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.


In which I explain about the gorilla . . .

The kids first Egg Hunt on Sunday was fun.  It wasn’t a hunt as much as a Pick-up, but that suited everyone just fine.

As I mentioned in the comments, Jane’s method was to run as fast as she could to the far end of the field and gather up everything before the others made it halfway:

Sunny’s method depended more on wielding a judicious amount of adorable helplessness on an unsuspecting mark:

They disappeared with their bounty afterward and I later found them both behind the altar in a drift of wrappers— the young chocoholics version of claiming sanctuary.  Only when I expressed joy that I would be able to keep whatever the Easter Bunny might have brought to the house did my progeny voluntarily come forth.

The Easter Bunny was far more generous than I had anticipated.  My husband is an atheist, but apparently has a soft spot for commercial mutations of ancient religious remnants—as long as jellybeans and Reese’s peanut butter eggs are involved.

After lunch, which was brief and sparsely attended, my husband took the kids to their second Easter Egg Hunt—I had taken the precaution of falling asleep right after doing the dishes.*

They came home with much chocolate and marshmallow Peepage . . . and this:

He was meant to be the prize for collecting the most eggs, but the winner was terrified of him, as was the runner up.  My kids, who fell in love on sight, won him by default.   He’s larger than Sunny and somewhat heavier.

His name is Banana.

At least he’s not made of chocolate . . .


*Jane wanted some computer time, so I stretched out with a notebook and a pen and was soon dreaming about the Easter Bunny headlining in Vegas.  I should have known better.