This weekend my dad and stepmom arrived for their first visit to our place here in Georgia. It’s been a long time since we last saw them, because we used to live within driving distance and now one has to be organized enough to make plane reservations, plus they recently spent the better part of a month in Australia because they love wallabies and echidnas more than me.
Not that I’m bitter.
Anyway, they showed up on Saturday afternoon and we were all very excited to see them, and also to give them the grand tour of our new digs. “Chickadee, why don’t you show Grandma and Grandpa your room since that’s where they’ll be sleeping,” I suggested. We all trooped upstairs to Chickadee’s room, whereupon Monkey had a fit because WE ALWAYS GO IN HER ROOM FIRST.
Yes, we always go in her room first. All of the times when my folks have been here to visit! Every single time!
I tried to explain that we were simply going into Chickadee’s room first so that Grandma and Grandpa could put their bags down, but he stormed downstairs in a snit. We finished showing off Chickadee’s room and walked across to Monkey’s room, whereupon he screamed from downstairs that we had BETTER NOT BE IN HIS ROOM WITHOUT HIM.
We gave up and came back downstairs.
Then the long-suffering grandparents had to go back upstairs with Monkey to see his room, and pretend they’d never been in there before.
In addition to this protracted house tour, we took them down to admire the pond (where we made scintillating conversation about the drought and wondered exactly how disgusting that water would be for drinking) and behold The Deck That Ate Atlanta (with Otto’s standard quip about how the deck is larger than his last house). My dad declared the gazebo “the finest casino he’d ever seen” and Chickadee said “Hey! I call it the casino!” before looking at him with great suspicion, because HOW DID HE KNOW THAT?
Saturday night we celebrated their presence with an embarrassing feast including steaks I got on sale at Publix, which Otto expertly prepared with a spicy rub, which caused us all to sit around the table with our eyes rolling back in our heads with paroxysms of carnivorous delight. Even Monkey ate an impressive hunk of steak, sawing away at it with the great concentration befitting being a small boy with a very large steak knife. (I suppose that would’ve worried me more if I wasn’t so steak-drunk, myself. As it was, I was all “Dude, don’t stab yourself. Okay. Who needs more wine?”)
After the kids were in bed we played a game of Scrabble which I totally would’ve won if we had a decent dictionary. I mean, WELTY is TOO a word, even if OUR stupid dictionary doesn’t have it in there. Hmph.
Yesterday we had plans to go to a soccer game, but after a hard morning of being allowed to skip church and stay home with Grandma and Grandpa to watch cartoons, play, and generally be spoiled rotten, Monkey had a huge meltdown and was deemed unfit for public consumption. (“You look like you need a rest,” my father commented after I’d done all the damage control I could and left Monkey in his room for some quiet time. “No, I need an exorcist,” I said.) So instead of a soccer game we hung around here, went for a brief walk while Chickadee rode her bike up ahead of us, and in general spent a lot of time out on the deck remarking on how it can’t possibly almost be November already.
For dinner we ordered gigantic amounts of Chinese food, as this is really the only way I can know for sure that my parents are visiting, when I either slip into an MSG coma or survive the gorging only to open my fridge the next day and behold it stuffed to the gills with leftovers.
A second round of group Scrabble left me even more embarrassed than the first, although this time it REALLY wasn’t my fault, as I spent most of the game with 4 As on my rack. My request to make words in Wookie legal was rudely denied, but under the circumstances I did the best I could.
So far we haven’t managed to take them anywhere interesting or do any sort of sightseeing, and the children have been sort of rotten, and now the kids are in school and Otto and I have to work. I’m not sure this is really all that exciting for my folks, but maybe I’ll take them down to the Piggly Wiggly later and that will count as a cultural experience for them.