Thursday, June 30, 2011

Welcome To The Jungle

This is it. The last day of school. After today, Mike is here for the whole summer. Right now, I am sitting in the living room, by myself. All three boys are in Micah's bedroom, somewhat at my insistence. They are playing with a very small plastic piano with three square keys. It has a very loud, high-pitched bell sound, and only about two different pitches and the sound of it is nearly enough to make me chew glass. Cody and Micah were fighting over it in here and I was getting very irritated, to say the least. But my boys have been very pleasant and have even made me laugh this morning, so I told Cody that piano makes me extremely grouchy and if he was going to play it he would have to do so in one of the bedrooms with the door shut. So, he ran off, with Micah, to Micah's room. Jamie joined them too. One person, presumably Cody, bangs like mad on the three offensive keys while the others participate in a different way. Cody ran out briefly to inform me that they were singing "Jesus Loves Me". Then he told me the reason for this was because they were celebrating Jesus and Canada Day. Okay. I suppose that makes sense.

So he ran back into the bedroom and the horrific sound started up again. Then I heard them all singing Jingle Bells, but there was only one lyric: Canada. It went, (imagine the tune here) Ca-Na-Daaa, Ca-Na-Daaa, Ca-Na-Da-a-aaaaaa...etc. All three boys were singing along. Then, it evolved into a song about Jesus, that Cody made up entirely on his own. I wish I could have had the whole thing on video, though honestly I'm not sure you would have heard anything over the tinging of the piano. I could hear the other two boys clapping along, right into the song. It was so cute I just had to smile. Those are the moments that remind me what this is all about. Three brothers playing nicely together, making music together, and celebrating life together. Wow. Cody has now informed me that they will be putting on a concert for us tonight. I will try to refrain from inserting ear plugs before the performance, and perhaps we will be able to video it.

Last night, in a fit of either inspiration or insanity, we decided to go to town after Mike got home from work. He was supposed to be home by 4:30, so I thought we'd leave then. We had some things we needed to buy in town, so I thought we could do one errand when we arrived and then feed the boys and then do more errands. Our first mistake was not leaving the house until 5:15 p.m. Oh boy. Next, I had the brilliant idea that to save time, and trauma, I would walk through the pasture and up and over the somewhat steep hill while carrying Micah, then down to the road and back to the driveway and then up the driveway to where the van was parked. All this was partly to save a tractor bucket ride for me, and a terrifying tractor ride for Micah. Plus, I figured it would save Mike doing two runs with the tractor, thereby saving some time.

So, I left my purse and the diaper bag in the tractor bucket and picked up my very likely 30 pound boy, and I set off through the poop-packed trail. Micah got heavy really fast. Yep. I was puffing a bit. As I walked, I thought about the mosquitos, which were surprisingly not too bad on that trail. Maybe it was because the sun was able to shine there, unlike our very enclosed and shaded driveway. Anyway, I also had to follow a very narrow trail that the horses had kindly worn down for me. It was not much wider than a deer trail. Okay, I had to stop and switch Micah to my other arm. Phew. Then, as I walked on, I tried my best not to deviate from the brown trail, as it was surrounded on either side by very tall grass and weeds. Tall grass means wood ticks, but I tried not to think about that, seeing I did not do my usual neurotic move of tucking my pant legs into my socks to block all possible entrances for the little blood-suckers. Then I came to the hill. Hm. It was a lot more overgrown than I was hoping. The horse trail did lead up there, but it was obvious it was not their favourite spot. Okay, no problem. I switched Micah back to my other arm again and began the trek up the sandy hill. Hm. There sure was a lot of foliage to avoid. Wait, was that...? Yep. Poison ivy. I knew we had poison ivy on our land. I certainly learned that last August when I fell off Sasha and landed on a hill covered with it. I even knew we had a lot on our land, but I had hoped the horse trail would be enough to get me through without touching any. I guess I'll know in the next ten days or so whether I was successful. There was a LOT of poison ivy on my trek. So I tried not to think about that either. Eventually I crested the very deep, loose sand at the top of the hill and carried Micah down the other side, through the ditch and up onto the road. I tried not to think about the hoards of red ants that we walked through too.

Yikes. I made it to the road, and we walked the rest of the way back to the entrance to our driveway. Did my trek save any time? No, I don't really think so. Mike apparently got confused about what I was doing and took the tractor back to the house to get me. Eventually we met at the van and buckled everyone in. The van had about 30 extra passengers. Mosquitos, that is. It was revolting.

I suppose the rest of the story is too long to put in here. Let's do the Reader's Digest condensed version. We arrive in town at nearly 6 p.m. We successfully complete our first errand. We then drive to a store where I want to buy a few t-shirts for myself, as all I have is black and now that the weather is getting really hot and we have two outdoor family events in the next three days, I need something decent looking and not sweltering hot. So Mike drops me off and then proceeds to the nearest McD's with the boys to feed them in the van while I try on clothes. The plan is for me to get some shirts while they eat, and then walk to McD's and join them for the rest of our errands. Did I mention I suck very badly at shopping? Well, I needn't have been concerned. Not two seconds after he dropped me off, I pulled on the door handle to the store, and what's this? It won't open. I rattled both sides and then saw the obvious dead bolt. So I ran after the van, which was no more than ten feet away, but to no avail. Mike did not see the crazy woman bolting after them and veered out onto the busy street and pulled away. I glanced around for witnesses. There were none. Okay, that is naive. I'm sure a million people saw the uniquely stupid and spastic move I just pulled, but I didn't see any of them, so I felt secure in my anonymity.

I walked to McDonald's and made use of their ladies' room while I waited for my crew to make it through the drive-thru. I then joined them and we went to the mall. I had a store in mind there that would probably be a great place to get a few T-shirts. So Mike parked with the boys to continue their meal in the parking lot and I ran in the mall. I searched the mall, which is not big, by the way. It's a small city, but I don't make it to the mall very often. It was soon apparent that the only store I wanted to go to was closed. Strike two. I gave up my T-shirt mission. The rest of our errands went fairly smoothly and we brought the crew home. I did not want to walk through the poison ivy again, so I opted for the tractor ride back. I certainly lived to regret that decision. We put our purchases and our bags into the bucket of the tractor, and then Cody and I both climbed into the bucket while Mike hauled Jamie and Micah up on the seat with him. It was already 8 p.m. by then, and anyone who knows Manitoba knows that when the shadows fall, the mosquitos get hungrier. We were there in our jungle canopy of a driveway and I was in hell before the tractor was even started. I have never had so many mosquitos bite me at one time. To make matters worse, I was deeply committed to keeping my arms around my five-year-old so he stayed safely in the bucket. (Is that a paradox?) So I watched as ten, fifteen, twenty...countless mosquitos landed and attacked in every area of my body at once. The ride was rough. I have bruises to prove it, and Cody probably does too. By the end I needed a donut like they give you after you give blood. My bum has never been bitten by multiple mosquitos at the same time before. I swore up and down that I would never, EVER do that again without showering in deet first.

The trip was more of a failure than a success, but it is now a memory. The rest of the evening got worse from there, but this post is already way too long. I will sign off now, as I watch Micah fill my rubber boots with marshmallows that have been chewed and licked by both him and Cricket, one of our cats. At least he is happy. I will, of course, forget they are in there and end up with a sticky mess on my socks the next time I put them on, but no matter. For now, my house is quiet and content. It's time for me to read a book.

1 comment:

Jo said...

You gave me some very vivid mental pictures! Sorry I laughed, but at that point...what else is there to do? Praying you don't get poison ivy. I have walked through it multiple times and never had it...thankfully! Happy summer holidays to you!