Monday, March 21, 2016


Using weekending as a verb makes it sound almost like summering... and suggests that we spent our weekend doing something luxurious.

Which we did.

If by "luxurious," you mean spending eight hours in the car with two small children, taking a big outing to an indoor play place, and meeting the Easter bunny.

It's hard to be as glam as I am.

The girls are keeping up their "good travelers" streak (just enough to get us making summer vacation plans with the kind of confidence that will come back to bite us), although Coco definitely pushes it more than Zuzu does (Zu's freakish pleasantness in the car helps to counterbalance some of life's other challenges). Anyway, they were exhausted from three days of Grammy Time that involved early mornings, slightly-later-than-usual bedtimes, and abbreviated napping, so they literally slept from Wentzville to Independence. David zonked out on the drive also, but I didn't even care because I was listening to Fan Girl by Rainbow Rowell (which I resisted for a while in spite of a trustworthy recommendation because of my snobbery toward both the title and the author's name, but it's so great and it makes me nostalgic for college).

Zuzu was bouncing with excitement at the prospect of seeing her friend EK, and I was looking forward to seeing Monica as well, though I told David that it will be even MORE FUN when we get to have a weekend together without our kids constantly interrupting our intense conversations about milk paint vs. chalk paint and whether we'd rather buy five pairs of Target shoes or one pair of more expensive shoes. I dropped David off with his best friend from college where they would spend all afternoon on Saturday doing their ridiculously elaborate fantasy baseball draft, and then headed on to Monica's.

We let the girls stay up crazy late on Friday (read: almost 10:00pm). They played exciting things like Three Elsas Have a Picnic. The big girls were actually very sweet about including Coco, though she was also pretty content to do her own thing. I hoped my girls would sleep in on Saturday, but of course they didn't, so we met the day at 6:30am.

We had breakfast and then headed to the indoor play place.

I used my mom's facebook page to check in because you got a discount off your admission if you checked in on facebook, and they asked us to post pictures (because free advertising). But in the first five minutes we were there, Coco went down a super fast slide and managed to bonk her face on the side of it. I was slightly alarmed at the way it puffed up (and of course she wouldn't let me hold ice on it), so I took a picture to send David. Somehow, I don't think this was the kind of FB advertising they were looking for...

She rallied after the face bonk and ended up having a good time. Eventually, we left the play place and headed for lunch at a Mexican restaurant. My girls did NOT have their restaurant manners and wanted to eat the snack popcorn Monica had packed instead of actual lunch. I payed $4.99 for a kids meal that Zuzu didn't even TOUCH, except to eat three bites of the soft taco shell (none of the filling). Fortunately, my veggie quesadilla minus the mushrooms was delicious AND there was free cheese dip, so it was still worth it.

I was so sure that the girls would crash after lunch, and Coco and EK did exactly that, but my Zuzu just cannot settle down when she's pumped up. It's not like we had a dark and quiet bedroom (those were occupied by EK and Coco), but I tried to get her to settle down with me on the couch and I told her sleepy stories in my sleepiest voice. I nearly put Monica to sleep, but Zuzu just would not let herself relax. So she played (quietly and happily) through nap time, and then (just as I feared) around 5:00 pm she started to transition into a demon from the hellmouth an overtired preschooler and had a couple of ridiculous altercations and meltdowns while playing with EK.

The upside was that Zu was asleep before 7:30 pm and Monica and I actually had time for uninterrupted conversation about milk paint vs. chalk paint and how to ask people how they store the guns they have in their house and what we'll do if Rhymes-With-Hump actually wins the election and various other topics.

Sunday we headed to Monica's church for the Palm Sunday service, followed by an Easter Egg Hunt and a meet and greet with the Bunny himself.

Zu wouldn't entertain the idea of going to Sunday School without me, so I ended up hanging out in the Sunday School room with her and EK and Coco. It was fine, although Sunday School teachers are truly the most wonderful people in the world because you have to be fun and try to teach the kids something and you can't really be strict or discipline them in any way even if they are total little brats and just being in the room with eight three- and four-year-olds (plus Coco) made me feel tired.

EK just melts my heart because she's really sensitive and she's a total Hermione and she just reminds me of myself. I don't know why Monica's kid is more like me than my own. I was telling my mom how EK just gets so upset if she thinks that a grown-up is upset with her, and then I asked Zuzu how she feels if a grown-up is upset with her.

She thought for a moment and then said, "Hmmm. Happy?"

I don't think she understood the question. Or maybe she did.

The palm parade into the sanctuary was a bit of a fiasco because I had three coats and our big diaper bag and Zuzu and Coco clinging to me and I didn't really know what I was doing or where we were going to be sitting and I wasn't with Monica because she was doing her pastor thing in the baptismal font, but we managed.

Rather than trying to keep the girls quiet during the service (already a bust because Zuzu took advantage of the first quiet moment in the sanctuary to ask loudly in her shrill little voice, "Where is the Easter Bunny?" we headed back upstairs for Playtime Free for All. Coco ruled the sandbox like a little boss, and Zuzu played with a doll house and then sat with EK and me to read books.

It was chilly outside for an Easter Egg hunt, but we made the most of it. Zuzu told David that he could have all of her chocolate, which meant that although she picked up a ton of eggs, after giving away the chocolate, she ended up with three jelly beans, a packet of Starburst, and some stickers. She was totally pleased.

We've never sought out pictures with the Easter Bunny because I always think the costumes are hideous and mildly terrifying (and I'm an adult), but since he was there and there was no line, I decided that I wanted to get a pic of the girls with the Bunny. Of course Coco was having NONE OF THAT, so a nice lady offered to take a picture of all three of us, and this was the best we could do. Hashtag thanks for the memories!

We picked David up after his extensive fantasy baseball draft weekend and the girls slept all the way to Columbia but remained pleasant travelers after waking up from their naps. David drove, so I entertained myself by eating some of Zuzu's Easter candy. We got home early enough for David to get online for another fantasy baseball draft (I wish I were kidding--I keep telling myself that he could have worse habits, but I can't help but think that all this time, effort, and energy could be spent on something far more productive, something that's NOT a FANTASY). I fed the girls dinner, got started on the neverending laundry, then put Coco to bed early so that I could finish writing my Modern Poetry midterm.

This week is David's spring break and a four-day week for me, and then my spring break starts on Friday. I'm ready to have a week off, but I have some projects in mind to keep me busy. I may be experimenting with this milk paint Monica was telling me about...


  1. What did you decide about asking about guns? I totally do that. Never never safe!

    1. Well, Monica and I are both from a rural community where a lot of people hunt. We just talked about how responsible gun owners would not be offended if asked how they store their firearms, and about how an awkward conversation is preferable to a horrible accident. Monica had recently seen a presentation by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and she mentioned that the group emphasized they are not anti-gun any more than MADD is anti-drinking--they just want to insist on responsible choices. I haven't ever dropped Zuzu off for a playdate yet, so this isn't a conversation I've actually had to have. But I definitely will when we get there!

  2. Your kids crack me up. I told Joe the story about ZuZu pooping in your yard on our 11 hour drive (which actually went mostly well aside from Lucas and Matthew being up till 3am and 4am when we stopped in a hotel for the night.)

    I am glad you were able to have a nice visit with your friend! I hope you guys have relaxing spring breaks.

  3. As much as love target, my feet deserve the more expensive shoes. But I can't pick so would say both :)