The rock and the hard place, brought to you by my BFF, parentheses
If there is one thing I really don’t like, it’s being stuck in the middle of conflict that I have nothing to do with. [Even though it will be apparent as the story unfolds, I want to go ahead and say that this story in no way involves anyone who reads my blog, no matter how infrequently. This is a totally different animal.] Now, I’m super happy to help out a friend, but I really don’t like it when I’m being asked to do something I really don’t want to do, but can’t come up with a good reason not to.
I was scheduled to work today (watching the family of 3 kids) from 9:30-4:30 today. At 9:40 the mom called, I thought to say they were running late, but instead she was inviting the kids and I to go to her semi-ex’s (they are separated). She was still going to work, but her daughter really wanted us to come over, and it would mean so much to her for us to come over, etc, etc. Ugh, I really didn’t want to go. I’ve only met him a couple of times, and have kind of been trying to avoid much contact with him. Not for any specific reason, just some reason. But, considering I clearly didn’t have plans during that time, I didn’t really feel like I had much choice. It would have been alright, a little weird, but not terrible, had he not felt the need to share his disdain with her decision to separate. It was like he was fishing for info from me. Unfortunately for him, I’m terrible in those situations and didn’t say much more than “I’m sorry” and “That must be difficult”. We played around with the myriad of toys strewn about their front yard for a while, then headed to the stream. The kids had fun throwing rocks in the water and digging up shells. I’m not exactly the strip-down-naked-and-jump-in-the-water type (shocking I know) (just to be clear, I’m talking about the kids here, not adults) (not that I’m ok with adults doing that either) so I spent most of the time trying to keep Little Bear from getting completely soaked. I was super mean and didn’t even let Little Lamb stick her feet in. Thankfully, she didn’t seem all that interested, anyway.
After the creek/stream adventure, we walked up a giant hill of tall grass to visit a neighbor’s house. I prayed the entire time that none of us were going to walk into a patch of poison ivy. (So far, so good on that one!) We played on some swings and a zip line-again my kids were a no-go on that one, by choice. Then, I finally managed to get us back to the dad’s house so we could go home for lunch.
He brought the kids over for lunch and they stayed until 5. The kids played legos and Playmobil people until Belle got home from school. Then it was snack time, followed by outside play. The older girls have this game the like to play called store (so original!) where they gather stuff from the yard-sticks, rocks, weeds, clover, tiny onions-and anyone can come take what they want, so long as the store is open. You don’t dare touch the stuff when the store is closed, or you will suffer the wrath and tattle of the girls. Meanwhile, I whipped up a batch of chewy granola bars. (These were the best I’ve tried so far, and I intend to share the recipe with you as soon as I get it perfect.) Then, we tackled J’s birthday present from the kids.
Once the kids were gone, I sent out the dinner SOS call to J and we decided to order out for Chinese. Once the kids had cleaned up their rooms, we began the nightly ritual of pj’s, books, teeth, and tucks. I rolled Belle’s hair in foam rollers while J read the books. And, we’ve basically been on our computers ever since. Every once in a while, we just need a night to drift into our own worlds of blogs, email, music, and whatnot. We’re going to have plenty of together time this coming week while J is off work. A great way to celebrate a birthday, if you ask me!