That Night When We Had Ice Cream For Dinner

Our backyard is still unfinished.

As in, we currently have a giant pile of dirt that is embellished with weeds and covered with toy John Deere tractors.  Then we have some dried-out, crunchy-brown grass, surrounded by an oasis of taller weeds, where pheasants feel at home.

In other words, A VAN.

DOWN BY THE RIVER.

Thankfully, our front yard is finished and landscaped, so it tricks folks who drive through the cul de sac into assuming that we have our act completely together behind the house, as well.  But we don’t.  And there’s no swing set or fancy jungle gym for Thing 2 to climb on out there, so he’s forced to go to the city parks, like a commoner.

One night earlier this week, we got a bunch of moms and kids together for a park date.  Park dates with a pack of children ensures that every age group is represented, everyone has a buddy to play with, and no one needs to be hanging off of their mama’s arm, wailing, “There’s nothing to do!”  Park dates like this leave moms free to talk.

And talk and talk.

And talk and talk and talk some more.

Amen.

A giant dose of late evening Vitamin D (through the sunshine) and calcium (through the ice cream) is exactly what we all needed.  The troop hit the park to run through the fountains.  The moms hit the park for Girl Time.

Thing 2 hit the fountains like a Golden Retriever puppy, who has just been released from the car, in front of the Pacific Ocean, on the sand.  He ran a half marathon through those fountains… back and forth, back and forth.  He hopped and skipped and spun himself through the water for nearly two hours.

IMG_9783 IMG_9744 IMG_9747 IMG_9758 IMG_9750 IMG_9755 IMG_9745 IMG_9771 IMG_9774 IMG_9773 IMG_9770 IMG_9786He played a little Russian Fountain Roulette, when he tried to see what was inside of the fountains, when one wasn’t actively spraying.

IMG_9790Cousin H was a bit more cautious than Thing 2 was in the fountains.

And by a bit more cautious, I mean she didn’t dance through them with wild abandon, like a herd of baby squirrels, as some people’s children did.

IMG_9794 IMG_9795 IMG_9796 IMG_9800The kids had so much fun together, zipping through the fountains and squealing and throwing pine cones from the trees at one another.

IMG_9762 IMG_9764 IMG_9767 IMG_9802 IMG_9803Somehow, we managed to get almost all of our troop out of the fountains for a quick picture.

I have no idea whose kid is in the front row, singing his heart out, at the very tip-top of his vocal decibels, while everyone else stood nicely for the snapshot.

IMG_9812Afterward, we dried everyone off with towels and hiked through a small subdivision and over the bridge, so that we could buy ice cream cones at the next park over.

Fountains at one park.  Ice cream at another park.  All in the same evening.  The kids were fairly certain that they heard hallelujahs being whispered from Heaven.

I’ll be honest.  That bowl of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream was Thing 2’s entire dinner.  Nothing says SUMMER VACATION like MAMA AIN’T COOKING TONIGHT; HERE’S A COUPLE OF BUCKS TO SPEND AT THE ICE CREAM SHACK.

IMG_9813Afterward, when we realized that it was already after 8 PM, we decided that we shouldn’t chase ICE CREAM FOR DINNER with RIDICULOUSLY LATE BEDTIME, because we are SOMEWHAT responsible mothers, so we all called it a night.

Thing 2 caught a ride in Libby’s double stroller, with her little boy, as we hiked back through the parks, to our cars.

IMG_9816And then the Hulk and his shoulder muscles insisted that he needed to push that stroller for a while.

Go ahead, Son.  It spells out MORE PHYSICAL EXERCISE, which spells out MORE TIRED FOR BED.

IMG_9817We made it home by 8:45 that night, and Thing 2 was passed out cold in his bed by 9:00.  He smelled like ice cream and sweat and sunscreen and fun.  He had grass in his curls, and he was holding a pine cone while he slept.

And THAT, y’all, is what Summer Break is all about!

Plus?  Well, it didn’t hurt that he slept in until 7:00 the next morning.  We’ve never pulled that off before, but the Lord showed us His favor.

Happy Wednesday!

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