What a weekend.
It was, you know, the usual kind of weekend, where Hubs and I simply attempted to cram in too many different things, but, in the end, I think we achieved the perfect balance of fun.
Which is quite a contradictory sentence, isn’t it?
Never mind that. I have my suspicions that tonight’s blog post will make little, if any, real sense. Sometimes, that’s exactly how I fly.
Hubs and I woke up on Friday morning, and we realized that, for the first time in a lengthy spell of history, we had a bare spot on the calendar. An empty Friday night. We could barely handle the wonderfulness of that! The boy was going to be home, for the first Friday night in five weeks, and we had not committed ourselves to a single destination or event.
Naturally, I said right away that morning, “Hubs, we should invite some friends over for pizza tonight. We could play board games. When was the last time we did that?”
Hubs agreed that this sounded like a bit of a good time, so he left me to think of some fun people to call. I could think of many. How full did we want our house to be? Plenty full, that’s what I decided. It would be a full-on pizza party, with so many friends, our walls would burst, and we would play board games and hoot with laughter, and the kids would run all over my house, giggling like crazy, and it would be wonderful.
And then I headed to work.
And I worked hard. Because, if you recall, the church offices shut down early on Thursday afternoon, due to the raging blizzard that blew itself out by 1:00 PM. Susan and I literally worked until there was sweat beading up on our brows on Friday, and I kept saying, like a nervous little tick, “We’re not going to get all of this done before we close up shop!”
Yeah, yeah. The glass was half drunk down on Friday. So what?
But somehow Susan and I did get everything done, and I, being of a fairly advanced age now, decided that I was plum tuckered out when Friday afternoon rolled around. I wanted my Geritol, my Hee Haw, and an afghan for my lap.
Which is code talk for, “I was simply too tired to host a pizza party, so we didn’t.” I made exactly zero phone calls to extend Friday night invitations. It was a pizza party in our imaginations only, which never lifted off the ground.
But Hubs and the boy and I did order pizza for ourselves, because I couldn’t be counted upon to rally enough strength to cook something, and the boy shouted with joy as his favorite words poured off of my lips, “Let’s just snuggle up on the sofa and have Family Movie Night.” The boy is powerful crazy about Family Movie Nights, although he’ll drop Hubs and I like a hot potato and never look back if he gets a better invitation for a sleepover with a friend.
I cut a couple of slices of cheese pizza up in chunks for the boy, and I threw a handful of baby carrots onto his plate. The boy looked at me and asked, “Why? Why do I always have to eat carrots when we order pizza? Why can’t I just have the pizza?” I assured him that carrots were good for his eyes, and I was simply looking out for him by insuring his daily intake of vegetables was met.
And then, do you know what? Our boy, whose love for cheese pizza runs true and deep, absolutely PICKED at his dinner. Picked. He wouldn’t eat the carrots OR the pizza. When I made inquiries into this, he announced, “Well…I think I’m still a bit full from my snack at dad’s office.” After doing some detective work, Hubs and I realized that, while the boy spent an hour after school at his dad’s office, the boy had wandered down the hallway to another office. An office filled with women, who are all crazy about the boy, and who all give him things. One of them slipped him a bag of potato chips on Friday. It was NOT the snack-sized bag. It was the family-sized, bring-it-on-a-family-picnic bag of potato chips.
The boy ate them.
All of them.
When questioned about why he would do this, the boy replied, “Because she said she didn’t want them back!”
Tell me, do any of you own a nine-and-a-half year old boy who can, in one sitting, eat a full-sized bag of potato chips after school? And do they still have to put rocks in their pockets to reach sixty pounds on the scale? I’m telling you, Hubs and I aren’t going to be able to afford to feed the boy, when he’s a teenager! The kid can eat, and he still weighs 59 pounds.
In the end, just as we were about to slip the Avatar DVD in, the cute neighbor boy rang our doorbell, so we slipped him some pizza (Goodness knows, the boy wasn’t eating any!) and gave him the coveted seat in our recliner. The four of us hunkered down and watched the three-hour saga of Jake Sully and the Na’Vi of Pandora. Hubs had never seen Avatar, and the boy and I (and the cute neighbor boy, too!) were convinced that he’d love it.
Rest assured that watching Avatar with Hubs was nothing short of a genuine treat.
He kept tossing out all kinds of comments.
“Like that would ever happen!” And, “Fake. Fake. Fake.” And, “I would, actually, kind of like to fly one of those red birds. I’m pretty sure I’m actually man enough to catch one of them.”
Uh-huh. Plenty man enough.
Three hours later, the cute neighbor boy moseyed on home, the boy went to bed, and Hubs and I set up shop with the lap top and last week’s episode of The Office.
People, I wept with the funniness!
Hubs and I laughed until our sides ached when Jim asked Michael, “It’s a little early for ice cream, isn’t it?” Michael replied, “It’s never too early for ice cream, Jim, but we didn’t have any ice cream, so this is mayonnaise with black olives. It’s comfort food, alright?”
And what about when Dwight kept yelling out at Pam and Jim, “Stop it! I know you’re talking about me in Morse Code!”
And then Dwight, when he was at the gym, working out. “One thing you need to know about me is that I don’t quit until something pops or tears.” And when Dwight took over and led the spinning class? “The hill is a trap! Let’s take the dirt road off to the side. Go for the cliff! Now, three, two, one, JUMP!”
I honestly thought Hubs was going to need CPR to restore his regular breathing rhythms on that one.
Yes, last week’s episode was a good one.
On Saturday morning, Hubs and the boy and I went…where?
Pop quiz. Where would the Jedi Family go on a Saturday morning, at precisely 8:30?
We went to Starbucks, that’s where. We went there because last week I realized that the new featured product on the menu are theses itty-bitty, frosted donuts. They’re baby donuts. You can buy teeny pink donuts, or you can hand over cash in exchange for baby-sized chocolate donuts. When Amy was stuck at home with two sick kids last week, I snuck over to her house to hand deliver a cup of liquid gold (grande skinny Hazelnut latte), and I brought some miniature pink-frosted donuts for her ailing puppies (which is what she calls her adorable girls). I did not stay, as I feared catching the consumption that plagued their house for an entire week, so I simply rang the doorbell and left gifts on Amy’s doorstep. They called me later to inform me that the tiny pink donuts had worked like an elixir straight from Mary Poppins herself. At any rate, the boy had yet to see the newly debuted donuts, but he had heard about them from me. And from Amy. And he was powerfully excited to see them for himself.
On Saturday morning, he test-drove the baby-sized chocolate donuts, and he saw that they were good. He announced, with chocolate smeared from one end of his face to the other, “Mom, these are my new favorite food in the entire world.”
He ate three of them. He asked if I would buy him three more. When I shot his hopes of a sugar-high down and said no, he turned to Hubs, to see if his dad could be counted on to secure a second round of chocolate-frosted donuts for him. Alas, Hubs, who was still dwelling on the fact that the boy ate an entire full-sized bag of potato chips on Friday, said no, too. The poor kid.
After Starbucks on Saturday, we took part in the Pursuit for the Perfect Mother’s Day Gifts. Mam and Grammy both needed one, and we found exactly what we were looking for. Hanging flower baskets and hummingbird feeders made out of antique perfume bottles. Pay dirt.
Because Mam’s hanging flower basket was beautiful, but shaped like a cone, it wouldn’t sit well in the Suburban, so we decided to drop it off immediately. Even though it wasn’t, you know, officially Mother’s Day. When we walked into Mam and Pa’s house, the boy made an immediate beeline for the kitchen, where he robbed Mam blind of three cookies and a glass of milk. He waltzed back into the living room, and I cried out, “Hey! Didn’t you just eat three chocolate donuts?” To this, the boy grinned and said something about Mam’s house being Switzerland — the place of neutrality, where all food rules are null and void. Mam only grinned. The boy ate his cookies.
And then, land sakes, but everyone was hungry. Even the boy, who had basically put his face into a bag of sugar (nom-nom-nom) and inhaled.
We went with Mam and Pa to a little Chinese buffet for a late lunch. For the record, the boy loves Chinese food. For the unofficial record, suffice it to say that the boy loves white rice, and because he believes that white rice constitutes the entire basis of a Chinese diet, he believes he loves Chinese food. The boy does NOT love Chinese food, as he will eat nothing adventurous off of the buffet, simply because he fears strange sauces. The boy and the sauces are not a good combination.
At the buffet, I broke our cardinal rule, which is simply this: I let the boy cruise the buffet line, unaccompanied. Usually this tactical maneuver never takes place, because the boy will load his plate with twelve cents’ worth of white rice and eight pounds of sugar, unless he has a buffet overseer standing guard.
When the boy returned to our table, he was grinning. He had a plate full of twelve cents’ worth of white rice and eight pounds of sugar. Namely, a deep-fat-fried donut, dusted with powdered sugar, and an enormous bowl of vanilla pudding.
I made some comments about grounding the boy for life for his poor food choices. The boy appealed to Mam and said, “Didn’t my mom eat sugar as a kid?”
Yes, Mam said. Yes, she did.
What Mam failed to mention is that my intake of sugar as a child was strictly limited by Mam-the-Mother. Mam-the-Grandmother forgets that little boys should not be subjected to huge quantities of the sugar cane plant!
After the boy had ingested his white rice, donut and vanilla pudding, he went back to the buffet. Hubs called out, “Get some carrots!” He came back, without anything, and he whispered, “Mam, will you come help me for a minute?”
Mam enthusiastically jumped up from her seat to offer her assistance. Apparently the boy was not tall enough to reach into the ice cream cooler and scoop out chocolate ice cream. Mam assisted him.
After the Chinese buffet, the boy loaded himself into Mam and Pa’s car, grinned at his parents, and waved good-bye.
He was heading back to Switzerland. Nom-nom-nom.
Being momentarily childless, I enlisted Hubs’ help to shop for a couple of birthday gifts which I needed to secure, so we hit the local Christian bookstore. And I might have gotten caught up for a while, just looking. At one point, Hubs whispered to me, “I want to be done. I want to go home. I want to sit on my sofa. Please finish.” I told Hubs, “Just wait. I haven’t found the perfect item yet.”
Four minutes later, Hubs whispered, “I have hit a shopping wall! I want to go home. Very badly!“
And then he sat down in a little chair at the coffee counter in the Christian bookstore, and do you know what one of the nice employees said?
She said, “You know, you’re sure being a patient husband in here, waiting for her to shop. Your crown in heaven is going to be enormous.”
For some reason, I busted out in a gut-breaking laugh over that one, and assured the kind woman that Hubs’ crown might not be quite as big as she envisioned it.
Hubs smiled at me. Apparently the coffee counter was also known as Switzerland.
(Is anyone even still reading this? Because, goodness! The wordiness is about to do me in! I think I’m getting downright dizzy with all the wordiness! Did I ever mention the fact that my sophomore composition teacher once asked me, when I turned in a mid-term paper, if I wanted it graded by the pound?)
After the Christian bookstore, when we were honestly headed home, Amy texted my phone. She and her husband were heading out of town to a fantastically wonderful antique shop.
YES, YES, YES!!! I wanted to go! I looked at Hubs and said, “Please? PH is going! He’s being such a good husband about it!”
Hubs sighed. And he turned the Suburban around — away from home. And we went to the antique shop.
Hubs, you complete me!
And goodness! I could financially cripple Hubs in that antique shop! I wanted it all. It wasn’t a case of, “Wow! This trinket is cute!” It was more of, “Look! This cabinet! I want it! Look! This coffee table! I love it! Look! This bench! It’s perfect!”
I think Hubs and PH were exhausted.
At one point, I saw an enormous sign hanging from a wall and read it out loud to Hubs, as I pointed it out to him: “Your husband called. He said to tell you to buy whatever you want.”
Hubs replied, “That message is for some other woman. It wasn’t YOUR husband who called. Trust me.”
I didn’t buy a single thing.
Amy and PH bought two suckers for their puppies. Er, little girls.
It was a cheap trip.
On the way back into Small Town, USA, Hubs and I ended up making another couple of stops, and then we hit Mam and Pa’s house, to get the boy. And Hubs, bless him, had hit an excursion wall. He kept moaning, “I just want to sit on my sofa! I just want to go home! I left my house at 8:30 this morning, and, twelve hours later, I want to be home!”
The boy’s cousins were there. Mam had picked up seven-year-old L and four-year-old K, and L and K wanted to have a treat at Starbucks. And…well…she couldn’t get treats for L and K and not for the boy, so she hoped we didn’t mind too terribly much, but the boy may or may not have eaten a double-chocolate-chunk brownie.
You know, this woman used to make me eat things like apples and peas and corn on the cob and watermelon and cantaloupe and grapes and green beans. She still cooks dinner for my dad every single night of the week, and the two of them eat like rabbits. Well, like carnivorous rabbits. They have a small chunk of meat most nights, accompanied by two or three vegetables and a salad. My parents are the King and Queen of Vegetables.
I’m not sure where I went wrong with my parents!
Between 3 PM on Friday and 8 PM on Saturday, the boy ate the following: an entire bag of potato chips, one slice of cheese pizza, one baby carrot, three miniature chocolate donuts, three cookies, a glass of milk, twelve cents’ worth of white rice, a powder-sugar donut, a bowl of vanilla pudding, two bowls of chocolate ice cream, a double-chocolate-chunk brownie, and a grilled hamburger that Mam cooked him for dinner.
This morning, we woke up and it was Mother’s Day, and do you know what the very first words were that Hubs spoke to me? He said, “The Red Wings lost last night! Let the team dismantling begin! I am so happy that I saw the Wings crash and burn! I hate the Red Wings! Oh! Happy Mother’s Day!”
Sister and I took my mom to (where else?) Starbucks for breakfast. The boy and Hubs accompanied us. The boy was after more miniature donuts, but, PRAISE THE LORD!! Starbucks had sold out of the donuts by the time we got there, which was at 8:30 this morning! The boy had a low-fat sausage and egg breakfast sandwich!
And then we went to church.
And then we drove up the mountain to a lodge, where we had their Mother’s Day buffet, and…
…it was expensive…
…and also awful.
The buffet spread was huge. The citrus chicken was so dry, you needed your glass of ice water to help swallow it down. The Belgian waffles, which the boy and I were craving on the drive up the mountain, were horrendous. The boy summed it up by saying, “Mom, my waffle tastes and feels like a brick with syrup on it.” The vegetables were over-cooked. Mam had a piece of carrot cake, and the inside wasn’t even fully baked — it was carrot cake dough with cream cheese frosting. And Hubs got a chunk of prime rib that looked like it should have been laying on the highway. I told him, “That looks like a hunk of uncooked animal that’s been hit by a semi.” Hubs replied, “I don’t like my meat gray and tough, like you do.”
After a few bites, Hubs shoved the plate of prime rib away and said, “Wow. That is still cold in the center. Like, still sort of icy-frozen in the center. I’m probably gonna get worms. Even I can’t eat it, and I eat raw meat!”
So yes, we shelled out many, many dollars for lunch, and it wasn’t great at all. But land sakes! We had fun!
And then we came home, and I took a nap!
For one hour!
Because it’s Mother’s Day!
And then we drove out to Miniature Mountain Town, USA (which is twenty odd miles away from Small Town, USA) to visit Hubs’ mama and deliver her gift.
And then, just like that, Mother’s Day weekend was over and done with.
Kind of like this blog post.
And did I mention that the Red Wings lost? And that they are now out of the play-offs? Hubs is so happy. He feels completed on Mother’s Day!
And also? My boy will eat some fruit and vegetables tomorrow. Don’t call the Department of Family Services quite yet…