Friday, June 24, 2011

Terrible Advice From Trees

"There's nothing to be scared of here. Just trust in Mother Nature...listen for the great wolf's howl, he says you're safe here now" the tree in the center of Great Wolf Lodge sings. There's an entire clock tower that comes alive, including a tree, a child that rises out of a stump, a moose head, raccoon, and Native American woman who emerges from inside a house. These characters collectively give the worst outdoor survival advice imaginable. On top of that, they frightened one little boy so badly that he didn't trust the hotel for the remainder of his stay. If you think about it, his reaction was probably the most logical. If someone told me to trust wolves, I would keep my eye on 'em.

We were there for a conference, a gathering of soldier's wives. Halle learned a lot. We shared a room with a friend and her two kids - a three year old boy and five year old girl. The boy was getting ready to hit the water park, so he stripped down and streaked across the room. "What was that?" Halle asked, whipping her head around. "Boys are made different than girls," I said. "Look at me. Look in my eyes. Focus on me."

It was very educational. The last time we went over there, it resulted in my buying a GPS and Halle throwing up. This time, my friend Casey threw up and her son got a rash that made his skin look like a red T-shirt. It turns out that the levels of chlorine in that indoor water park could probably disinfect the ocean.

At least we know better than to trust the advice of trees. Don't listen to them. Stay away from wolves.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Rules I Didn't Expect to Make

There are some things that should be common sense, even to a three year old. Then again, in the chain of events that occurred Wednesday, I wasn't entirely blameless. I was painting something on our back deck for a project and thought that since the girls were playing so intently inside, that I could sneak out and get the painting done before they missed me. Right, like that was going to happen.

As they piled out the back door, I told them that they had to wear an old T shirt over their clothes. I ran inside to  retrieve the items and found that there was a spot all ready on Morgan's dress. I slipped a T shirt over Halle, but in my rush to save the dress, I left Morgan outside with just a diaper on.

In the three minutes it took for me to run water, rub soap on the paint spot and leave it to soak, Halle was busy. I came outside to find Morgan painted. Morgan's nose, cheeks, ear, entire tummy, and diaper were all green. "Halle, you are not allowed to paint your sister!" I said in shock. These are words I had not expected to ever say out loud. Or in my head, for that matter. "Oh," she said, as though this was a surprising restriction.

I ran for the garden hose to wash the child and while I drug that from the side of the house, the girls had painted a large portion of the deck. Our deck will never look the same. As I sprayed down the deck (after giving Mo a white trash bath), I saw Mo painting the item that I had started in the first place. I finished washing what I could, then put away the painting for later when the girls were napping. That's really what I should have done in the first place, but there's nothing like learning the same lesson over and over and over again.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Travel Tip

Buy the person next to on the airplane alcohol. This makes your child's attempt at hide-and-go-seek actually rather funny and her anecdotes about her imaginary friend hilarious. I didn't even have to buy the drinks for the Marine sitting next to me. He had a buddy traveling with him who had supplied him a couple rounds before they boarded.

The buddy (we'll call him Dave) had not seen drinking alone in a seat down the aisle from a tiny bathroom an obstacle. The spirits were flowing. Dave approached my neighbor and spotted me. He gave me a wink and a couple eyebrow raises. You know they've had too many when you're still looking like a viable option with two kids in tow. Neighbor asks Dave to share the riches with him. Dave glances in my direction and stuffs a twenty in Neighbor's hand, then heads to the bathroom.

"Do you really feel good about taking advantage of your friend when he's in this state?" I asked the guy sitting next to me.

He shoved the bill in his pocket and said, "It's what Marines do. I only met that guy two days ago."

Huh. Perhaps a lack of generosity would account for my not joining the service. Whatever the case, the flights home were actually somewhat enjoyable. I thank God for that. I also find myself thanking Him for Sam Adams, something I have not had occasion to do before.