This is the first week all three kids have been home. It’s been completely unstructured and unscheduled, which has been nice. The younger children have been watching way too much TV, so I made a poorly thought-out rule that they could only watch two half-hour shows a day. They’re still spending too much time in the basement playing Wii, which I haven’t yet regulated because it’s nice having the main floor to myself, especially since I’ve had a heavy workload this week. But I did pull the children out of the cellar, made them (and myself) get dressed, and took them on errands with me yesterday. This is something I haven’t done much since Chloe reached the magical babysitting age. Our errand outing was actually kind of fun, despite me and the kids getting in trouble at Scholar’s Choice. The kids were jumping on the pogo sticks in the store, which I understand the store employees might not like, but:
a) There were no other people around and the kids were doing it carefully – Chloe was holding onto Neve’s pogo stick to keep it steady.
b) It’s a toy store … it’s natural to test a toy before you buy it (which of course we weren’t going to. But still.)
c) I was standing RIGHT there, watching them.
d) Most of all, the sales lady was so rude and condescending about it.
I wish I’d thought of a witty comeback, but I couldn’t think of one that didn’t involve me hitting her with the pogo stick. That might have been satisfying, but not so much witty. Then we went to Costco, where they had food samples in every aisle. They don’t let kids take a sample without an adult present, so at the sausage sample table, Spencer waited for me. When I got there, he reached for a one, the lady said, “Hey, who are you with?” I said, “He’s with me.” (There were no other people near us.) So she grudgingly let him take one. Then Neve reached for one and she snapped the same thing at her. So I said, “She’s with me! These are all mine! I have THREE!” It was maybe a little louder and ruder than I intended (or maybe not) but she was quiet after that. And we all took our sausage samples (except Chloe) and I didn’t even say thank you. I’m sure I taught her a valuable lesson. She’s probably blogging right now about the rude mother who was dressed like a homeless person and her gang of vagrant children.
After the errands, I was getting ready to take the kids to Birds Hill to meet my parents who were camping there. I was trying to fit our bikes into the van, which involved bringing them up from the basement and trying to scrunch them up into the back of the van. The bikes are heavy and I was grumpy. When I opened the door, it got stuck on the spring or something and it smashed back on my forehead very hard. Once I could stand again, I carried on and have been popping Advils ever since.
We had a very nice time at Birds Hill; my parents (mom) cooked us a delicious garden-fresh supper, some of us went for a bike ride, and the kids swam. They rode to and from the beach in the back of the pickup truck, which was their dream come true. Before heading home, we sat by the fire and drank hot chocolate. It felt like a little mini-holiday.
|Neve eating one of many, many plums, which resulted in many, many bathroom visits today.|
|My mom handing out hot chocolate|
|I've been using my new lens - can you tell the difference? I can't really either. But I'll figure it out.|
It was just a taste of what’s to come tomorrow – we’re going to Rushing River for a few days. Our camping is a lot more rustic than my parents’ camping, so I’m desperately hoping that the rain will stop before we leave. I enjoy camping when it’s nice weather, but am not prepared for rain. The Weather Network is promising me sunshine, so I’ll hope for the best.
I’ve been packing all day, except for work and a little excursion. A few weeks ago I told Spencer I’d take him downtown one rainy day and show him all the walkways that connect downtown. It’s the first thing he thought of when he woke up and saw the rain today and he was so excited that I didn’t have the heart to say no. We took the bus to The Bay, walked through the skywalks and underground until the Grain Exchange Building and took the bus home. Spencer was so impressed that he has now ranked Winnipeg as his third favourite city in Canada. And just for that, I’m calling my day a success, headache and all.