Here we are last Saturday night having a late night picnic on the sidewalk outside of a grocery store (the only grocery store in town), in Rangely, Colorado. I’m trying to keep Casey warm and Riley is tattle-tale-ing the whole story to Mamma Kim on the telephone. “Because she would never feed us dinner after bedtime and make us sit in the parking lot to eat it.”
Its true. This would have never happened with Mamma Kim.
The whole day was a series of mishaps strewn together by the common denominator of me. It was a bad hair day times ten.
I took the boys to Roosevelt for the weekend so Kim could do some writing for school. We decided that we’d go to Vernal on Saturday, spend the early morning at my maternal grandmother’s house, then the afternoon swimming at the recreation center and then go the extra hour to see my paternal Grandma in Western Colorado.
My sister-in-law – Jazz – and her 6-month old future hunter (who will now be referred to as Hunter), my mom, myself and my two boys all piled into the extended cab pickup truck so that we’d only take 1 vehicle on the trip. This by itself was no easy feat. We tethered together, anchored in, and belted 3 car seats in the back seat. Then we piled the 3 adults in the front. It was a tight squeeze and we pitied the poor individual who had to ride the hump. The baby seat in the middle of the back was a wee bit wider since Hunter still rides facing reverse. That meant the middle seat in the front had a built in lumbar support that encomassed more than just the lumbar – it pushed into the whole upper back. I myself started seizing up after 20 minutes on the hump and ended up whining about it enough that I got the passenger side back after less than an hour.
Anyway, we stopped at the 1st Grandma’s and while visiting, Jazz realized that we’d left Hunter’s stroller at home. While we visited, she drove back alone to get it. Once she returned we continued on to Vernal amid the yowls that “I’m hungry.” So we stopped for some fast food in Vernal, where Casey proceeded to “pee through” his diaper. Needless to say, we were already an hour behind schedule before we even got to the rec. center.
We swam. We had a blast. (See the photos below.) Then I got out of the pool with Casey. The plan was to shower him and myself off and get dressed before Nana and Riley got out. Hunter had already gotten out and had fallen asleep in Jazz’s arms. I showered off Casey – soaped and scrubbed – shampooed and rinsed him off. All the while I smelled the fowl smell of feces but assumed that was just what the shower room smelled like. Then I went to the dressing area to take off his swimming suit. I pulled off his suit only to find the disposable swimmer leaking with “water poop.” I looked at my hip where I had been carrying Casey, I too was swimming in poop. It was down his leg. It was up his back. It was up my arm. It was IN MY HAIR! It was everywhere. So right there on the concrete floor of the ladies locker room, I stripped me and my boy naked, scrubbed us down with wet wipes – and then returned to the shower room to scrub down a second time. By this time Mom and Riley had joined us. They cleansed and dressed. Jazz excused herself to wait ouside lest anyone might think she was with those trashy people parading through the locker room without a stitch of clothing on, stuffing clothes in piles, we kept referring to as the “shitty pile”, the “wet pile” and the “dry pile.”
I, of course, saw an acquaintance from high school who hadn’t gained a pound since then, and certainly wasn’t parading naked around the room. Her children were well behaved the whole time. And they weren’t spreading crystosporidium either.
By the time we got out of there, we were 2 hours behind schedule. Soon to be 2 1/2 because I wasn’t leaving Vernal without a cup of coffee.
We started out of town, but Hunter was done. He had had enough. The sun was shining in his eyes. He was tired of Casey stealing his binky and throwing it while chanting “Swiper. No. Swiping.” He was livid. So he fussed. Then he yelled. Then he screamed. Then he screamed some more. We stopped at a park so the kids could play while Jazz consoled Hunter. He finally calmed down. Then he fell asleep.
We got to Grandmas about 6:00 PM. We visited for about an hour, were treated to some nice hospitality and homemade cookies, and then drove on over to my Uncle Doug’s house for a quick visit before we were going to grab a bite to eat and then return to Roosevelt. Riley was thrilled that he and I would be able to ride in the bed of the pickup so there’d be room for Grandma in the front. It was only a mile or so away, but he was so excited. This confused me. I myself was FORCED to ride in the back of a pickup truck for much of my childhood and I HATED the way my hair would knot and tangle as the wind whipped by. I also hated how I had to ride back there with our dog sticking out his tongue and slobbering all over me. But that’s a totally different post.
We were only going to visit for a few minutes, but we hadn’t seen them in some time and once we started chatting, the time kept going by. At this point I was vaguely aware that we hadn’t eaten since 1 PM and that we were all pretty hungry. But Uncle Doug passed out a few snacks and we kept visiting. Riley had a blast playing with his second cousins. They were playing light sabers. Light sabers in the form of pool noodles wrapped around pvc pipe. You’d be amazed how long children can play while whopping each other in the head with pool noodles. Why do we have high tech games anyway? Really, they were thrilled with their pvc pipe.
We finally got ready to leave, admired my Uncle’s new scooter, and started to pile into the truck when Riley started shouting that he needed to pee. Actually, Riley was thrilled to have to pee because he wanted to use his cousin’s bathroom. Really. It’s not just any old bathroom. It’s special. See, his cousin has a rare form of dwarfism so while he’s a couple of years older than Riley, he’s less than half Riley’s size. Uncle Doug had remodeled the bathroom so he’d have his own Little Person space complete with a teeny tiny potty, along with a teeny tiny sink. Riley wasn’t quite where he could simply enjoy the functionality of the place. He was keen on how “cute” it was. And because it was so “cute” he wanted to pee on that pot. Riley is not accustomed to peeing on a tiny pot, so somehow, while sitting there on the pot, he proceeded to pee down his pants, down his leg, and all over his jeans. So his cousin loaned him a pair of sweats – long pants on his cousin – short shorts on Riley. This had to have set us back another 20 minutes.
Finally we dropped off Grandma and headed to the nearest restaurant. At this point I was keenly aware that Hunter had not eaten in hours. He was pissed off. This never happened to me, because I was happy to yank my boob out no matter where I was. But Jazz has a little more couth than I and consequently Hunter was digesting his stomach lining wondering where the booby milk was. We dragged Main but didn’t find the restaurant. We gave up and turned around (turns out we did this just 2 blocks before we would have gotten to it) and dragged Main the other way. Finally I called Doug and got directions. We arrived at the restaurant 8:45 PM. They closed at 8:30. We saw a Subway so we sped back there. It too was closed. We saw a Mexican restaurant. Closed. We saw a grocery store. The open sign was flashing. I ran out. It was 8:55 PM. The grocery store closed at 9. Mom and I took my boys to do our dinner shopping while Jazz remained in the car to feed Hunter. She was not thrilled at her digs. She is not one to feed her baby in a pickup truck in a parking lot at a grocery store a state away after bedtime in the dark etc etc. She is not that kind of girl at all.
I, however, do seem to be the kind of girl who’ll feed her kids dinner, in Rangely Colorado, on the sidewalk, outside of the grocery mart, slightly chilled, in the dark, after bedtime. That seems to be me to a T. Now Mamma Kim? No. Not so much.