mouth after her self-proclaimed 'near heart attack', but she grumbled something that smelled like a decline. Fine, whatever.

After successfully getting away with our 'forbidden picnic', we continued to canvas the park. At one point, nature called and Peter and David answered.

Finding a toilet in such a large park can be tricky. Also tricky are the signs that indicate which bathroom is for the ladies, especially when you are David and don't really care about things like looking at the sign on the door when you really need to go.

So, yeah, Peter had raced into the Men's room and was totally embarrassed by David, who had danced his way into the Lady's room.

Peter probably could have shrugged off David's faux pas, but as we were waiting outside for David to finish, a woman walked in. A few seconds later, Davey walked out giggling.

'Hey, did you see that? Some lady just walked into the bathroom.'

Peter and I exchanged an amused look. Rather than responding, I asked the boys to strike a pose.

Peter's squeamish look told me that he was still embarrassed. Even so, I thought it was a cool brotherly-type moment.

After our rather amusing bathroom break, we continued our search for frogs. Over the years, I've grown accustomed to Angie's unusual fascination with disgusting creepy-crawlies, so I wasn't surprised that she took the lead.

We finally spotted one, which meant that we could move on the next amusing adventure - tree falling. Tommy went first.

When I was young, I loved climbing trees, too. I prided myself that I could climb higher than my older sister. Okay, this was not so hard because she was too intellectual to climb trees, but that is beside the point. My problem was always the trip back down, which normally involved a ladder and a very annoyed mother.

Tommy solved the problem of getting back down by simply letting gravity carry him home.  The problem with gravity is that she doesn't know concepts like 'carry' and 'home'.

Lisi and Paul witnessed Tom's fall from grace and subsequent meltdown and went on to injure themselves. It was almost as if the kids wanted to earn their 'honor badge' by hurting themselves and then comparing wounds. We decided to move on before they ventured onto something clinic-worthy.

On the way out, I called for a photo-op. The first attempt was, hmmm, revealing.

Paul flat out refused to strike a pose. Lisi was holding onto Marie, who was vocally not feeling photogenic. Marie's screaming apparently concerned Peter, who was about to be unwittingly tipped over into a pile of Canadian geese poop by David. And, for reasons unknown to normal humans, Tommy felt compelled to attack Angie's purse.

'Alright! Someone get the screaming baby out of the picture and let's try this again!'

After this lovely shot, we loaded the kids up and headed home. The ripe smells of Canadian geese poop filled the car, ensuring that this evening would end like most weekends - with a bath and a beer. And not necessarily in that order.
Ladder Talk: 
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When we went to the Park.
David: The Park.
Tom: When we was at the park with Lisi and Paul and Marie. 

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When Davey went into the woman's bathroom. 
David: When Tommy fall from the tree on his head.
Tom: When I fall from the tree why I was climbing.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To go to Arman's, 
David: To play in the garden with Yuki.
Tom: I want to eat a cheeseburger.

No comments:

Post a Comment