after mulling about in all that snow for two days, the weekend proper finally began. friday evening, brian took my firstborn out into the snowy wonderland in an attempt to procure sustenance. they returned with two orders of mai's #72 and imperial rolls. oliver gobbled down his imperial roll with the intensity of a starving badger. then he washed it down with a burrito.
after half the family became prostrate with slumber, the rest of us continued to pretend we were going to clean for our impending houseguest. which means we fell asleep on the couch watching tv, or something along those lines.
then, all of a sudden, it was saturday. i don't know whether or not you've noticed, but we never signed up oliver for another class at the little gym. because we're poor and the little gym is not, as a result of asking for lots and lots of money for its classes. i've had little attacks here and there of feeling really shitty about it, as oliver was having a pretty grand time with it before we stopped and he would periodically mention the little gym. but i also know little gym wasn't meant to last his entire life. and we need to move on to something we can afford to have two children doing. it was a good two and a half year run.
so, we don't have little gym stuck into the middle of our saturdays anymore.
as mentioned previously, this was the day of brian's 36th birthday. he doesn't really care much about birthdays. or any other holiday. so we spent the day with brian vacuuming and mopping while i took the kids to target for toilet paper and the like. we took a break to head on down to birthday central (cosmic cafe) for some lunch. the children were relatively well-behaved and violet had her first go at being in public with the booster seat. she lovingly dropped toys on the floor the whole time. i was pleased to see oliver is now old enough to pet the ceramic cat in the fireplace without habitually removing the loose ornamental ball from one of the pretend cat's bed posts. as promised, i allowed oliver to join me in a piece of chocolate cake. it was the largest piece of cake i've probably ever seen. it's a good thing i shared it. because it made me want to vomit. in a good way. i gave oliver most of the raspberries. brian had the mocha cheesecake and i asked him if he would've been embarrassed had i brought along a lighter and a birthday candle and sung happy birthday to him in a crowded restaurant. he said he would not have. so, i pulled out a lighter and a birthday candle and stuck it in his cheesecake and lit it and sang as quickly and softly as i could, before the restaurant people could yell at me for breaking any fire codes. they might be sensitive about that sort of thing since burning the place partially down a couple of years ago.
after returning home, oliver, violet, and i took a lovingly hand-crafted valentine down to joanne and robert. joanne whipped out that snowman-festooned xmas card again and tried to convince us to take it back. i solidly refused. joanne explained to robert that violet is oliver's sister and then robert went in the condo and came back out with a dollar bill.
when we went back upstairs, the overnighter, jason, had arrived. he and brian were just exiting our bedroom, the one place i made brian guarantee he would not let company see. i practically had him pinky swear on it. and there he was in the first five minutes, showing him around our stacks of crap. he claims he did it because jason said he didn't care about messes. which makes no sense on brian's part.
anyhow. brian made fast work of pulling out this box of old college photos that he's been looking for for the last year or two and which finally showed itself during a recent closet cleaning in living room 2. everytime we would show oliver a photo of brian from his bowl cut/eyeglass days and ask him who it was, oliver would say, "uncle darren." i cannot wait to show uncle darren.
eventually, the boys brushed their teeth and scurried off to the english beat/fishbone show, where they would turn into old men after five hours of standing at a bar table with pain working its way in from the ground up. i held down the fort and put the two children down. two or three times for violet and four or five times for oliver. oliver kept moaning and wailing in his half sleep. i initially thought it was because it managed to get super steamy in there, so i closed the vent and turned on the fan and he would fall back asleep before i could even leave the room. but he kept on fussing. he finally agreed he needed to use the restroom and he felt much better after riding the brown snake.
the following day was sunday. valentine's day. i prepared myself to greet the day and finally got brian to prepare himself to greet the day, while i made buckwheat pancakes for oliver. shaped like hearts. one had an arrow through it. i told him to go show daddy and say, "shot through the heart and you're to blame." he only did one of those things.
eventually, valentine tidings were distributed to all. i had helped oliver make cards for brian, violet, and jason. and, at some point, oliver and brian had made me a card. there were fancy, store-bought cards from us to the kids. oliver's was a large dinosaur. violet's had glitter and rainbows and a unicorn. i had a hard time deciding to give it to her and not to brian.
in honor of it being the day we had originally planned to start violet on sweet potatoes, each child also received a bowl and small plate made of acacia wood and a tiny fork and spoon made of bamboo. bambu. we let loose with oliver and gave him a small cup of vegan gummie hearts and his first chocolate, a whole foods bar of dark chocolate with almonds. i discovered three days later that brian ate all the gummies, except the three or so oliver had managed to get his hands on. despite the fact i had given him a giant tub of animal gummies and two ritter sports. i shamed him thusly for eating a small child's holiday treasure and refilled oliver's cup with cherry hearts from my own secret box. and then hid it.
this doesn't seem right, but i'm almost certain we didn't leave the house for the first part of the day.
i do know that violet passed some air while sitting on my lap on the floor and i casually took a gander to make sure it was harmless, only to see liqui-poo bubbling forth from the top of her diaper and i hollered for brian to helphelphelp and he did and then i looked down to see she had pooped on the crotch of my jeans. the one pair of jeans i fit into. the one pair of jeans i had to wear to the birthday party that afternoon for oliver's friend, elizabeth. i fantasized they would call me beth mcshitpants, or something like that.
it came out for the most part and was between my legs enough to not be obvious. so only i knew how charming i really was.
jason opted for napping on the couch and watching roman holiday while we proceeded to ASI gymnastics for the shindig. there were 5,000 children there. we were told elizabeth wanted oliver to be the only boy there, but her parents informed her there would likely be others. her mother expressed how pleased elizabeth was for him to attend.
the party started off with jumping on these trampolines that were set into the floor. then, they ran the crap out of them on some gym mats and had them intermittently fall down on their faces. then they did a little obstacle course that included a big pit of foam. and they wrapped it up with jumping down this really long trampoline in the floor and swinging out on a monkey swing into the foam pit. i was busy talking to various mothers when someone said, "mommy! mommy! mommy!" it was one of the mothers indicating oliver was making the long, lonely walk across the gym mats with tears running down his face. brian calculated that oliver was upset because he couldn't figure out how to get around the trampoline to the monkey swing. so he took him over there and i missed the whole oliver on the monkey swing part because i am incapable of chatting and paying attention.
oliver shoved an icing-laden piece of birthday cake straight down his piehole for the last chapter of the party. he has never had so much sugar in one day in his life. the mother of classmate nicholas hunted us down and told us how nicholas loves oliver and she said she'd try to score a playdate. we also learned it's not just oliver-elizabeth all the live long day at school. it's oliver-elizabeth-claire. but claire's mom said claire thinks oliver and elizabeth will get married some day, so she recognizes she's the third wheel.
oliver tells me nothing ever.
we went home for a pit stop and then the four of us went out for vday dinner at mango. jason opted to finish watching roman holiday. wise move.
the kids did well enough, but we neglected to bring the booster seat, so brian held violet the entire time. and i did my best to quietly and calmly wrangle oliver the whole time. he was threatening to cross into overtly unsatisfactory behavior toward the end (like spreading his napkin out on the crowded floor to fold it), so we removed ourselves to the car while brian waited for the check.
back home, we put the kids away and brian and jason went to the video store for a million years and returned with humble pie. we sat on the couch with our beers to watch it.
monday was presidents' day, or something like that. i call it oliver-doesn't-go-to-school-again day. as luck would have it, brian had also decided to take a day off. we all loaded up in two cars and went to the galleria so oliver could burn off some steam while brian and jason toodled around and had lunch. oliver decided he was hungry and wanted to leave and then became volatile when he learned he wasn't going back in, as the macaroni was back at our place. there was some lying down on the floor and a little kicking of heels and huffy talking before i could get him to move it peaceably to the car.
brian and jason went to the stained glass supply store before coming home. oliver requested that jason do the honors with the bedtime story. jason emerged saying, "i don't know how you handle having two children." and i told him, "not very well."
jason drove away.
i will spare you by uncharacteristically placing a multitude of photos behind
family portrait, by oliver.
committing a crime.
accidentally dressed like a member of the zissou crew.
exposing the mysteries.
eating the pancakes.
warning! death! :)