But weekends also remain a time for fun, for family and friends, for all kinds of Good Stuff... and the past couple of weekends have been especially busy.
Two weeks back, AJ had to work on Saturday and our folks had someplace to be, so once again I had the Pipsqueak over at my place for a while. We didn't use the playground this time, but we did puzzles and stuck stickers on paper and drew pictures and -- possibly most important in the Pipqueak's view -- had a snack (two cheesesticks, a triangle of soft cheese, and half a pack of cheesy peanut butter crackers disappeared in slightly under seven minutes). We were all able to get together a bit earlier than last time, so Miri missed her Mickey D's (the ONLY meat she will eat are Chicken McNuggets, if someone can figure out why please let me know) but we had a nice dinner out as a family. Of course, since le Maison Chez Ronald was out, we let the Pipsqueak help choose where we'd eat -- and it turned out she didn't care where we ate as long as they had pizza! (A girrl after me own hearrt, she is...) The Italian place near AJ includes pizza, so we caravaned on over and had a pretty good feed. As far as the Pipsqueak was concerned, the bestest thing of all was that their kids' menu includes a small personal pizza, so she was happy... so happy, in fact, that she used my iPhone to take several photos of her dinner! (I've only included one, but I thought it was actually pretty artistic as far as smartphone camera closeups of food by a four-year-old go...)
Our next weekend activity was something I had not planned on: the agricultural festival up-county. It seems that AJ & Miri and our folks had planned on it, and made arrangements to meet a friend there (the Pipsqueak's BFF "S" and her mom). However, after a couple of, "Isn't Uncle Brian coming with us?" comments from my niece, I was awakened by a phone call -- and how could I turn down an invitation like that? Despite being a little fuzzy around the edges, I had fun, even managing to keep up with the girls in the corn maze. (Dude, maybe you should call it a maize maze?!?)
|The girls head off to the hayride, grownups in tow...|
|Although at first he couldn't shift the tractor out of neutral (it took 3 guys to figure out how to do that!), our driver for the hayride was a pretty cool guy. I mean, just look at that sombrero!|
|They girls set out to get us lost in the corn maze|
(and succeeded admirably)
|It's been so long since I saw corn growing up close, I'd forgotten about all the cool colors...!|
The really big deal, though, came last weekend, when I found myself (with AJ, our folks, and of course the Pipsqueak) in a theater full of families with little kids. Full of little kids as in, tug rats outnumbering the rugs... the adults... cars on the street outside...
And why? Because we got to see The Wiggles live onstage!
Okay, I can hear the cries of anguish from the purists, it's the "new" Wiggles as opposed to the "old" Wiggles... but it was THE WIGGLES and they were performing live onstage and that was all the Pipsqueak really cared about. The first, paintive, "Where are the Wiggles?" was asked only about five minutes after leaving the house, and was heard repeatedly (and I do mean repeatedly) right up until the first appearance onstage by a member of the troupe, but in reality we all enjoyed the show and sang along with pretty much every song. There were even a few comments & jokes slipped in for all the grownups in the audience, and everybody admired the way three people became the famous Big Red Car (it was explained that the actual car wouldn't fit through the doorway onto the stage). There was some extra chuckling when an apparent ad-lib had Emma dancing Gungam Style instead of the expected waltz, but one of the biggest laughs came with the comment about one of their favorite things to do in DC was visit the White House... when it was open... I think that even the kids got that one!
So there you have them, a couple of busy-fun weekends. There's some less pleasant "stuff" (which I won't go into in detail) looming on the horizon, so the next few weekends are likely to be a bit less fun, but we're all still planning on the usual Ocean City retreat for AJ's social work conference in November, so that's something for us to look forward to.
But before I go, the post's title refers to a couple of "bonuses" so here they are...
1) Grandma & Grandpa picked the Pipsqueak up at daycare and were driving home in heavy traffic, with the radio playing and my niece talking without taking her thumb out of her mouth... resulting in the following exchange:
Pipsqueak: [mumble mumble]
Grandma: I'm sorry Honey Bunny, what did you say?
P: [mumble mumble]
G: I'm sorry, I still didn't hear you, ask me again...
P: [MUMBLE MUMBLE MUMBLE]
G: I'm sorry, Honey, but I really can't hear what you're saying.
P (loudly & clearly): Grandma, you need earmuffs!
P (sounding exasperated): Grandma, you need to get some earmuffs so you can hear me better!
2) For some odd reason, the Pipsqueak will only take a bath if Grandma is there to watch. Grandma cannot actually do the bathing -- that's Mommy's job! -- but she must be present or no bath occurs... thus she was able to relay the following sample conversation to me:
Mommy: Miri, please get into the tub.
Pipsqueak: But it's too hot!
M (checking the water temperature): No, it's not hot, see? I can put my hand in. Now please sit down so you can take your bath.
P: No, it's too hot!
M: No, it's not. I have my hand in the water and there's no problem.
P (standing up tall with hands on hips): Well, I have my foot in the water and there is a problem!
Have I mentioned that I fear my niece as a teenager?
'til next time...