So.  Our weekend.

It really started on Thursday night, when Hubs and the boy and I met Regs and Amy and their families at Taco Bell for dinner, because CLEARLY!  We know what fine dining is all about!

(It’s all about that 99-cent, five-layer burrito, people!)

We had six children between us, and we took up four tables.  It was like eating in the monkey cage at the zoo, as the kids were all PLUM HAPPY to see one another, and they were up out of their seats, and down in their seats, and up out of their seats, and hanging from the rafters.  And then they all wanted MORE!  More nachos!  More burritos!  More sodas!  And they were all about GET THIS LETTUCE OFF MY BURRITO!! and ARE THERE ONIONS IN THIS??  There were eight trips to the Taco Bell bathroom; four times for pottying, and four more times because everyone was sent back to wash their hands.  With water.  And also soap.  By the time we hauled the crew out of Taco Bell, the taco staff behind the counter was waving good-bye to us, and they were smiling broadly and telling us to have a nice evening.

And then!  It was on to the girls’ basketball game between Small Town High and Rival Town High, where we met up with the boy’s friend, Kellen.

Six kids + one more = seven.

Seven kids at a basketball game, where the stands are sold-out and packed tighter than the curls in an Afro, feels like nineteen children.  They were up, they were down.  They made eleventy-nine trips to the concession stand and succeeded in hopping themselves up on Skittles and Milky Ways and popcorn and soda laced with high-fructose corn syrup.  They made paper airplanes, and they climbed to the top of the bleachers, weaving in and out of bodies packed together like sardines, to launch them.  They ran beneath the bleachers and around the bleachers.  They did laps around the concession stand.

Their cheeks were brilliantly red.  They all had sweat-soaked hair.  And they were utterly happy.

And Small Town lost, which made our hearts break, because MY WORD!  We screamed and hollered for Hailey and Noelle and Rachel like a pack of howler monkeys, until we were hoarse and sounded like someone named Edna who smokes thirteen packs of unfiltered Camels a day and eats a bowl of gravel every morning for breakfast.

And that, people, was Thursday night.

Friday rolled around, and there was no school because we had parent-teacher conferences.  Hubs and I met the boy’s teacher at 8:15 in the classroom on Friday morning, where we learned that he’ll probably pass the 4th grade.  Mrs. G informed us that the boy is wonderful and sweet and very adorable, and that she suspects he attends school more for the social aspect than for the education, because his favorite pastime is talking.

She hit the nail right on the head with that one.

As soon as our conference was finished, we zipped across town, scooped up the boy’s good buddy, Enzo, and we hit the open interstate, because ROAD TRIP!!

We drove to Bigger Town, USA, and Hubs and I listened to the boys in the back of the vehicle laugh their heads off for two entire hours.

We went here:

It’s the biggest, grandest water park within a bajillion miles of Small Town, and the boys were plum thrilled.  They launched themselves into all five pools at once and swam for the rest of day.

Yes, people!  They swam all! day! long!

Eventually, somewhere around 2:00 on Friday afternoon, the boys began to realize that low!  Neither one of them had eaten since 7:30 that morning, and THEY WERE STARVING!  The boy, in fact, said, “I think my stomach has started to digest itself, I’m so hungry!”  So Hubs and I bought them Polish sausages and French fries, and we had to keep reminding them, “Chew, boys!  Chew the food!”  Their rather late lunches were completely devoured in less than three minutes, and then it was back to the water and the swimming and the fun.

And then, do you see this staircase?  This ENORMOUSLY HUGE staircase?

Enzo and the boy climbed that staircase twenty-seven thousand and six times, because THAT STAIRCASE is how a paying-customer reaches the top of the water slide.  They walked up those stairs; they ran up those stairs; they carried inner tubes up those stairs.

And do you know what twenty-seven thousand and six times up a staircase like that will do to a couple of 4th graders?  I’ll tell you.  Enzo was coming home with us from the water park to spend the night, and both boys were SOUND ASLEEP, SNORING AND DROOLING ON THEIR PILLOWS at 9:15 PM.  They were too tired to eat their late dinner, which I fixed when we got back home.  I tossed a frozen cheese pizza into the oven, which they’d requested, and when I pulled it out at 8:30 PM, they sat at my kitchen counter and stared at it.  They tried to tell jokes to one another, but their eyes were drooping and they were slurring their words and falling off their barstools.  They looked like college boys who’d thrown back a couple too many shots.  I suggested that they brush their teeth and head for bed, and THEY BOTH GOT UP FROM THE COUNTER, LEAVING UNEATEN PIZZA ON THEIR PLATES, AND DID JUST THAT, because “brushing your teeth” translated into “going to bed,” and they were all over that phrase!

I have petitioned Hubs to build a staircase exactly like this in our backyard, so that boys can climb it twenty-seven thousand and six times when they’re here to spend the night.  It’s more effective than a double dose of NyQuil.

But also?  Enzo told me, right before he conked out cold for the night, “Thank you for taking me to the water park; it was the best day of my entire life!”  And the boy whispered from beneath his covers, “Yeah, Mom.  This day was so awesome!”  Those boys are both keepers.

Of course, by 7 AM on Saturday, both boys were refreshed and recharged and completely ready to bounce around my house like espresso-loaded kangaroos.

Saturday was one of those days when it was storming outside, and we had no place to be.  The boys never got out of their jammies or even combed their hair, and they built gigantic Lego structures for most of the day, while I kicked out the imaginary college boys who had apparently been living in my house and CLEANED THE DAD-GUM THING!  Oh, how I cleaned.  Our poor house hadn’t received much attention this week because of BUSY!  VERY, VERY BUSY!  By noon, Cinderella was exhausted, and the house sparkled and smelled like Vanilla Cream, because I am a Scentsy addict.

Hubs told me that he was going to fire my Scentsy dealer (who is Cody) and get me into treatment.  Little does he know that the spring scents come out on March 1st!  I know this, because my dealer told me, and I told HER, “I will meet you for coffee on March 1st, and we will huff the new tubes of scented wax together.  I’ll make an order.  I just need a new spot to hide my stash, because my kitchen drawer can no longer contain all the wax; my drawer overfloweth.”  She suggested I hide it in the laundry cabinet, which was, of course, brilliant, because Hubs has no idea that we even have a laundry cabinet in our house.  He’s lived here for two years, and he remembers that there was a  laundry room in the original floor plans, and he remembers hooking up a washer and drawer when we first moved in, but he can’t, for the life of him, remember WHERE the laundry facility is actually located here, because he never visits the place.

This morning we woke up to SNOW!  MORE SNOW!  And also a windchill of MINUS TWENTY-FIVE DEGREES!  And I told Hubs, “I am so sick of winter!  I hate winter now!  I am sick of being cold, I am sick of shoveling our driveway, and I want to move to the Sahara Desert.”

Of course, this summer when it’s 108 degrees outside in Small Town, I will probably curse the heat sideways and backwards and pronounce my love for colder days.  I’m fickle like that.

We went to church this morning.  We came home and yanked the boy through some serious homework.  And then we went to Gabe and Jodi’s NASCAR party.

I wore my tube top and brought my foam sleeve to keep my cheap beer cold.

Oh, I jest.

I wasn’t drinking beer!

It was too dang cold outside; Jodi poured me a cup of coffee, and I, in turn, poured a half-gallon of white mocha caramel Coffee Mate into it.  Heaven.

I’d like to say that I understand NASCAR, but I don’t.  All I understand is that men drive really fast around and around in circles, until the one who doesn’t run out of gas, crash his car, or blow all four tires out is pronounced the winner.  After watching two entire laps, I felt like I’d already seen the entire race, so I did what I do best at a party.

I talked to the girls.

And I talked, and I talked, and I talked.  If you don’t actually watch the race, a NASCAR party at Gabe and Jodi’s house is one of the best ways to spend a Sunday afternoon, because of FUN GIRLS.  Plus, Jodi’s newly-adopted daughter from China can now say my name the second she sees me, which makes me want to pinch her and squeeze her, so of course she was an enormous diversion from the race.

Which apparently some twenty-year-old boy won, and all I have to say about that is YAY!  I love when a kid can beat a grown-up!  And then I felt a little pang in my heart, because that twenty-year-old Daytona 500 winner is only nine-and-a-half years older than MY BOY!

And also?  My boy is enormously interested in cars that drive really fast and are capable of spinning cookies in the grassy arena after they win.

Heaven help us!  I just want him to give up his dreams of driving at 185 miles an hour and invent a robot who will drive nice and safe and SLOW for him, and bring in a few million dollars in royalties and pay-outs.

Happy Sunday night, y’all.

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