Burning Off Some Energy

We’re not even going to talk about the weather tonight.  I’m starting to sound like your 82-year-old great uncle, who diligently watches the Weather Channel all day, so that he can report back to everyone about each incremental increase in the temperature.  You know the guy… the one who’s married to your 79-year-old Great Aunt June, who says, “I’m sorry, honey; we just can’t stay for dinner.  We’ve got to get Pa-Paw home, because he needs to watch the 5:00 local news on Channel 15, to make sure it coordinates with what the Weather Channel has been preaching.”

What with ALL THE COLD and IS THIS ANTARCTICA?, Thing 2 was going a little stir-crazy, because he’s been trapped indoors.  It has been exactly as you’d imagine it to be, if what you’re envisioning is a Jack Russell Terrier puppy who hasn’t been outside for three days AND who ate a bag of sugar out of the pantry.

So… bright and early this morning, we ventured outside to the local INDOOR playland at the rec center.  We could see our breath hanging in the air, and Thing 2 kept a running commentary from his carseat behind me in the Suburban:  “Cold.  Cold.  Cold.  Go!  Stop!”

(The “Go” and “Stop” parts had nothing to do with his thoughts on the temperature.  Thing 2 knows green lights and red lights, and he has become my backseat driver.)

(So far, he keeps his opinions on my parking abilities to himself.)

(This makes him my favorite.)

Sister and Cousin H needed out of their house, too, so… even though the thermometer said NEGATIVE EIGHT DEGREES!  CODE RED!  CODE RED!!!, we took the babies out.  Mam even met us at the rec center, so that she could love on The Littles.

IMG_0597 IMG_0598 IMG_0639 IMG_0637 IMG_0601Thing 2 is a bit braver than most toddlers in the playland.  He stands up at the tops of the slides, so that he can SURF down them.  He manhandles the foam building blocks like he’s a burly lumberjack on Ax Men.  He outruns everyone on the straight-of-ways, has no fear whatsoever of the GINORMOUS slides, and has been known to bite the boy who was in his way.

(That earned Thing 2 some time in the penalty box, and then we marched over and said, “I saw-ee” to the little blonde-headed kiddo who was dubbed The Very Slow Slider.  Thing 2 wanted to know, “Why is The Very Slow Slider ALWAYS in front of me?!”)

IMG_0603   IMG_0612 IMG_0616 IMG_0618 IMG_0624 IMG_0625 IMG_0626The Littles loved the helicopter, way up in the sky.

IMG_0628 IMG_0629Cousin H is about as dainty and ladylike and cautious as a little two-year-old girl can be.  She takes her time on EVERYTHING.  The enormous slides were no different today.  She was hesitant to go down them without Sister nearby.  Thing 2 just looked at her and said, “I’ve already shot down these suckers fourteen times!  It’s not a big deal, H!”

And then I think Thing 2 channeled King Julian, as he said, “Raise your arms, Maurice!  It’s more fun when you raise your arms up like this!”

He held Sister’s hand in the beginning…

… and then dumped her and shot past everyone.

IMG_0633 IMG_0635 IMG_0654I think we overheard him saying, “Winner, winner, chicken dinner!” when he reached the bottom of that red slide.

Our baby made approximately two hundred and nineteen trips up THIS enormous, foam staircase, because it was the only way to GET to the big slides.

IMG_0631 IMG_0642And then!


IMG_0648THAT snapshot of Cousin H in the plexiglass dome makes me HOWL with laughter!  I have laughed so hard over it today, my side has been in danger of just splitting wide open.  I don’t think a cuter two-year-old girl exists, and the piggy nose is the icing on the cupcake!

And that, people, was our Monday.  We came home and gave Thing 2 a nap, because an hour and a half at the playland WORE.  HIM.  OUT.  When we got home, he laid down on the dining room floor and just stared at me.  He didn’t even have the energy to stand up.

That long, foam staircase is a blessing, I tell you!

A BLESSING!!  It granted us a nap that lasted two hours and forty-five minutes!

Glory, glory, hallelujah!

The rest of the day was dedicated to washing a load of clothes, hitting the grocery store for something other than leftover pizza, popcorn, jambalaya and gingerbread men cookies, which is what we sustained ourselves on over the long weekend of the Great Arctic Cold Snap, and faithfully checking the temperature every twenty minutes to see if we were sitting on the positive side of that zero.

Old age is all about knowing how cold it is at any given moment.

And knowing how much a gallon of gas costs on any given day.

I’m pretty much there, people.

Happy Cold Monday.  But?  I saw twenty chubby degrees on the thermometer this afternoon.  We may need to call that Heatwave Monday.

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