Friday, July 29, 2011

Cascade Falls

Hey, remember that time we went to Maine and Lula was not tall enough to ride Cascade Falls? Well, our long national nightmare is over.
Yeah, the other photo was funnier.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Lumpyhead's Bedroom Door

When we got back from Maine, Lumpyhead made new signs for his bedroom door and taped them up:
Problems with this:
1. Orthography
He misspelled "Babies."

2. Enforcement
Nathan Jr can't read, so is unlikely to honor the sign. Lula can read, and even understands the intent of the restriction, but is unlikely to care about some stupid sign her brother wrote.

3. Exclusions
Lumpyhead later clarified that the prohibition did not apply to grownups, or to people who live in our house. Since we don't get many non-family girls or babies in the house - certainly none who want to visit his room - it is unclear who he is seeking to keep out with these postings.

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Very Lula Bedtime Story

One night a Very Tired, Very Naughty Little Girl refused to go to sleep.

She demanded seven braids in her very tangled hair, and wiggled through each one.

But after her mother went downstairs to watch the baseball game, the little girl snuck out of her bed. She traipsed through both of her brothers' rooms, waking the boys up. When her mother caught her, the little girl claimed she was "looking for a new book."

She was harshly sent back to her bedroom, and the little girl cried.

"I can't sleep," she complained. "I close my eyes, but they only stay closed for a little while."

Her mother suggested that the Very Tired, Very Naughty Little Girl should think happy thoughts. She could remember all the fun she had in Maine with her cousins the week before. She could imagine what splendid things she would do in the morning, or later in the week. Perhaps she could go to the library. But for now, the Very Tired, Very Naughty Little Girl had to go to sleep.

She was told to think about Big Mama's Beach House, and the excitement in store for her there. The little girl's father suggested that she could swim in the water, or build sand castles, or lie in the hammock.

"I like to drink sweet tea," the Very Tired, Very Naughty Little Girl said happily.

And then she fell asleep.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Independence Day in DC with Kids

"Someday," I have always said. "Someday we will take the kids to see the fireworks on the Mall. Maybe even go to the concert on the Capitol lawn."

Because, why shouldn't we? It's free. We can park in my work lot, a block away from the Capitol. The kids love fireworks. Gramma is in town.

2011, yesterday, was that someday.

If you're considering your own visit to Washington DC's celebration of America's birthday, here are some tips from my first-hand experience. I hope you find them helpful.

Do not, for example, eat dinner at home at six o'clock and then breeze into the city for the 8 pm event.

But I have guaranteed parking nearby.
Yes, but you will still need to drag your entire sweating and complaining family for half-mile, around barricades and fencing, to the security checkpoint.

But the concert is broadcast on big screens, so you don't need to see the stage.
Yes, and the people who have been waiting on the West Lawn all day will have a clear view of the screens. You, and your sweating and complaining family, will not be able to see them. If you move around twice, further back and toward the porta-potties, you might be able to see a little bit of the top of one of them.

Because it's fricken hot in DC in the summer. And it rains. A lot. It rains so much that your initial brilliant idea - attend the dress rehearsal of the concert the night before - will be closed to the public because of dangerous thunderstorms. It is so hot that after one hour your Minnesotan mother will insist that the sweat running into her eye might actually kill her. It will also start to rain lightly during the concert, prompting you and your husband to pull the plug on this whole ill-advised adventure.

But Independence Day is always in July.
I don't know what to tell you about that. I have no solution. Try Canada Day.

Guess how I gained the knowledge that the view was a little better closer to the porta-potties?

Bump's last-minute decision to "try Hains Point" after fleeing the Capitol was inspired. We found easy parking at the golf course, and had an unobstructed view of the very impressive pyrotechnic display.

I heard it was difficult to leave Hains Point after the fireworks are over.
Whoever told you that was lying. It is not difficult. It is absolutely impossible. There is one exit, everyone is trying to use it, and you're at the end of the line. The two firetrucks taking up three lanes of the outbound Fourteenth Street Bridge aren't going to do you any favors, either.

Five minutes into the drive home, he will demand apple juice, chug it, then throw up. He will also be a whiny pain-in-the-ass in general, conning Gramma into carrying him most of the time and fish-flopping through the fireworks.

She will also screw around during the fireworks, insist that they are taking too long, and encourage her little brother to misbehave. Your husband will have to take them both back to the van before the finale. This girl will also complain during the entire hour-and-a-half drive home that your husband is driving too slow and demand to know why you are not home yet.

He will thoroughly enjoy the fireworks show, and authoritatively announce the names of many of the bursts.

"It's a Toy Poodle!"

"That's a Golden Temple."

"Rainbow Star!"

He will declare these things with great conviction, even though he is clearly making that shit up (unless all fireworks coincidentally have the same names as Wii game items and the washable markers he likes to use).

The first words he will say the next morning are "Did you like the fireworks last night, Mama?" and offer that he is patiently waiting a whole year before he can see them again.

But based on his father's clenched-teeth pronouncement of "Remind me never to leave the house again on the Fourth of July," perhaps Lumpyhead shouldn't count on it.