we finished out yesterday loading up our pizza picnic and all of oliver's presents and rolling on down to lovers lane. i tried to keep us in the car and out of the heat for a bit since brian was running late. but kids do not like to be still. they just don't. and when they don't like something, there is generally hell to pay. welcome to parenthood.
this place is in highland park, the vatican city of dallas. it is posh and prissy. i watched a lady amble across the grass and sidewalks with three children on their way to the highland park residents only water playland. she was wearing stilettos. really now. heels to the public pool.
i finally hauled us out of the car into what i thought was going to be the overbearing one hundred full degrees of heat, only to find out it was rather pleasant in the shade. as long as your skins weren't touching.
brian showed up a few minutes later and everyone started cramming pizza into their faces. as scheduled, oliver said he needed to poop. as expected, he did not poop in the porta-potty. oliver was quite anxious to navigate the required activities leading to his piece of vegan cookies and cream cake from whole foods. one of those obstacles was the opening for gifts. he was already wearing his birthday stegasaurus tshirt and opened up his horse head tshirt and buddha tshirt, which he called a tshirt with a lady on it.
i try to find gifts for my children that you won't find during the saturday morning cartoon commercials. which always makes me feel like i must be the worst mom ever when it finally comes down to the actual gift-giving moment. i'm depriving my son of the rock 'em sock 'em robots of the future. he won't be able to joyously scour ebay and flea markets for the popular treasures of his past. maybe that's a good thing. but i often think of the time when my good friend since high school, christie, told me she knew none of the songs from the 70s, since her parents didn't listen to the radio. it probably bothered me more than it bothered her.
anyhow. we plugged through all the accoutrements for making my son a crafty kid. the peg loom, the french knitting mushroom, the vintage vera butterfly latch hook. he also got a stack of books, three of which are geared toward finding his zen. one of them i really like already for both of us, anh and his anger. another book to help explain why we eat like we do, since he's getting to an age where he actually understands a little when i try to tell him these things. there was also the new, less sturdy rubik's snake because i thought it might have more of a zingo factor than the peg loom.
he finally got into the cake. it was too breezy to even think of lighting a candle, so we lit it five times when we got home. my lemon blueberry cake was so frosting heavy, even i couldn't finish the whole thing. thought i might vomit. then, i thought i might vomit again later last night when i did finish it. brian stuck with his dainty hail merry lemon tart and violet scarfed down strawberry slices and animal crackers. no choking this time. oh, she completely blocked her airway with a piece of strawberry at the spraygrounds last week. had to knock it back out of her. i'm thinking of putting my family on a diet to help with all the choking.
after playing for a bit on the playground, we arrived back home nice and late to see our downstairs neighbor, liz, coming out her back gate. i asked her if she had gotten her leaky a/c fixed and she said the ceiling had caved in over her shower. and brian and i put looks on our faces and say oh my god. we just had someone come out to look at our shower and tell us our drain pan is cracked and to stop using the shower. so we're all off in the purple tub now, where i've never ever showered before. and liz says it's over her master bath. and brian and i put looks on our faces and say oh my god. that's the purple tub bathroom. and now we have TWO bathrooms to fix and NO bathrooms in which to clean ourselves. why, brian's over at the Y right now showering. the Y! it's like we're living in a movie from the 70s where people actually live at the Y. i'm driving the kids all the way to my sister's in mansfield tomorrow after swim lessons just so we can be clean again. i'm going to have to remember how to wash my hair in the sink.
violet spent one thousand hours wailing her head off going down for the night, as they'd had these super late naps and then were going down late. brian had hours worth of work to do and sat with her while i read three of oliver's new books to him and man i didn't realize how long they were when i made that promise. i was whispering by the end. we practiced our deep breathing, five breaths to commemorate the occasion. by the way, deep breathing really does do a number on relaxation. try it. right now.
violet slept for a good two seconds and then spent one thousand more years acting like the apocalypse was coming in september. i finally handed her her sports bottle thing and she flapped down on her bed and went to sleep. and then woke up and went to sleep. and woke up and went to sleep. at least she had stopped crying. she just jibber jabbed in between and sucked on her bottle.
oh, and that swimming thing with the head being forced underwater. oliver's body language poolside seemed pretty obvious that he was freaking the fuck out. it looked like he was actually turning away from his teacher like he was being beaten after the first two times. that was when i almost got up and went out there. after class he was like, oh yeah. fun class. but then, he would look away and kind of squirm and do that half smile made out of plastic thing that makes me really feel he's holding back. i tried to address it with him on the way back from the park and again before tucking him in with the same response. going from chatter to nothing. i was having to walk that fine line of getting him to tell me what's wrong without putting ideas in his head that might not already be in there. he finally said he didn't like putting his face in the water (or, having his face pushed in the water). he didn't want to tell his teacher and said he wanted me to tell him. i tried to convince him that it's okay to stand up for what he wants or doesn't want and that he can come to us as well. long rows.
so, this morning, i told his teacher, sean, that oliver was kind of super freaked out by it and could we continue with the curriculum minus the face in the water because i really don't care if he never puts his face in the water. shit. i don't swim my face in the water, so i'm not going to expect or require my five year old to do it. we're there to have fun and pick up a skill or two along the way. not build pathways in his brain that lead straight to psychotherapy. i keep thinking of that new freaky eaters episode i saw this week where the woman was addicted to cheesey potatoes. pick up a copy. it's a hoot.
after swim lessons and out in the car, he still seemed kind of weird and squirmy and kind of looked like he wanted to cry, but he wasn't talking about it. so we went to michael's and purchased a latch hook tool because he was not leaving me alone for even two seconds for want of making a rug we could wipe our muddy feet on. unfortunately, i had to make the french knitting mushroom snake on my own this morning. i guess they really do mean it when they say it's for 6+ years.
anyhow. on our way back into the condo, we met Jeff Whittington's Tile Guy. he had just finished checking out the shower. we have another guy coming out this afternoon. tomorrow, there will be the insurance adjuster, the leaky tub people (who will tear a hole in our dining room wall and how will we get that repainted in the same color), the oven temperature panel people, and the environment-saving people (who are supposed to do something like check for air leaks and do something to our attic and i really don't know what all else, but they're doing it for free for whoever in the complex wants it and so now everything from our attic is down here and i am about to drown in the mess of it). if the freezer people decide to call back, and i have my doubts after reading a review of them on the internet, i will have to reschedule them so there's no chance of them getting there at the same time as the oven people, as my kitchen is very small. i think we have other people scheduled for other things, but my head has gotten too full. vet on saturday. family party in our condo from hell in 1.5 weeks.