friday was a day oliver had been SUPER EXCITED about: Birthday Bread Day. he was given a crown to color and wear at school and all the children ate bread from the school bread machine with VEGAN BUTTER. i reckon there was jam involved as well. he also got to blow out seven candles... six for the number of years he will be, as well as the candle they light at lunch. such ambience at that school.
the following day, we met my parents and cousins mara and don down the street at ozona. the weather was just tolerable enough for sitting on the expansive deck out front. margaritas and guacamole went into my gullet. oliver, having grown envious of violet's ponytails, wore three of his own, which loosened themselves as the lunch wore on. daddy always gives me a look when i indulge oliver's ponytail fascination. please, sir. i have photos of you in skirts. besides, oliver has excellent hair and facial structure for ponytailing.
after, we drove the long way on up to mara and donnie's, passing by a house we had wanted to purchase and digging around for a starbucks while the kids napped. after finally arriving, we visited their new patio and let the kids rummage through toy treasure chest. oliver is quite smitten with this board game called WebSpeak, but no one ever gets around to reading the directions.
sunday was a cook out at marianne's, except we decided to skip the cooking out part and just eat beans and salad and vegan chocolate torte slices with homemade vegan strawberry ice cream. claire's pool was all blown up and filled and the three kids hopped in. claire and oliver tore it up out there, but violet became heartbroken every time a little water splashed on to her back or hair. she would wail and want out, so she spent most of her time doing other things. oliver cut his foot and marianne offered a selection of bandaids, to which he would only point. she gave him the hello kitty one and he later confessed to me he had wanted the one with princesses. i told him he could have picked any one and why did he like the princesses, followed by a brief explanation of how princesses are worthless, being born or married into the role instead of working hard to achieve it. and he said they have powers and i remembered he was really talking about disney fairies.
on monday, we started off by taking too long to get ready and then going to whole foods for a big shopping trip. hey, blueberries and strawberries on sale! the non-poisoned kind! i picked up three boxes and resisted my longings for the pineapple and oliver's longings for the coconut, which he claims is actually made of coconut milk. he knows many things and i dare any one of you to try and convince him otherwise.
children ate macaroni for lunch and adults ate old asparagus and withering cauliflower. children refused to take naps. oliver kept falling out of his room. violet, who has mastered the art of delaying slumber, experienced tough love when she chose to nap in her crib and had to remain there when she changed her mind. except, brian eventually went in there and gave her a reward for hollering by moving her to our bed. that'll make naptime this summer easier for me!
after we relented on oliver's siesta, the two of them decided to dismantle the closet in the back living room. they inflated the pool alligator with a pump! a pump that fills the air with really stinky air! we had made promises to take the kids swimming! first of the season!
violet got up and everyone put on suits and children put on life vests and i dug out tiny flip flops and took down some beach towels and violet had the infant float and oliver had the gigantic alligator and we plodded down to the far end of the courtyard and helped ourselves through the gate and, as i feared, the water looked a bit cloudy. i assume it's from where they've been drilling holes into the concreted the past two weeks for the purpose of injecting stuff under the pavement to raise it back up and repair the job they did replacing it in the first place two years ago and that made lots of dust, i saw it every day, and, i'll be frank with you, i was not thrilled with the idea of my children taking in multiple gulps of cement water.
would you take a look at that big sentence up there.
plus, the pool was doing this thing it did once last summer where the water level is lower than it should be and the jets are kind of glugging and sputtering and it just don't seem right. and no one else was out there either, not that i take for granted that everyone else has as highly-developed a level of common sense as we.
brian said, hey, let's go to the spraygrounds and we left the pool. we went upstairs, dropped inflatables, took off life vests, grabbed water bottles and granola bars and went to the car. i had some misgivings as the spraygrounds just opened for the season and they're normally madness on the weekends and it was also memorial day and brian informed me there are only something like three public pools still open in the dallas parks and recreation circuit, so i was a little frightened. for some reason, i thought the far away spraygrounds might yield better results than the one down the street from us, and it has shady spots next to and on the spraygrounds.
we managed to find it and holy shit. children were packed like sardines around each and every water feature. we hightailed it out of there and drove all the way back to the one by us and crap. we forgot they've had that whole place roped off for some inexplicable construction for months now, and there was nothing but a large, scratchy dog stuck back behind the bright orange plastic fencing.
i had a brilliant, if trashy, idea. since the little manmade modern pond at the main street garden park downtown was kind of far at this point in our day, i drove us over to the shopping center where whole foods is. they have these dancing fountains that go up and down the middle of these stairs and at the very top and very bottom, they have those surprise jets that shoot straight up out of the ground.
hey, it wasn't likely to be crowded and we could pee at whole foods and get dinner from the hot food bar. maybe even get arrested by mall security.
we pulled up and i hopped out of the car to find the ground wet, but no fountains running. unbelievable.
four tries. four fails.
brian made promises to take children swimming while he was off last week (and failed to deliver) and we went back home to put pants on violet and drove to cosmic cafe. the children have actually been eating off the menu the past several times, splitting this incredibly, distressingly messy sandwich of melty peanut butter, honey, and banana slices on naan, a notoriously unabsorbent bread, as well as splitting a cup of dahl soup, with additional naan triangles. oliver requests extra naan, as he remains unconvinced his sandwich comes on naan. he knows many things you and i do not know.
on the access road to get on the highway to go to dinner, we were mildly alarmed to see heaps of media vans and a fleet of police cars blocking off the turn to SMU, as well as a police car on multiple overpasses to the south. our smart phones told us a carjacking suspect had broken into the construction site at 11am, climbed a 150 foot crane, and barricaded himself in there. he greased the exterior and claimed to have a gun. there was no way to communicate with him beyond rudimentary hand signals. he stayed up there all fucking day and into the night, sweating and vomiting. eventually, around 1am, he climbed out there and dangled from the crane for a bit before dropping. to his death, in case you weren't sure. his elderly mother found out by watching the news and later getting a phone call that it was her child. can you imagine? she was fascinatingly calm.