Ask Grace what we did today, and she’ll tell you, “Art class at the park!”
Damn, but she’s smart.
That’s exactly what we did today. We got there a wee bit late, and everyone was already gathered at the park. I thought we were just going to sit around and chat while the kids played, and later we would have a picnic lunch. But when we got there, the kids were already working on a craft! So now Grace has a pet rock that she’s painted all by herself.
When we left the house, it was probably mid-60s, fairly sunny, and just a nice day all round. By the time we got to the park, it was frigidly cold and sprinkling. I’m not sure it was even 60º at the park! We were all freezing, what with a stiff breeze blowing in off the lake. I hadn’t thought to pack a coat for myself or Grace, but the teacher, C, had brought an extra jean jacket that she loaned me, and another mother had an extra jacket for Gracie.
I am such an unprepared momma.
I think most of the mothers gave up on the craft project quickly, and art class degenerated into chasing children up a hill and racing back down again. This I did not mind at all:
I am just a big kid at heart!!!
There is a little boy at art class that I just love. I thought he was a sweety pie from the moment I met him. His grandma brings him to class because his mother is a teacher and works all week long. For some reason, he completely attached to me. He’ll come up to me, and say, “Karyl!! Look how high I can jump, Karyl!!! Look what I can do, Karyl!!” Sometimes he’ll be a little stand-offish, but I know just how to get through his shell and make him giggle again. He’s five years old, which makes him a little old for the toddler art class, but he’s got health issues. He has hydrocephalus (water on the brain), so he has a shunt to drain the fluid out, although you could never tell from looking at him. The hydrocephalus has also caused a few delays in his learning, but I don’t see him as anything other than just a normal kid. Maybe if I saw him around other five-year-olds I would notice the delay more. But in comparison to Grace, he seems just fine.
And he is soooooooooo good with Grace. I’ve gone out with his grandma and him after art class before, and his grandma will tell him, “Now you watch out for Grace and make sure the big kids don’t run her over!” He is so gentle and caring with her. It comes naturally to him, as he has a baby sister who’s two, but it’s still a very sweet thing to watch.
It’s weird to me how kids will attach to me. My friend’s son gets jealous if I pick Gracie up at playgroup and I don’t pick him up too. When he gets hurt, he wants me to comfort him instead of his dad. A few days ago, he was out walking the neighborhood with his momma, and as soon as he saw me, he wanted me to pick him up and cuddle him. And this other boy in art class is almost the same way!
I must give out a vibe that kids just love. Maybe it’s because I’m just a big kid at heart.
Anyhow, the picnic idea was quickly vetoed by all the mothers there. It was just too damn cold!! Initially the kid who loves me, his mother invited just our family to come to her house for lunch, but then it was decided that a communal run to McD’s would be better. We all loaded up and headed out.
McD’s was a madhouse. Seriously. It was absolutely insane. Wednesday was the last day of school for most of the districts around here, and today was the first yucky weather day after that. I guess everyone decided to bring their kids to McD’s for lunch and to let them run around in the play area.
My main objection to that was all the kids were running around without any kind of awareness of the smaller kids around them. One of the toddlers in our group, who had just turned two a few weeks ago, was totally run over by a teenager, who never stopped to say “excuse me” even. Afterward the mother apologized for him, and we were told that he suffered from autism and had no clue about what he did, but he was the only kid in there with any legitimate excuse. All the other children were apparently being raised in barns. They screeched and screamed (and I was always told it was okay to be loud, but that I should never scream because screaming is reserved for an actual emergency, like an abduction or broken bones), they ran over the babies without regard, they started fights, they were wrestling up in the play structure… It was absolute pandemonium.
It was so loud in the play area I ended up with a pounding headache.
But the cool part was I got to be a social butterfly all morning long. My first grade teacher wrote on my report card one quarter that I am a social butterfly, and it just fits me to a T. When I’m comfortable and I feel in my element, I just flit from one person to another, chatting and talking and having a grand ol’ time. Today was cool because one of the mothers was the wife of an executive officer of a sub, so we talked Navy a lot. Another mother is newly pregnant with her second child, so I went over and talked to her about that. The other mother was my favorite little boy’s mother, so we talked about how good he is with Grace, and what her plans were this summer since she chose not to teach summer school.
I think I almost had more fun than Grace did.
I finished the above an hour ago. It was then that Kurt got another phone call from the ship. He’d gotten one earlier from a Petty Officer Third Class (an E-5) in his duty section wanting to know where he was. See, he was supposed to have duty today. He explained to this guy that he’d arranged it with the appropriate people as to having today off to go to Grace’s art class picnic.
But then his Chief Engineer (aka CHENG) called him, wanting to know where the hell he was. And she called from her cell phone too because it came up in her name instead of Out of Area. There was no way in hell I was answering that phone call; I took the phone right out to the backyard where Kurt was cleaning out the hot tub, and I let him duke it out with her.
I told him when he got off the phone he made it very hard for me to eavesdrop on his conversation. All he said was, “Yes, ma’am. No, ma’am. OK. All right. Goodbye.” How am I supposed to glean any kind of important information from that???
My God, but CHENG was pissed. The thing I don’t get is why she didn’t figure out till a quarter to nine at night that Kurt wasn’t at work! He was fourteen hours late by then! You’d have thought she would have called him earlier.
Well, she wants him to come in tonight. He says there’s no talking to her when she’s in this kind of mood (which is funny that he can shut up when it’s his superior but not with me… but that’s neither here nor there), so he just said, “Aye aye” and started getting ready to go.
I don’t really mind his having to go in tonight. I’m more annoyed that he has to waste a couple of ferry passes to go to work for all of eight hours, most of which he’ll spend sleeping. But it’ll be nice to have the house to myself tonight.
What cracks me up is she called at the worst possible time if she wanted him to get his ass in to work at a decent time. It was 8:40pm when she called. He had just missed the 8:35pm ferry, and the 9:20pm only runs on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. So now he’s on the 9:55pm, the next possible ferry he could have taken, which means he won’t get to work till 11pm.
I have a feeling she’s going to be livid by the time he gets there. But he can’t help it; he’s on the very first available ferry. And then once turnover occurs at 7:30am or whatever, he’ll be on his way back home.
I just hope she doesn’t try to make him stay all day tomorrow…