Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Summer, Day 1

Yesterday seemed like the first real day of school vacation, since it wasn't a weekend or a holiday or anything. The beginning of a new routine is always a little strange--it feels like more work or more hustle-bustle than it really is. Our day went like this:

I got up at 8:30 to take Laura to her 9:00 swim team practice at the pool. (This will be every weekday until the end of June.) Matt and Hank were still asleep. I dropped her off and went back home to wait for H to wake up (dude is like a teenager--he always sleeps 'til after 9). I dressed Hank and ran back up to the pool without even feeding him breakfast in order to get there when LJ was finished, and we played on the playground for a while.

Then we went straight to Publix (where Chips Ahoy cookies were buy-one-get-one AND there were peelie coupons for 75 cents off each bag, YAY, but that's a different blog). Hank wanted to ride in the big car buggy that is seriously like steering a water buffalo. Back home, the kids chilled in front of some Nick Jr. and I caught up on the latest issue of Vogue instead of folding laundry. The new waking up time was taking its toll on me by this time and I was yawn-y. I know that having a toddler who doesn't get up at the crack of dawn is in itself cause for celebration. It's all a matter of what you are used to, though, and I don't do the mornings around here. (My loving husband did bus duty all year, so this is the start of a REAL vacay for him.)

During H's nap I decided to try to snooze in my room. I told LJ not to bother me unless something was on fire. In the end, she only came into the room twice--once to tell me about a dream she'd had the previous night, and a second time to tell me something that she forgot once she was in my room.

When H woke up, I bundled all of us off to the gym we just joined. Everything in this place is shiny and beautiful. I wanted to try a step class for the first time, which meant taking them to the gym childcare for the first time. I figured that since Laura was with him, Hank would be happy enough. (He did fine and the class kicked my butt.) Then I retrieved the kids and we got changed to go out to the pool. Once we'd spent 15 minutes getting swim diapered and sunscreened, we got out there in time for the pool to be closed due to thunder. Hank's disappointment at seeing the pool, and then being prevented from entering it, was acute. "Come back in 20 minutes," they said. We went to the cafe to kill a little time, then went out to the pool to be denied again. Disappointment: still acute.

Went home, met Matt, left Hank, took Laura to our third pool of the day for her stroke technique class (this is only on Tuesday). She just kept her bathing suit on for twelve straight hours. Her lesson was over at 8pm.

When we got home, Matt had covered his entire back with hydrocortisone cream, because he got sunburned over the weekend and he was experiencing some itching. He begged me to go to the store and find a product that would either stop the itching or render him unconscious. He was describing the itching to me in exquisite detail, apparently suffering the torments of the damned, while simultaneously installing and troubleshooting a 22 inch computer monitor he bought. I had to admire his ability to multitask. While I was cooking and we were having this conversation about the itching, we didn't notice Hank standing in a chair and stomping on a pound of strawberries--basically the way you would stomp them if you were trying to make strawberry wine. I started cleaning up the mess and Matt decided to try putting Hank in time out. We never really were into the Theory and Practice of Time Out, so I dunno where this came from. But Matt whisked Hank over to the white couch and sat him on it. With strawberries all over his feet and legs. Sigh. I succeeded in not being a total crazy person about it. Thanks, Tide Pen. And goodnight, dear children.

I went to Target and got some products for Matt's sunburn. When I came home he was sitting shirtless in front of a box fan and making terrible, miserable noises of misery. But I felt fine and the rest of the evening was very nice.


Anonymous said...

Bec, I think that day may be the 21st century equivalent a "biscuit dough on the ax handle." After June 30, maybe Mom and I can help haul some of the load.


Anonymous said...

Was breakfast comprised of Chips Ahoy? Just wondering,,,

Amy said...

You know what made that a good day? "I went to Target..." Sigh.

LOL about the strawberries! What a cheeky monkey. And Hank is pretty cheeky, too!

Amy said...

BTW, Dad, can you explain the biscuit thingy? Didn't get it. (Sorry for my cultural illiteracy.)

Becky said...

Yes, Amy. Target heals all wounds!

From researching the biscuit reference, it seems that, in days of old, instead of using a leavening agent, biscuit dough would be beaten by hand (often with an ax handle) to create air bubbles in it. Apparently this was a hated chore. I found a really interesting discussion on this (via Google Books) in a book called Black Hunger: Soul Food and America by Doris Witt. On pages 63-65 of her book, Witt says that people in the antebellum south recall the sound of the biscuits being beaten as one of the constant and reassuring parts of the morning, and after slavery, they lamented that "no cooks were left" to make biscuits the old way. Beaten biscuits became a small object of fascination, almost a fetish, in the transformation of economic and psychic life from slave labor to commodity capitalism.

Veronica said...

Wow, I was thinking that sitting down to read this blog would be my equivalent of catching up on Vogue, but apparently it's much more of a learning experience. Love the stories about the biscuits; how can I incorporate that into my 19th c American lit classes?

Becky said...

Sorry about the book learnin', V! Now back to my regularly scheduled fluff. I know you need a break!