After spending most of the day a the aquarium, when we returned home it seemed like we needed a little Outdoor Time. Unlike yesterday, today was sunny and mild and gorgeous.
First we all played bocce for a while. What is bocce, you ask? I have no idea. I think Otto made it up. But he had this big bag of colored balls and insisted this was a real game, throwing them at a small white ball and screaming loudly. Oh, wait. I think the kids may have added the screaming loudly part.
When bocce wore thin, the kids insisted they wanted to play tag. This consisted mostly of them clinging to me like spider monkeys, insisting that I was “base” and that their sibling was ‘it” and they were “safe.” At one point Monkey was trying to get Chickadee and she was hanging on me. Otto whispered to me, and when Monkey was mid-countdown (of how long Chickadee got to stay safe), he and I ran off, leaving her baseless. Because we’re mean that way.
Somehow the various tag wars devolved into a series of races. Otto’s backyard has a pole at the far corner, suitable for a sprint down and back (go ’round the pole!), and at first the children were content to race each other. Later they insisted that Otto and I run as well, which was a problem. First of all, we are old. Second, we are unmotivated. And last but not least, I’m asthmatic. Yeah. That went well.
Otto and I each ran a race before the kids decided they were really better off without us. We then contented ourselves with regulating their races.
Given the directive to run down to the pole, circle it, and come back, Chickadee will… run down to the pole, circle it, and come back. She may be oppositional when it comes to EVERYTHING ELSE IN THE WORLD, but she can follow sprint directions.
Given the directive to run down to the pole, circle it, and come back, Monkey will… run towards the pole in loopy zigzag patterns, laughing hysterically the entire way, and then… throw a shoe. It’s like he’s a old horse. Every single time, he’d be mid-race, and maybe even winning, and suddenly he’d be hopping around waving a socked foot in the air.
Georgia mud is a new concept for them, but this was still a bit much. Fortunately, he seemed to really be enjoying himself.
I took to post-race interviews with my imaginary microphone.
Me: Chickadee Rose Lastname, you’ve just won an amazing race! How do you feel?
Chickadee: Great! But sort of sweaty.
Me: What do you think about the unprecedented problems experienced by your colleague during the race?
Me: The shoe problem, what did you think about that?
Chickadee: I think he forgot to fasten them before the race.
Me: And Monkey Matthias Lastname, you suffered a crushing blow mid-race, becoming unexpectedly disqualified due to a wardrobe malfunction. How are you feeling right now?
Monkey: My sock is dirty!
Me: Can you tell us, will you be changing your strategy for the next race?
Monkey: Yes! Next time I will be putting duct tape around my shoes to keep them on my feet.
Me: Thank you so much for speaking with us today. Good luck to both of you in your careers.