Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Weekend That Would Not Die, Part Two

Sunday was as close to restful as the weekend got: we went down to my parents' house to swim in their pool. It's a small pool, and nicely shaded: perfect for letting the boys swim. (Only Firstborn actually swims. Secondborn has been watching him do it and really wants to swim. So he kicks his feet and flails his arms with great abandon, while either my wife or I hold him to keep him from drowning. What the hell, it's exercise.) So we swam for a while, and then Firstborn went inside to play with some toys that my parents had saved from back when I was his age.

We ordered a large pizza for lunch, and I had... one slice. Plus some apple sauce. Secondborn ate two slices, Firstborn ate three(!) slices, and my wife at the rest. Which... I'm guessing everybody was really hungry, because usually if we order a large pizza we'll have at least one slice left over.

Firstborn played quietly while the rest of us napped, and then we cleaned up and got ready to go. Earlier in the day, Beautiful Wife had been trying to get in touch with a friend of hers, who had a couch that she wanted to get rid of. ("Free to anyone who will GET IT OUT OF MY HOUSE!") So, when we left, I went ahead and borrowed my father's pickup, on the off chance that we might actually get a chance to collect a new couch. When we got home, we grilled some steaks and kebabs for dinner. We put the boys down, and then watched Tron: Legacy before going to sleep ourselves.

Monday morning, Independence Day, we went back over to my in-Laws' neighborhood for the parade. Nana and Poppy have a Neighborhood Electric Vehicle - sort of a super-powered golf cart, but street legal - and they'd decorated it for the holiday. So we got to ride along and wave our flag-colored pinwheels and admire the police motorcycle and the firetruck and everyone else. The parade goes down two streets and ends at a sort of private park that belongs to the neighborhood association; there's a pool, tennis courts, a barbecue, a playground, a nice shady spot for horseshoes... it's pretty cool. So at the end of the parade, we grabbed some food from the grill and then fell in the pool. That improved Secondborn's mood immensely, and shortly after that Firstborn's as well.

Firstborn swims like a fish... or, more precisely, like a Water Monster. He can swim all the way across the big neighborhood pool, and he can touch the bottom of the deep end. (9' deep, for anyone who's keeping track.) So at this point, I'm really not worried about him swimming on his own - plus, at the time there were also four lifeguards watching the pool - and yet, even after I got of the water myself, I felt compelled to stand around and watch him. Did you know that "parenting" and "paranoia" come from the same Latin root? (No, not really. I made that up.)

We finished swimming around 1:30, and - after a brief break to update my father-in-law's computer - went to check on my wife's friend and her couch. The couch was ideal: lightweight, easy to move, simple to assemble and disassemble; we were able to load the whole thing into the pickup truck and bring it back to the house in a single trip. Moreover, it's just about perfect for our living room - it's an L-shape, and breaks up the space nicely, plus it gives us a lot more room for lounging. (Our old couch was fine for myself and the Beautiful Wife, but it gets a bit crowded if the boys want to join us. And by "crowded," I mean "Why are these feet resting on my face?") So scoring an ideal new couch for free was full of win and awesome. There was only one problem: the old couch.

Old Couch was not light, nor was it easy to move, nor did it disassemble into convenient pieces. It unfolded into a bed, and it was big, and it was heavy, and I was not looking forward to having it occupy the garage until I could figure out what to do with it. Plus, it was not something that the Beautiful Wife could easily help me move, the way she had with the new couch.

So I called my brother. For a wonder, he and his wife were both home, and both willing to come over and help. Then I called the local Salvation Army center, and found out that not only did they accept furniture at that location, but (miraculously) they were actually open on Independence Day. That gave us about two hours to get the couch over there.

It was more than enough. By the time my brother and his wife arrived, we had the new couch assembled in the living room. My brother and I manhandled the old couch while our wives called directions to make sure we didn't trip on anything. Once we shoved the couch in the pickup, the worst was over. We dropped it off at the Salvation Army, declared victory, and headed home.

Frankly, I'm amazed that we actually managed a one-day game of Musical Couches, especially with no lead time.

Then we all went out to eat.

And then I took Firstborn with me while I ran some errands that I'd been meaning to get to all weekend. I don't think he was terribly interested in the liquor store or the video store, but he had a good time running around and asking me questions - and I bought him a cheap Transformer at Walmart, as a reward for helping out with his brother and cleaning up the toys that were revealed when we moved the Old Couch. That... pretty much made his night. When I looked in on him after bedtime, he was cuddling it in his sleep.

So the errands were basically a very successful bit of father-son bonding. It was bedtime by the time we got back, but Firstborn got to play with his transformer while I bathed Secondborn and got him ready for bed... and then we threw Firstborn in the shower and got him ready for bed, too.

And then I was sitting at my computer, and realizing that while I wasn't really sleepy, I felt drained. And then I caught a glimpse of my shoulders in the mirror and realized why that was: sunburn. Not bad sunburn, but extensive enough to knock my system for a loop. Not that I really needed the help, mind you: a weekend that busy should have been more than sufficient to enervate me all on its own.

So, yeah: can I please have a vacation to help me recover from my vacation?


  1. I'm exhausted from reading all that! Wow, you needed to go back to work just to get a rest, eh?

  2. Pretty much. Fortunately, work was slow. I wasn't good for much.


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