Home is how you hide your hat

My parent’s visit was, if you’ll pardon the pun, relatively mellow.*

They arrived early Thursday—as most of you know from the panicked note at the end of Thursday’s post—and stayed downstairs in my MIL’s domain, as she has a guest room and a cleaner bathroom.

Janie did get up at 4:30am to wake them Friday morning but was sent back upstairs until six-thirty. Misery loves company, so she decided to crawl into bed with us and ask me if it was time yet every five minutes, having apparently lost her ability to read a digital clock. She finally fell asleep on my husband’s pillow—he’d abandoned it sometime after 5am in favor of the couch—and missed breakfast.

As did I.   Good thing I’d taken the day off.

The rest was full of good conversations and the small, defining exchanges that happen around families:

Early Saturday, when I was spending my Mommy Alone Time honing my Plants vs. Zombies skills instead of writing, my husband came in and said, “I found your Dad’s hat under the gorilla last night—one of the kids must have hidden it. I put it on the banister at the top of the stairs so he’ll find it when he comes up.”

“Okay,” I said, killing a couple of zombies with a shooting star fruit.

Not five minutes later, Dad walked through.  “Where’s my hat?”

“It’s at the top of the stairs,” I said, planting a cabbagepult behind the wall-nut.

“Oh. I put it under the gorilla last night so the kids wouldn’t hide it.”

Well of course he had.

Where, I wonder, do families without gorillas hide their hats?

Saturday morning was also full of a seven-mile road race which is a few towns away and—aside from their grandchildren—the reason my parents usually visit in late July. I have no personal pictures of the race, as I dropped them off and went to the nearest library to write for a couple hours until they called.** I was going to try the two-mile fun walk this year, but the weather, the crowds, and my total lack of interest in chafing certain areas down to the bone defeated me. Maybe next year.

The best and worst part of my parents’ visit was that they took Janie home with them. She’s there for a week, so I figure I’ll miss her by tonight, unless I start prepping her room for the Big Move, which may ease the Mother-Child bond somewhat. Sunny, however, operates on a schedule all her own:

“Mommy? When are Grandma and Grandpa coming back from church?”

“They started driving to their home after church, sweetie—remember? They’re headed back to Cincinnati with Janie.”

“But when is Janie coming home?”

“Saturday. You have a whole week of school before you and Daddy go to pick her up.”***

“Oh.” Big sigh. “I’m tired of waiting.”

In her defense, it had been a whole three hours . . .

Gonna be an interesting week!


* I didn’t get the weight lecture, but Mom did “practice” her speech about Curves’ new weight management program once while I was trapped in the car. I gritted my teeth and complimented her on being word-perfect and let it go without even the opening lines of Ben Jonson. This is called Maturity, or so I hear. It helped that the kids were also in the car.

**Having used up all my morning writing time fighting the undead with sunflowers and pea shooters . .  .

***They’ll meet about halfway, which I believe is around Champaign-Urbana. There’s apparently a pretty good Ryan’s Restaurant there. I always seem to have to work those days—it’s not deliberate, I swear—so I don’t actually know.


15 thoughts on “Home is how you hide your hat

  1. What I read in this post was a woman who is carving out time in her busy life to write, no matter what. I am so impressed with your “doing” power. You do realize you are about to become a published writer, right? I can feel it. And, just so you know, I’m rarely wrong.

  2. Love that zingy dialogue you do so well – and this kicker “Well of course he had.”

    Now tell me, where does one buy this “Mommy Alone Time”?

  3. I love, love, love the family stories.
    Your dad hiding his hat so your kids don’t. Ha.

    And the image of you playing Plants vs. Zombies, holed up in your room…clearly not hiding. My family is coming in a little under two weeks. I kid you not when I say I’m taking notes.

    • Well, it is a peculiar looking hat—one of those canvas ones with the enlongated back bill to keep the sun off your neck. We kept finding it in Sunny’s room, full of stuffed animal.

      I was at my usual spot at the dining room table, actually— when I hole up in my room, they come looking for me!

  4. The art of gracefully dealing with Mom monologues… it DOES get easier?

    Anyway, I figure your alone time was well spent. If zombies devour everyone’s brains, there will be no reading or writing. Gotta take care of business first.

  5. Sorry I haven’t been around much. Life. And things (The new ILS is kicking my behind).

    This one made me smile when I seriously needed one.

    • Hi, Odie!

      I know what you mean—several libraries in our area, including ours, are consolidating and switching to Polaris from Sirsi. So we’re chasing ourselves around the mulberry bush, too.

      Glad the gorilla could give you a grin!

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