Family Circus

No one can drive us crazy unless we give them the keys. - Doug Horton

Monday

Sunday at Dad's

My dad and mom were out of town during Easter weekend, so we arranged to get together as a family on Sunday, April 23. That was yesterday. Why am I just now posting about it? I'm just now recovering. What did I do, you ask? Eat. Drink. Make like a lump on a proverbial log. Honestly, what took a lot out of me was laughing at my own children. They were having a great time, fueled by food, gifts and last but not least, WATER.

My daughters have three sets of grandparents, and refer to each by specific names. My dad and (step) mom are: Papa and Rainie[ray-nee]. For some time Papa and Rainie have had a Slip-n-Slide, which they reserve for when grandchildren are present. Until my sister, Kelly, gave birth to Aidan back in November 2005, my daughters were the only wee offspring to enjoy it. Aidan did not play a role in the antics that are in the story to follow, just to set your mind at ease. He's only five months old, so give him at least another month or two. Then Aidan will be ready to wrangle my daughters!

So after we finished our dinner on the patio, my daughters were playing in the backyard (read: chasing each other around and screaming like banshees). I was clearing off the table when my dad asked me if I'd brought a change of clothes for the girls. I hadn't, but my dad reminded me that each of my daughters got new outfits as gifts in their Easter baskets. He asked if what they were wearing was okay to get soaked. I responded by saying, "That's why my kids' clothes come from WalMart!" My dad and my DH set up the slip-n-slide in the backyard, in full view of the adults still sitting at the table on the patio. The slip-n-slide has a small pool at the far end, surrounded by an inflatable cushioned barrier to prevent injury. Of course, the makers of the slip-n-slide were assuming that no child could get enough momentum to fly over the protective barrier by simply running and flinging themselves face-down onto a wet, slippery 100 foot piece of plastic staked to the ground. What they did not predict is that my father and my husband played human bowling with all three girls on the slip-n-slide. Imagine if you will: Each man would take one arm and one leg, count to three, then let go. The girls screamed, slid rapidly to the 'pool' at the far end, jumped out and made a speedy return so they could go again. Yep. They're my kids. Got it from me. What can I say?Rosie is still in diapers, and we did not think of that as a problem until it became so overloaded with water that it began to tear at the velcro closures. Sweet Rosie stood at the end of the slide, realized her predicament, grabbed at the diaper to retain her modesty, and called for 'Mommy'. When I got to her and took it off anyway, she was so relieved. Rosie broke into an open sprint back to the beginning of the slide, looking for the men who had already gone inside!

The water fun was over. While I schlepped the girls through wardrobe change number three (out of street clothes into Princess costumes, then out of costumes into play clothes, then out of wet clothes and back into street clothes) DH loaded the back of the SUV with the Easter booty from Papa and Rainie, pulled up the stakes to the slip-n-slide, placed it to dry (I don't know where exactly) and loaded up the seven and five year olds to hit the road. I was left with a defiant toddler. Rosie was hearing none of this business about leaving for home. Nuh-UH!! Imagine: high-pitched screaming/screeching, her tiny body crashing to the tile floor, bare feet pounding the wall, arms swinging to grab at anything, all the adults (minus DH and Me) marveling at the fury of my two year old. I'll say it again: she's redheaded - on the inside. I scooped Rosie up and carried her to the SUV - feet pointed outward to avoid a nasty kick - plopped her in the carseat and snapped down the restraints. Rosie continued to scream until she realized two things: 1)we were already on the road home, and 2) no one was paying any attention.

As we pulled into the driveway, Rosie was peacefully sawing logs in the third row, with her older sisters showing definite signs of fatigue in the seats just behind me. Who knew having so much fun took so much out of a kid? Yeah, I knew. But I'm not telling them!

CAST & CREW

Erin: 31, Emcee. Witty redhead, handy with a whip.

DH: 30, Strong Man. Comedian, defender of virtue.

Halie: 7, Chimpanzee. Pulls teeth, loves bananas.

Catie: 5, Leaping Lemur. Gentle and cuddly, loves grapes.

Rosie: 2, Cappuccin. Flings poo, loves carrots.

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