The Weekend Of The Rain And The Fire Engine And The Good Friends

Monday evenings are my Sunday evenings, because obviously that makes sense.

Seriously.  It’s because I go back to work on Tuesdays, so Monday nights are the end of my… well… five-day weekends.  I think Hubs is a tiny bit jealous that my weekends stretch from Wednesday afternoon to Monday evening, but then I tell him that, “Hey!  You could have married a girl with a giant trust fund and been a stay-at-home dad; I can’t be held responsible for you marrying REALLY CUTE, instead of RICH.”

And then Hubs remembers that he’d probably go bat-dung-crazy if he stayed home for five days in a row, all year long, because Hubs needs to be in his office, solving world problems, bringing downed servers to life once more, and making folks everywhere happy, because they’re able to log into Facebook again.

But yes.  Come tomorrow morning, I’ll be back in my gym, teaching children to JUST TAKE A STEP WHEN YOU THROW OVERHAND, FOR THE LOVE!!  Inevitably, I will also be telling no fewer than six boys, “Hey!  It’s time to actually be in your exercise lines now for stretches, and if you shoot one more basket, my lid is gonna flip in a most unladylike manner, because I’ve already told you fifty-seven times to PLEASE PUT THAT BASKETBALL AWAY in my friendly teacher voice.”

Sometimes, I think that I should have just gotten a job at a school somewhere, teaching Recess.

Anyway.

Our weekend was a good one.

On Friday, it was kind of cold and yucky, but Thing 2 and I braved the elements and ran some errands.  The boy had early-release on Friday, so we gathered him and a friend up, and then we dumped them off with more friends at the theater, to catch a late matinee.  Later, we ended up with some boys hanging out in our family room, and… eventually… actually sleeping there, too, after they’d eaten two large pizzas, a few sandwiches, and some popcorn.

May the Good Lord be close to the checking accounts of those families who feed teenage boys.

Upstairs, the party was raging full force, as Hubs and I used the radio to listen to our Small Town High boys get beaten on the road in Rival Town, by one touchdown in the final minute of the game.

While the game was going on in the background, we also taught Thing 2 the sad life lesson that if you dump all four hundred thousand tractors, combines, front-end loaders, excavators and Matchbox cars that you own onto the floor, you will need to pick them up.  It was a tear-filled time when Hubs and I problem solved for our preschooler and told him, “Maybe you have too many construction vehicles and pieces of farm equipment.  Maybe it’s time to have an auction and downsize your assets.”  The garbage can was brought out, bids were shouted across the room, and Thing 2 has never picked up toys faster, as he decided he’d like to keep each and every vehicle that he owned.

If you need any other parenting tips, Hubs and I are happy to do a podcast for you, entitled, “How the Garbage Can In the Middle of the Living Room Floor Worked For Us, Even Though Child Psychologists Probably Frown Upon It.” 

We live on the edge with our child-rearing techniques.

On Saturday, it poured rain.

As in POURED.  The kind of POURED where you wonder if you should dig the life jackets out of the garage and get one buckled onto all the children, just in case.  Hubs and Thing 2 and I tiptoed past sleeping teenage boys on our family room floor, and we went to Home Depot, because it was the first Saturday of the month.  This may not mean anything to you, if you don’t have small children, but let me tell you this:  On the first Saturday of every month, Home Depot invites families to come in, get a little bag of wood pieces and tiny nails and build something together.

On Saturday, the project was a fire engine.

IMG_5019It came with little blocks of wood, four black wheels, sixteen-point-nine million nails that were the size of a cell’s nucleus, and red paint.

Do you know what that is a recipe for?

It’s the recipe for gold-plated chaos.  Thing 2 was only interested in the wheels… WHEELS!  WHEELS!  LET’S ROLL THEM ACROSS THE FLOOR AND SEND THEM FLYING SO FAR, THEY END UP IN THE PLUMBING AISLE, FOUR MILES AWAY!!  And PAINT!  PAINT!  LET ME SHOW YOU MY INNER MONET AS I SLAP THIS FOAM BRUSH AND RED PAINT EVERYWHERE EXCEPT ON THE PIECE OF WOOD THAT’S SUPPOSED TO LOOK LIKE A FIRE TRUCK!!

In the middle of all the NOISE, NOISE, NOISE, that sounded exactly like the North Pole must sound, come November, when Santa’s back-logged and a new order for seventy-three thousand Tonka trucks has just come in, Thing 2 gave up on all the hammering, which meant Hubs got to finish building the fire engine.  Meanwhile, I unearthed our black wheels from under the feet of strangers and hollered out, “I NEED MORE CAFFEINE IF WE’RE GOING TO LET THREE-YEAR-OLDS PAINT IN MY VICINITY!!!!”

In other words, it was a fabulous time of Pinterest-worthy, family bonding with our preschooler.

In the end, we all left with our hands covered in red paint.  Thing 2’s left cheek was covered in white paint, too.  My hair was falling out of my ponytail, and Hubs just wanted some time alone in a glass case of emotion.

But… we left with one heck of a decent fire engine.

From there, we went to the high school, because the varsity girls were hosting a volleyball tournament.  We sat with some good friends of ours in the bleachers, who kept Thing 2 well-supplied with enough candy to power a rocket launch to Pluto with the ensuing sugar high, and we cheered like crazy for our hometown girls.

On Saturday night, we loaded up both of our boys in the middle of the rain, and we drove across town to have dinner with our darling friends, Brian and Sarah.  They have twin nine-year-old boys, who basically took over all the babysitting duties of Thing 2, while the four adults sat at the table and had real, live discussions.  We laughed our heads off together over bowls of hot chili, while the kids ran reconnaissance missions throughout the house, shooting one another with Nerf guns.

It was one heck of a lovely evening with friends.

On Sunday, there was church.  When I picked Thing 2 up from the nursery, he announced, “I cried a little in there today, but I didn’t hit a single kid, Mom.  Aren’t you proud of me?”

Yes.  Yes, I was.  It’s because we haven’t convinced Thing 2 that the church nursery is not TRAINING CAMP FOR THE WORLD FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIPS AND THE MMA yet.

On Sunday afternoon, in the wind and the dreary weather, Hubs threw the Denver Broncos under the bus, demoted them to the DVR to be watched later, and took the boy and I to join some more friends at the theater.  We saw the movie The Martian and ate buttery popcorn.

Have you seen it?  The story is that an astronaut on a mission to Mars is accidentally left behind, when his crew thinks he’s dead, and he survives on the red planet alone, until a rescue mission can be put together.

The bottom line that I learned is simply this:  If I ever found myself alone on Mars, I would die.  It would never occur to me to grow potatoes in dirt with poop, and combine hydrogen and oxygen to create water, because I never paid enough attention in Botany and Chemistry… I simply committed everything in those two classes to my short-term memory files, passed the tests, collected my A grades, and promptly forgot EVERYTHING THE PROFESSORS HAD TAUGHT ME.  Everything.  Because of this, I would have sat on Mars alone, crying and wailing until my oxygen levels ran out, and then that would’ve been it.

But the real issue is… IF I WAS EVER LEFT BEHIND ON MARS, ALONE… How did I get there in the first place?  Because do you know what I would never do?  Board a rocket.  Never… AT ALL… will I willingly go into space.  It’s one of the few things that I imagine would be worse than building fire trucks with a pack of three-year-olds and buckets of red paint at Home Depot.

The end.

Anyway… y’all have a wonderful Monday evening.

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