It’s Amazing, But Seventeen Hours At The Hair Salon Was FREE! FREE! FREE!

Apparently this is the summer that Small Town has taken on one of Kenny Rogers’ old tunes as our theme song.

Something’s Burning.

The chorus goes something like this:

“Something’s burning… Something’s burning… Something’s burning… And I think it’s my arm.  And my other arm.  And all the rest of me.”

And then you sort of fade into a chorus of BA-DA-BA-DA-BA-DUM-DUM-DA, and then you sing it all over again.

You know.  If you have a notion to.

The sad part is that I actually KNOW the names of Kenny Rogers’ songs.  I blame my parents for introducing me to him in my younger years, and now I blame Hubs for perpetuating it through his Outlaw Country station on Pandora.

And, if you think that I’m joking about this being the summer that Small Town heated up enough to turn to black ash, look at this snapshot that I took yesterday:

People, THAT is me, using my fancy iPhone camera to take a picture of the even fancier thermometer on the rearview mirror in our Suburban.

And let me just go on ahead and read that out loud to you.

“One hundred.  And twelve.  Degrees.  Of the Fahrenheit variety.”

Of course that’s after my Suburban had been sitting in a parking lot for a couple of moments, but still.  Who cranked the thermostat up to HELL?  Because yesterday was wicked hot.

The boy and Cousin B decided to enroll themselves in a cross fit camp, which means that they had a burning desire to go to a gym with ZERO-POINT-ZERO BITS OF AIR CONDITIONING and work out with only a couple of well-placed, industrial-sized fans to help things out.

I took a BEFORE picture when I took the boys to their fitness camp, so that we could see photographic evidence of just how much they managed to sweat.  And really?  I’m not sure that Cousin B could have looked MORE excited than he did.

(I think I snapped this shot right after I told him, “Oh.  And there’s no air conditioning in this gym.  Have fun!”)

The camp instructors proceeded to lead the group of kids through everything, from sit-ups to push-ups to burpees to squats to pull-ups to lunges, and those are the only exercises I could recognize by name.

I think the boys have been watching too many hours of Olympic coverage (Haven’t we all?!  Oh, I love some Olympics!), and they were determined to bulk their arms up like a US gymnast.

When all the hard work was done, the boys found themselves involved in a fast-paced dodgeball game yesterday, and they refused to slow down and cool off.  Dodgeball is a sport to be taken very seriously, and it’s all SMACK SOMEONE HARD WITH A BALL OR DIE TRYING.

Also?

Well.

Most of the pictures that I took yesterday are more of a blurry embarrassment than anything else, but let me tell you why.  It’s because I was packing Thing 2 around in one arm and shooting pictures with the other hand, and Thing 2 kept grabbing my camera strap.  Also, I am not really an accomplished one-armed photographer.  Yes, Def Leppard’s drummer can smash the ever-loving snot out of a drum set with just one arm, but I simply play the I’M A BIT HANDICAPPED HERE card, because I really do need two hands to successfully operate my SLR camera.

But listen.

Thing 2 had THE! VERY! BEST! time at the gym yesterday.  It’s because it was full of loud music, and busy boys, and energy was throbbing everywhere.  I told Hubs later, “If Thing 2 could have walked, I would have set him on the floor and said, ‘Go!  Do sixty-four pull-ups, Son!’ just to see if some of HIS energy could have been subdued.”

Those pictures PLUM MELT MY HEART, people!  They melt it into a pile of goo, because that baby is STINKING CUTE and because I LOVE HIM TO BITS!

When their fitness camp was over for the day, I made the boy and Cousin B stand side-by-side again (they may have rolled their eyes JUST A TITCH when I suggested YET ANOTHER KODAK MOMENT), but look at the red cheeks and the sweaty hair.

(For the record, the boy woke up this morning and said, “I can’t move my legs!  My muscles are throbbing!”)

(And B announced this morning, “I am SORE.  Way sore.”)

But yesterday, before all the sore muscles had a chance to settle in like old age, the boys asked me if they could go golfing together.  I pointed to the thermometer in my Suburban.  At that moment, it said ONE HUNDRED PLUS FOUR MORE DEGREES.

The boy and B immediately looked at one another with huge eye and said, “Um, could we go swimming instead?”

Because the only thing that helps with 104 degrees is a swimming pool or scooting the frozen hashbrowns aside at Walmart and taking turns crawling into the freezers.

First, though, I treated the boys to lunch at McDonald’s.  They wanted S’Mores pies.  I said no.  They wanted McFlurry ice cream treats.  I shot those down, too.  They wanted Mountain Dews.  I said, “Um, no again.”  I was determined to feed them SOMEWHAT healthy foods, so I said, “You may both have cheeseburgers laced with pink slime and a small order of fries.  And also a soda without caffeine.”

Mary Poppins isn’t our nanny, so y’all aren’t loading yourselves up on a spoonful of sugar.  Or a cup of caffeine, either.

We ate our lunch in the park with Hubs, and the boys threw themselves into a contest to see who could stuff the most French fries into their mouths at one time, because boys will turn ANYTHING into a full-contact, competitive event.

Although he nearly choked (Which worried me, because how do you call Brother and say, “So I let your second-born son cram a lot of fries into his mouth, and he up and choked on me, and I think I broke six of his ribs with the Heimlich.”), B managed to get 22 fries into his mouth, which was enough to vault him to Gold Medal Status, because the boy’s mouth busted wide open at 19 fries, and all the half-chewed, fried potato product fell out and landed on the table.

(And if you don’t think THAT’S one of the seven most beautiful wonders of the world, think again.  Ain’t nothin’ like seeing French fry mush in a pile on the park table.  Any girl would have been proud to call the boy her own.)

Once their bellies were full, I dropped the boys off at the pool, because the temperature had hit 106 degrees in my Suburban by that time, and because a bunch of teenagers with enormous ear gauges and witch-black hair were hogging the freezers at Walmart.

And then!

Well, my 9-year-old friend Kiley called me and said, “Would you like to come over and play beauty salon?”

And THAT is how I found myself at my friend Katie’s house, sitting on her sofa while her three girls took turns braiding my hair and hosing it down with a spray bottle.  It was the best afternoon I’ve had in a long time, because I could eat those girls up with a spoon, they’re so sweet and wonderful.

I would show you the iPhone picture that 5-year-old Avery took of my hair after SHE did it, but there aren’t enough words to explain why I have 304 brightly-colored hair barrettes in my mane.  When you’re five, there’s no such thing as too many hair accessories at once.

“Be bold, or go home,” is apparently Avery’s motto.

And while I sat on the sofa with my feet up and my hair under the brush, the two girls who weren’t gainfully employed at the salon at that moment played with Thing 2, until they PLUM DANG WORE HIM OUT!

(Also?)

(My photography skills with the iPhone are sorely lacking.)

Later that afternoon, after seventeen different hairstyles and enough conversation to make my voice hoarse, I came home with two French braids that tied themselves into a messy bun at the back of my hair, and I picked the boy up from the pool.

And THAT is when my family decided that SOME DINNER WOULD BE NICE AROUND HERE, because they couldn’t understand why I didn’t have something prepared, because HOW CAN YOU SPEND ALL AFTERNOON AT THE HAIR SALON?

Easy.

Give me some good girl talk and the US Olympic team playing water polo in the background and three great girls to wear my baby out (which spells the words SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP!), and I can settle myself in and simply become part of their family.

So.

All of those words to say THIS WAS THE POST I WOULD HAVE WRITTEN LAST NIGHT, HAD I POSSESSED ENOUGH ENERGY TO DO SO.

Y’all have a good Tuesday night, and GO, TEAM USA!

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