we parked accidentally illegally for free in the cafe brazil parking lot and strolled past the smokers on the tiny bar "patio" next door. they have an actual vegan pizza on the menu. i ordered the smallest at 19 inches. oliver picked out our booth and the waitress brought us our plates... pizza pans. and i knew we were going to be in trouble with the size of our pizza. i kind of hadn't truly understood the naming of the place, but it turns out they really mean the serious part. (and the pizza part.) their facebook page has pictures of them holding slices almost as big as they are and people joke in the comments that perhaps elves had invaded the kitchen.
the waitress brought out little containers of pineapple for oliver and violet and told me how cute they are and i was pretty much sold. smart people. business owners pay attention here. deep ellum is a party neighborhood at night and night was beginning to approach, so i was glad the vibe was more adoring of the children, rather than astonished by the mother. because the darkness made me all of a sudden feel like maybe we weren't supposed to be there. the crowd began growing and shifting a little.
we were able to catch them tossing the crusts a couple of times, which is what i had been hoping would help occupy the children's attention. and holy shit, the crusts were enormous.
the pizza arrived. IT WAS HUGE. oliver lit into it and finished two pieces. violet picked at it and let me feed her a piece with the mushrooms hidden from view. it was good times. oliver was well-behaved and violet has entered her ornery phase, so she did end the night lying on the floor, but hey. we were in deep ellum. i returned to the counter before leaving to grab brian's salad and the person handing it to me (who was not the person who had taken our order), mentioned we probably wouldn't want the parmesan and i was in love. that is some service right there.
oliver was consumed with stomping on cigarette butts on the sidewalk outside and we had pot fumes for dessert on our way back through the parking lot.
the next day, saturday, was the big one in october. FAIR DAY. god, help us all. we were blessed, above and beyond all the other unblessed masses, with weather not too hot and not too cold and threatening of rain without delivering it. we pulled into the first street spot we found and that was $15 in our pockets plus some calories burned. we kind of bungled it up by getting there later than intended. i decided the kids were old enough to go in the late afternoon and leave after all the lights had come on. and, of course, that meant we got there later than anticipated. it's how we operate. the more time we give ourselves, the later we will manage to be.
so, we did not get to see a single show. no birds of the world or backyard circus or chinese acrobats. first stop, as always, was big tex. i like to pump oliver up by the esplanade. WHO DO YOU THINK IS AROUND THE CORNER, CAN YOU GUESS!? and then, there is his idol.
we pushed on down through the midway and boy is it loud and chaotic there. we let oliver check out the kiddie rides and he was rather quiet and pensive. he wasn't so sure about those flying elephants and settled on the rollercoasting mouse. i stood with violet and watched her try to scale the little, iron fence. she's real big these days on trying to bust her way on to rides so that she can freak out and have to be removed from them, not to be dissuaded from doing it again and again.
we spent a lot of time trying to get oliver to tell us what he wanted to ride, to no avail. last year, he and brian went on that incredibly big boy ride, the "miniature" hang glider. and i decided this year was my turn. I wanted on that hang gliding ride. i'm not a ride person at all, by the way. but oliver refused. he wanted to take a spin on the inappropriately-themed bear affair. brian loaded both children into a bear where they were later flanked by a mother and son. and off the bears went. violet looked mildly puny, but managed a few smiles.
the teeny tiny swing ride was behind the hang glider ride and violet was trying with desperation to get someone to help her scale the barrier fence and we were like, ah shit. i don't know. and we watched the ride take off and this little boy wailing and going around in circles and we were like, ah shit. that would be our kid. and brian said he noticed the ride operator looking at a woman to see if she should stop the ride and the mom said no. so we at least knew we could get her out of there and we broke down and brian stuck her in a swing and said, "look! there's mommy right there!" and i waved for all i was worth from a yard and a half away and violet's look went quickly from HOT DOG to WHAT? and the ride started and she came around that first time and the child in my camera's viewfinder was The Wailer. and we stopped the whole shebang and got her out of there.
i think this is where oliver grew hungry. we found some tables and passed around sandwiches and apples and a surprising ear of corn. surprising because brian does not like having food between his teeth for even a moment.
i decided this year to save us something like $14 and a bucket of ride anxiety by shipping brian and oliver off to ride the deathcabs(skycabs) while i tried to hopelessly entertain violet. and so they did that while we watched The Crazy Mouse and tried not to shred the potted plants.
i took the kids on the carousel. oliver chose Duke and violet wound up on Goldie. violet and i had a tousle when it was time for her to dismount. it was dark and the sky was looking pretty foreboding and i realized we might be killed by lightning at the top of the texas star if we didn't get moving, so we took off and rounded the corner and saw the line stretching way on down the sidewalk before you even get to the endless human maze. fortunately, it was trucking along pretty good the whole time and getting dizzier as the maze turns grew closer and closer and then bam! you're on that platform and the ferris wheel is looming way the hell over you and you're thinking, am i crazy? but you are trapped. the only way back is to go forward, if you know what i'm saying. you have to take the haunted ferry ride to win the chocolate factory, if you know what i mean.
violet has entered her ornery phase and she spent a good deal of our time in line pushing and pinching and biting oliver.
and these only show the lower half.
we got our own car and oliver stayed in his seat, as requested, which meant it was violet's time to be the kid who sits on the forbidden step next to the cage door. we weren't whipped around by crazy winds or a freak thunderstorm or anything, so i was free to concentrate 100% on the gut feeling that our car was about to break free from its holdings and plummet us to our deaths the closer we got to the top. it really scares the fuck out of me. my whole body can feel the adrenaline-doused, impending tragedy.
we saw all the sparkly and rainbow-colored lights as promised and then we were back to the safety of the filth-soaked ground. that's when i talked oliver into the hang glider, having quickly forgotten my ferris wheel lessons. hey, it's just a kid's ride, right?
oliver picked our carriage and he chose the outer pod and i helped him up and then managed my way up on to mine and made faces and mouthed things at brian on the other side of the fence like, "WHAT AM I DOING? HELP ME?!" and i would tell myself, "bah. it's just a kid's ride. it will be like conquering anxiety on the tortuga express at bahama beach."
and then that shit started up.
snap! my eyes went shut pretty damn early on and i was searching wildly for my calm place. i briefly recalled how i don't like going in circles and wondered what the fuck to do about that. and then i heard some squeaks and remembered my fear of carnival ride screws coming loose and the pieces dismantling mid-flight. i concentrated on bouncing UP and falling DOWN. over and over again for eternity. hey, that's okay, what. i finally got comfortable enough to open my eyes AND HOLY FUCKING FUCK that was a mistake. jesus christ we were shooting unbelievably high up and spinning so fast i couldn't see straight for even a second. i tried once more, but jesus bad idea. i couldn't even check to see if oliver was okay. i just hung on to the back of his pants so he wouldn't fly off of there and accepted that ocular input was one too many sensory layers.
after a couple of years, i could feel the ride slowing. i felt like i was going to have a heart attack or pass out or have jelly legs or something very dramatic. and brian was completely immune to the fact that i had just had an otherworldly experience. he just wanted to get out of there.
violet got super pissed because we walked by the gigantic corkscrew funhouse exit slide and i wouldn't let her climb up it and get kicked in the face by an exitee and so that was that. big meltdown. we put oliver in the stroller to get down the midway and she sure as shootin' didn't like him touching her stroller either, by god. and i was carrying this crying, screaming, writhing, kicking, flailing mess down the crowded sidewalk saying things to her to let passersby know i knew it was bedtime and i wasn't just a fair-loving monster mom on her way to the looping rollercoaster. i was having flashbacks of exiting a state fair several years ago in the exact same fashion, but with a writhing oliver. we stopped for two seconds by big tex because oliver was finally ready to have his picture taken and we even managed to push him up on the photo rock. and we paused halfway to the corner of the esplanade to turn and tell him goodbye. big tex, not oliver. though wouldn't that be funny if we had made it all the way home with big tex instead of oliver? wouldn't it?!
we caught a couple of the fireworks shooting up from the light show and saw the fountains all lit up red. and we survived.
[written that sunday]
after returning home, we were pretty impressed to find violet still wearing a dry diaper. she sat on the potty and sploosh! and a little later, she got all distressed in her underpants and we slapped her back on the potty and ploop! and a little later, more distress and ploop again! victories abounding. and THEN. as i was in the bathroom with her for the second poop, i went to wipe her behind, which put my face in closer proximity to the potty chair, at which point, i noticed her poop was, it was, oh my dear god, it was ... MOVING. and the longer i looked, the more... IT MOVED.
i made a very shaken and distressed sounding, "oh my god. brian..." and i could tell he probably thought she was bleeding out in there. and though the words did not want to continue out of my horror-stricken mouth, i forced myself to continue with the good news that she wasn't dying, she just had... WORMS.
MY SEVENTH GRADE PARASITIC WORM SECTION IN SCIENCE NIGHTMARE HAD FINALLY COME TRUE.
i think i've even posted a copy of that pinworm educational material on here previously and discussed my fear. i think i even taped my buttocks one night, so convinced i was that i had every single parasite that was presented to us. when you google pinworms, you might read something like: At night, the pregnant female migrates from the colon, out through the child's anus and onto the skin of the buttocks. There she violently expels all of her eggs and then dies. Some of the eggs become airborne and land elsewhere in the child's room, but the great majority of the fertilized eggs stay on the skin of the child's buttocks. The eggs mature within six hours of being laid. oh my god! and ps, it seems that might be the source of those weird once a month, middle of the night episodes violet has been having where she wakes up a couple of hours after bedtime screaming and hanging on to her crotch. that cream from the doctor was a hoax! it was worms losing their way back to the anus! oh my god!
i know what i'm going to wear for halloween! my exposed anus! anuses alive! (edit: i didn't wear this for halloween after all.)
actually, i just inspected my first discharge since the news broke... through horror fingers. vacillating between not wanting to see what might be there, but also wanting to confirm what might not be there. what a predicament. the more i didn't see, the more i could look. no swimmers identified. regardless, i couldn't stand the phantom anal itching i've been experiencing in the interim and finally chugged some of the sickly sweet, banana-ish pinworm medication brian had gone out to purchase post-haste. it said PINWORM right there on the front of the box in two languages. poor checkout clerks being burdened with the knowledge of touching what they know the pinworm people have touched.
i asked brian last night if he wanted to rub my bare bottom. he said, in a minute. i fell asleep pretty quickly, so i don't know if he ever did or not.
it's a week later and i guess all that weather changing chafing my lips and the stress of making halloween costumes and the fact that two days ago i thought about how every time i think of how it's been a long time since i've had a cold sore i get a cold sore two days later... gave me a gigantic cold sore on the upper right quadrant of my lips. this morning, it was in the hideously swollen phase. i was luckily late to school and hid my face as much as possible.
WORMS AND FACE HERPES. A PLAGUE, OR TWO, UPON OUR HOUSE.