We are not spontaneous people. We research all of our decisions. We discuss things ahead of time. Even minor things, like weekend plans and shopping trips.
So that’s why, this evening, after our weekly trip to the library, it was VERY out of character for me to say, “Let’s pick up dinner from Publix and have a picnic at the park!”
I’ve been saying lately that we need to go on more adventures. We need to do more FUN things. We have no funny stories to tell. We’ve always been homebodies, which I love, but now that I’m a SAHM — well. Pretty much I never leave the house anymore. Unless we’re going to my mom’s house. Which is the house where I grew up. SO IT’S PRACTICALLY STAYING HOME.
So. We had no diaper bag. I’d left both girls’ water cups at home. Vio was wearing sandals and neither child had a hat. This is enough normally to induce PANIC in me. I am a PLANNER. There are rules to outdoor play that must be followed. (Invisible authority figurrrres!)
But, in the name of adventure, we soldiered on.
We got all set up at a picnic table (out of the sun! Hat problem solved!) and started to eat, when I noticed a squirrel run up to our table. This isn’t at all uncommon, but what WAS uncommon was how close the squirrel was getting. I said as much to Matt, to which he replied, “Not really. I thought I was going to look over to see him sitting on the table or something.”
And then the squirrel says DON’T MIND IF I DO. And hops up on the table.
No big deal, right? We’ll just scare him away! Pretend to throw food! ACTUALLY throw food!
I … never thought I was afraid of squirrels. From far away they frolic and scamper with their feather duster tails trailing behind them. Up close they look very CONNIVING. And hungry for my babies’ noses.
And this is where I turn into a woman from a cartoon who has just seen a mouse. I probably would have jumped up on the table if the squirrel hadn’t already claimed that position. So Matt does the manly thing.
He gets up from the table, and starts CHASING THE SQUIRREL. Around and around the table. In circles. While holding Roo, no less.
In the midst of this debacle, I hear … Mommy? I have to go pee pee.
Sweetheart? Can’t you see daddy is being chased by chasing a squirrel?
I lead Vio to the restroom, all the while thinking how much simpler life would be if I had BOYS instead of GIRLS. It was decked out in the style of most park restrooms, complete with fixtures falling off the walls, broken door locks, and a hand-scribbled “OUT OF ORDER – DO NOT USE” sign on two of the three stalls.
[I’d like to interrupt this story to admit, PROUDLY, that I have no problem with public restrooms. I don’t use a paper towel to open the door or bother with the disposable “seat protecting” liners. I DO flush with my foot, but I have also been known to OPEN DOORS with my feet in my own house if I’m carrying a huge laundry basket or child and have no free hands. If there is pee on a seat, I wipe it off with toilet paper and MOVE ON WITH MY BUSINESS. I think people who hover over toilet seats have major issues. I also think they are the people who PEE ON THE SEATS.]
Surprisingly, we got through the going part without a problem. Then we get to the sinks. No soap. No soap DISPENSER, even. No problem, we’ll just get some wipes from the diaper bag. That I don’t have with me. Plain water it is!
Did I mention the sinks were made for Amazons? I hoist Vio up, push down on the button, and a single needle of water shoots out. I say needle, because I’m pretty sure it pierced directly through my palm and came out the other side. So we move on to the second sink. I turn the handle on the faucet, and I discover the faucet is no longer mounted to the sink. So turning the handle TURNS THE ENTIRE FAUCET. At this point, I’m thinking we were better off before we started touching all these broken sinks with their bacteria-ridden needle-water, but I finally get Vio balanced on my knee, hold the faucet in place with one hand, and turn the handle with my other long enough for her to rinse off thoroughly.
We get back to the table, find that Sir Brazen McBallsy the squirrel is now hanging from the back of the nearby trash can and PEEKING UP AT US from over the side, doing teeny squirrel chin-ups in the process. So, he won, is what I’m saying. We ceded the table and moved on to the playground.
The rest of the evening transpired without incident, except for how we let Vio run around with no shoes on and she was caked in dirt up to her knees with sand in her hair and probably bits of the ground up tires from under the swings in her ears and yes, still no way to clean her. I sent her into the men’s room with Matt, hoping he might have better luck getting her washed up, but it was to no avail. A dirty car and baths for everyone as soon as we got home. But, finally.
A story to tell.