"do you think the fritter will help?" he asked. i chose not to dive into the many meanings that statement could potentially hold.
unbelievably, the screamer was violet. she doesn't normally engage in such behavior. for that, i am thankful.
i had taken oliver, and violet, on a surprise trip to a new-to-us park... the one next to the spraygrounds on white rock trail where one million children had convened on the last day of school in june.
oliver raced way ahead to the swings and then called back to me periodically to make sure i knew where he was as i waited for violet to tip toe her way across. the wind had kicked up to an irritating degree due to an incoming cold front and leaves and debris were blasting across my face. the little girl who was already at the swings immediately began pushing violet for me. we disembarked and trotted over to the dueling playgrounds. the one with signage indicating an age range of 2-5 would not have held the attention of any child much past the age of 2 for very long. the playground across the sidewalk was for ages 5-12. two of the three slides looked a little terrifying to me.
oliver went quickly up the structure and to the most dangerous-looking one. i was hesitant, but figured he's four and a half years old and surely they wouldn't put something on a playground that could hurt a child just because he's a tad under the recommended age. and i was supervising, like it said. i was standing right there begging him to go slowly. how much more can i really do for a child going down a slide?
it's one of these new-fangled zig-zaggy slides that look like its goal is to cause the child to flip right over its low edges. and then there's a straight, steep shot to the bottom with basically no horizontal "landing pad."
so, as i'm imploring oliver to take it slow for his maiden voyage, he shoots off down it and hits one of the zigs and it rolls him over on to his belly from his bottom and his right cheek slaps down on to it. he arrived at the bottom in short order and i did my best to block him so that he wouldn't be dumped on to the ground. and then he erupted into tears and i imagined sending photos of his bruised face to dallas parks and recreations.
during my google image search for "dangerous slides," i just had a nice walk down old school playground lane. i really miss merry go rounds and would like to try "the maypole". i am dichotomous. always way over here while simultaneously being way over there. too dangerous. not dangerous enough.
anyway. i cut our trip a little short because the wind was starting to give me an earache and i was tired of worrying about oliver falling off the tall, partially-broken rock climbing wall and the possibility that he will forget the slide smack-down and go for round two. i didn't want to think of the kind of upside down, neck-breaking tumble the double-tall curly slide would give him.
the second i put violet into her car seat is when the wailing began. she's got this thing, now that she's finally transitioned to a big kid chair, that her first inclination when being placed in the car is to lean toward the middle to root around in the garbage that's been dragged in there and snuffles and shrieks at me when i try to buckle her in. and yesterday, i guess it turned into good old world war three.
i did my best to ignore it and turned left out of the parking lot because the tiny, unfamiliar road enticed me. i wound up on even tinier residential streets up behind flag pole hill and a white dog on the right took notice and ordered us away. i looked to the left and found a horse. i came around a corner and looked up at the front stoop of a house and thought they had a rather realistic-looking peacock statue, only i saw its head moving slightly. IT WAS A REAL PEACOCK RIGHT THERE ON THE STOOP. i couldn't believe it. and then, i realized it was standing by TWO MORE REAL PEACOCKS. i slowed almost to a stand still before heading around to the other side of the block. where i saw TWO MORE REAL PEACOCKS out in an empty lot. i rolled back up to the original peacock location and one of them just crossed the street all casual like RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY CAR. then back to the other side, but a little farther up the street and there were something like TEN REAL PEACOCKS, a whole flock of them!, covering a front yard. there was a peacock up in the tree! there was a peacock swooping down from the roof!
i spent all this time going, "look, oliver! do you see them!? do you see the peacocks?! RIGHT THERE! do you see them?!" and he was all hazy looking. by the time i was driving out of the little area and past seven more horses, i noticed that he was becoming increasingly unconscious. he had ridden around looking at dogs, horses, and peacocks until he had fallen asleep. and this was my cue to feed my addiction.
violet continued to scream like it was 1999 and Y2K all rolled into one.
it was killing me that all the racket was keeping me from calling brian to tell him i had just driven through some kind of mysterious fantasy land.
violet finally became unconscious 20 seconds after i had the fritter in my hand, so i suppose the barista had been right. a fantasy land fritter. maybe it will cause me to lose ten pounds.
hey! i went back to the gym yesterday morning with violet. i felt winded, but oddly enough barely broke a sweat on the elliptical. i suppose turning off the 100 degree temperatures will do that to a person. the childcare people remembered violet all these many months later and i was informed she did not play, but walked around a little and remained very low-key. she looked low-key when i arrived but belied a certain quiet desperation as she grasped the rainbow-colored swim noodles used to insulate the bars of the child-keeping gate and tried to get to me on the other side. i am hurting a little today.
ps: i never told you how one afternoon last week, i stopped off at that little park overlooking the lake and there were 7 to 10 of those grass-green parakeet parrot kinds of birds just hanging out and picking up seeds with all the blackbirds. that was the day i couldn't get oliver to leave because he was hunting down children to pass out flowers and couldn't get their attention because they were all busy almost falling into the lake.
as long as i'm at it, i suppose i should tell myself that last tuesday night was the end of season soccer party at cici's pizza. or, amy's pizza for oliver. it was a hoot and the kids received bobble-headed trophies. oliver looked like his. brian let violet score two plastic rings out of the plastic ring dispenser and one went to oliver. coach stephen's daughter, brooke, while she had oliver sitting on her lap at one of the arcade games, decided she like it and that heart-shaped rings were for girls and when i asked oliver where his ring was, he said brooke had taken it. at some point, oliver began losing his shit when he couldn't have unlimited dispensing of crap from the dispensers, and caden stole his mom's purse for more money and we thought holy shit things are about to get ugly, and we decided to go and i determined oliver was sad that brooke had his ring and he wanted me to get it from her. i told him he needed to ask her for it and told him what to say and patted him that way. he shyly kept walking up to her, all involved in having gabriella's dad try to fish her a blue dolphin from one of those claw games, and he very quietly said, "brooke, can i have my ring back?" and she would sprint the other direction. and we followed her again and he said, "brooke, can i have my ring back?" and coach stephen swept him up to say goodbye while brooke sprinted away. we followed again and he said, "brooke, can i have my ring back?" and brooke said, "it's shaped like a heart." and i said, "yes, it is. can oliver have it back, please?" and she said, "hearts are for girls." and i said, "i don't think oliver minds. can he please have it back?" and she handed it to him. and then he went and lost it out in my car. it, the ring and not it, his shit. but i was proud of him for asking three times.
i suppose i should stop fucking around on the internet for a little while and do some real world things like cleaning and sewing and making a pilgrim hat and collar out of paper and felt. wish me luck.