Saturday, May 31, 2008

Saturday Laugs

The local news station was interviewing an 80-year-old lady because she had just gotten married -- for the fourth time.

The interviewer asked her questions about her life, about what it felt like to be marrying again at 80, and then about her new husband's occupation.

"He's a funeral director," she answered.

"Interesting," the newsman thought. He then asked her if she wouldn't mind telling him a little about her first three husbands and what they did for a living.

She paused for a few moments, needing time to reflect on all those years. After a short time, a smile came to her face and she answered proudly, explaining that she'd first married a banker when she was in her early 20's, then a circus ringmaster when in her 40's, later on a preacher when in her 60's, and now in her 80's, a funeral director.

The interviewer looked at her, quite astonished, and asked why she had married four men with such diverse careers.

She smiled and explained, "I married one for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, and four to go."

Friday, May 30, 2008

The Birds and the Bees

Your 5 year old is in the bathroom, taking a particularly long time doing his business. You hear a lot of grunts and groans coming from him and ask if he is alright.

"I think I'm having a baby," he replies.

After stifling your laughs, how do you respond? Do you say:

A. "No you're not," and leave it at that? You wish! That answer only generates more questions like, "Do babies come out of your butt?"

B. "Boys don't have babies," and leave it at that? Wrong again! That answer only generates the statement, "How could babies fit out of your penis?"

C. "Girls have babies so you don't have to worry about it," and try to walk away? Nice try. That answer only produces fits of giggles and repeated chants of "Vaginas are down by China."

D. "That's a conversation for another day when it's not bedtime," and hope that's the end of it? What, are you new to this parenting thing? Once a nerve is exposed kids pounce on it like lions on an antelope after being fed salad for a week. There is no end to the uncomfortable conversations that go with parenting.

So, when did you tell your kids where babies come from?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Scarier Than Vampires

Jack got a gift certificate to Barnes and Noble for his birthday, so last night the boys and I headed there to buy some books. When we arrived, we could barely find a place to park. Most of the patrons getting out of the cars were adults, so I figured a book club or book signing was the reason for the overflowing lot.

When we got inside, the greeter asked if I was there for the book signing. I said I was not. "Who is it?" I asked. "Laurell K. Hamilton," she replied. "Really?" I was excited.

I first heard about Laurell K. Hamilton books about a year ago and bought the first three in the series. What most excited me about her and her books when I first heard of her was that she lives in St. Louis and that her Anita Blake series is set in St. Louis. I thought it would be interesting to read how vampires live and are hunted in my city.

"There are still spots available if you want to by her latest book and get it signed," said the greeter. My hand, having a mind of its own and obviously thinking how cool it would be to have a brush with a celebrity and get a signed copy of a new book written by said celebrity, began to reach for the pass the greeter was offering. Then my boys started running circles around me chanting, "Kids' section, kids' section," and my hand was slapped back into mommy reality. I imagined trying to sit in a chair with my wildingtons on either side while Ms. Hamilton read from her latest book and, I tell you, that's a nightmare not even an author of vampire novels wants to imagine.

So I politely declined the spot and headed to the kids' section. As it often does, Jack's running around and excitement got things moving in his belly and he proclaimed LOUDLY that he needed to use the restroom. So LOUDLY, in fact, that a woman looking at books a couple of aisles over came up to me and told me where the restroom was.

So off to the restroom we went. Why, I wondered, was there a group of 6 people standing around the women's restroom? Because I'm a mother, the fact that Laurell K. Hamilton was in the bookstore didn't stay in my head from the front door to the kids' section to the restroom. That fact was replaced with other, more pressing items, like how I was going to get Luke out of the store with only one stuffed animal and no tantrums (I failed, by the way). One of the 6 people looked at me, as if I should know better than to try to enter the restroom, and said, "Can you give us a minute?"

I said, "I don't have to go, he does, and he can't wait." I'm sure Ms. Hamilton has written about some gory things in her books, but until she's cleaned poop off of a boy's butt and legs in a public restroom and tried to wash pooped on clothes out in a sink so he can get out to the car without being naked, she's got nothing on me.

And I don't blame her for having the women's restroom blocked to others while she was in it. I'd feel very vulnerable if I had to worry about being accosted by a well-meaning fan with a pen and a book while I was in a stall. And, honestly, do fans really want to see celebrities in that most human of situations?

Thankfully, it was Jack and not Luke experiencing the call of nature so he was able to go into the men's restroom without me and take care of business. He made it in plenty of time, even with the pause at the entourage. Too bad. Maybe if he had an accident I would have gotten that signed book after all. Or a plot twist in the next book revolving around a mom trying to escape a vampire but she can't because all the bathrooms are locked.

And as Luke and I were waiting for Jack to come out, we saw Ms. Hamilton come out of the women's restroom (only then did it dawn on me the reason for the entourage around the restroom - my mommy brain was sllooowww that night).

So there you have the totality of my brush with celebrity. Catching a glimpse of the back of a famous author as she leaves the restroom as I sit on the floor with my 5 year old as my 7 year old takes care of business in the men's room. I hoped it would be more glamorous, but it was very apropos for a mom of two boys.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Gollywhopper Games Contest

To celebrate her new release of The Gollywhopper Games (HarperCollins/Greenwillow), Jody Feldman is holding a contest for kids from 8-15 years old and a drawing for authors and others. Kids who send in the correct solution to the puzzle posted at the Contests link at www.gollywhoppergames.com can win a Nintendo DS Lite or The Gollywhopper Games T-shirt.

Good luck!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Saturday Laughs

The Transformative Effects of Marriage on the Y-chromosome

Three women - one engaged, one married, and one a mistress - are chatting about their relationships and decide to amaze their men. That night, all three will wear a leather bodice, S&M style stilettos and mask over their eyes.

After a few days they meet again.....

The engaged girlfriend said: "The other night, when my boyfriend came back home, he found me in the leather bodice, 4" stilettos and mask. He said, 'You are the woman of my life, I love you'...then we made love all night long."

The mistress stated: "Oh Yes! The other night we met in his office. I was wearing the leather bodice, mega stilettos, mask over my eyes and a raincoat. When I opened the raincoat, he didn't say a word. We just had wild sex all night."

The married one then said: "The other night I sent the kids to stay at my mother's for the night. I got myself ready, leather bodice, super stilettos and mask over my eyes. My husband came in from work, grabbed the TV controller and a beer, and said, 'Hey Batman, what's for dinner?'"

Friday, May 23, 2008

Happy Birthday, Luke!



You didn’t want to come out early. You wanted to stay in until the very last minute, making everyone wait until you were good and ready. But, because you were getting so big, I asked the doctors to have you come a week early. They agreed, and when they called me in for induction you were out 9 hours later carrying 9 pounds and 4 ounces of pure trouble. You’ve been in competition with your brother ever since.

I was worried that I wouldn’t know how to love two children. I loved your brother so much that I thought there wouldn’t be enough for you. I didn’t understand until you were born that a mother’s love is endless, or, as you would say, it goes for infinity. How could I have ever worried about not having enough love for you? I defy anyone to look into your eyes and not immediately fall in love. And, if by some miracle they can resist your eyes, your full-belly laugh and mischievous smile will do the trick.

You were the model of a perfect baby. You rarely cried, you ate like a champ, you took long naps in your crib with little effort on my part. You sure knew how to take care of a mother with a two year old. It's as if you could sense what I needed, and wanted to do your part to help out around the house. And, ever since then, you've been a willing helper and are proud of your accomplishments and of jobs well done.

Your intelligence was evident early on. You were having full conversations when most kids were still drooling and babbling. You have an astounding memory, recalling tiny details of things that I barely recall experiencing. You love to learn, but also believe that you already know everything, and hate to be wrong. I do believe that you are most likely a genius, but dumb yourself down for the sake of the rest of us.

Like your brother, it takes you a while to warm up to people. But with you, it is less shyness and more independence. You like to be in charge. You like to check out a situation and have a handle on things before you decide if you want to get involved. And you like to run the show. For you, compromise is rarely an option. You can be a loner, but you are perfectly fine with that and sometimes, in fact, need that alone time to refresh yourself or you get very, very cranky.

You adore animals and have a special connection to them; they seem to be drawn to you wherever we go. At the zoo, animals ignore others until you approach the habitats. They sense you and approach you to the delight of everyone around.

You are a ball of fire and energy. You attack any challenge with determination and perseverance. But, you still can be mommy’s little boy and you are not too tough to ask for help or to run to me for a hug when you get hurt.

Your best friends are your brother and your dad and your dog. You love wrestling and playing board games. Your social circle is expanding and I can see in you a loyal friend. You don’t need me to stay for “one more minute” when I drop you off at pre-school anymore. Instead, I can “go now.” And I am happy to go, but I long to stay for one more minute.

To my second born, the boy who climbed into my heart and taught me my love is unending, whose hugs I crave and eyes make me melt, I wish you a very happy fifth birthday.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

I Once Caught a Fish This Big

Sunday was our annual fishing/birthday party for the four family members with May birthdays. That includes Jack, Luke, and two of their Jefferson City cousins, Nolan (16, yeah!) and Morgan. So, on Saturday after ball games and team pictures, we loaded in the car and headed for Jefferson City. We hit the road at about 3:30 pm. At about 3:41, the “How long ‘til we get there?” questions started. We forbid them from asking that again until the movie they were watching ended, as the drive is at least 2 hours long. They didn’t ask again until 3:55.

On Sunday morning, Jack woke up at a reasonable 5:45 am and asked when the party started. The party was scheduled to start at 4:00 pm. For a boy anticipating presents, my answer of 10 hours might as well have been 10,000 years. Thus began my day of keeping the boys entertained long enough to make them forget to ask when the party was starting, but not so much so that they were exhausted by the time the party started. We played in the sand box, John’s dad Frank took them for rides in the tractor, we explored the yard, we played inside, we watched TV, and we played baseball. When the neighbor's dog stole the ball one too many times, and I got tired of pitching the two-fingered slobber ball once the boys were able to recover the ball from the drooling dog’s mouth, I loaded the boys in the car to head to a playground. But, that adventure was cut short by Luke's call of nature and no private trees to do what a bear does.

Luckily by then, it was time for the fishing party. When we got to the lake, the boys waited very impatiently while their grandpa got their poles ready and baited their hooks. Luke caught a fish right away, but Jack had less luck, meaning he didn't catch a fish in the first three minutes of trying. So, what do boys do that have been waiting all day for a fishing party and finally arrive at said party?

They play in a big pile of sand!

video

But don’t worry, serious fishermen. We did catch (and release) this 5 pound monster later.



Frank hooked it and Jack reeled it in. I think he drilled himself a second belly button with the end of his pole.

We closed the day by eating a great picnic of fried chicken, Asian coleslaw, Aunt Julie noodles, baked beans, crickets and earth worms. And when my husband tries to say that he is not the instigator of most of the boy adventures in my house, or can't count as the third boy in my house of three, I can just remind of him of this:


video

He's the only one that did this little trick that was old enough to wash it down with beer.

Nolan one-upped him by eating a live worm. Boys. Ever the competitors.

video

But, that’s not to say girls can’t represent in the “That’s Disgusting” department. Here’s our niece Taylor giving John a run for his money and winning $10 in the process.

video

Was the crunch I heard the cricket, or someone eating a potato chip?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Happy Birthday, Jack!



You decided to come a week early. But once you made that decision, it took you 18 hours to come out and meet the world. And I’ve had trouble keeping up with you ever since.

I cried every day for the first three weeks after you were born. My body was adjusting to you being on the outside, as was my world. You had colic, and began crying at 2:00 in the afternoon and kept it up until after 10:00 pm every day for several weeks. The only way we could get you to stop for any period of time was to hold you and bounce you around while humming the Mexican Hat Dance.

I disappeared into a room every two hours to nurse you. NASA could launch shuttles by your internal clock. Even if you were sound asleep, you would wake up to eat exactly two hours after your last meal. And approximately 15 minutes after eating, you would barf half of that meal all over yourself and anyone standing within 3 feet of you.

You wouldn’t nap unless you were in my arms. That wasn’t such a bad thing. It forced me to lie down and rest with you. And you were the cuddliest little bundle that I had ever snuggled with.

Gradually, the colic left, the vomiting stopped, the sleeping improved, my emotions leveled out, and my happiness caught up with the love I felt for you the moment the nurse placed you in my arms on the day you were born.

You are smart, inquisitive, and analytical. Sometimes I am taken aback by the sheer knowledge within your brain. And I know that a lot of these things you just figure out on your own. You are a logical thinker and can sort things out.

You are very sensitive, guarding your feelings for fear of being hurt but pouring them out freely once you feel a person is worthy of that trust. All the kids like you, but you worry about being bullied or made fun of. You never break the rules, but are afraid of getting in trouble. Sometimes you laugh at your own sensitivity and fears, and you challenge yourself and try to come out of your shell. I could never do that when I was little, and I think you are very brave.

Your empathy for others goes much deeper than one would expect from a seven year old who has had such little life experience. I believe that comes from your sincere love of humanity and the endless well of kindness that exists in your heart.

You have a soaring imagination that allows you to create marvelous and sometimes dangerous boy adventures as well as quiet stories and detailed drawings that I am lucky enough to share in.

You are best friends with your dad. You love to giggle with him and talk to him and play sports with him. You still hug and give us both kisses in the hall at school, even though your friends may be watching. I think that won’t last, but maybe, because of who you are, it will.

To my first born, the love of my life and the sweetest boy that ever lived, I wish you a very happy seventh birthday.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Saturday Laughs

I THINK YOU'RE THE FATHER OF ONE OF MY KIDS...

A guy goes to the supermarket and notices an attractive woman waving at him. She says hello. He's rather taken aback because he can't place where he knows her from.

So he says, "Do you know me?"

To which she replies, "I think you're the father of one of my kids."

Now his mind travels back to the only time he has ever been unfaithful to his wife and says, "My God, are you the stripper from my bachelor party, that I made love to on the pool table with all my buddies watching while your partner whipped my butt with wet celery?"

She looks into his eyes and says calmly, "No, I'm your son's teacher."

Thursday, May 15, 2008

An Unwelcome Wakeup Call

I was awakened this morning at 6:15 am by this unwelcome alarm clock:

"MOM. DAD. We have an EMERGENCY here."

"What kind of emergency," I asked, not panicked or anxious to leave my warm bed because to my boys, an emergency that early in the morning usually means a lost toy or a missing Nintendo game or a pillow misplacement.

Then, before the fog in my brain even thought of climbing from its comfy slumber, Luke was at my bedside. Looking at him in the darkness, I could see that he was covered with something. It was on his head, face, clothes, arms, and legs. Was that blood? O.K. Now I was awake. Maybe the boys understood the word emergency after all.

I turned on my bedside lamp and looked at Luke in the light. There was my boy, perfectly normal with no sign of blood or injury. I turned the light off. There it was again - the "blood" covering my boy from head to toe. On, off, on, off.

Yes, people, my son was glowing. He had gone to bed the night before with a glow stick and, fiddling with it in the morning, caused it to explode and leak the juice all over his body.

I guess I should have realized sooner that the substance covering Luke wasn't blood. Blood doesn't glow. And it's not hot pink.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tadpoles Anyone?

What do you get when you cross a dilapidated pool that is structurally sound enough to hold water but not to swim in, days and days of rain, piles of putrefying leaves, and Mother Nature?

You get a quagmire of sludge filled with millions of mosquito eggs and larvae that will eventually grow up to make dusk in your backyard an all-you-can-eat bug buffet where you and your family are the nightly special served up whenever you go out to play.

You also get dozens of tadpoles. Luke’s teacher has been looking for a tadpole so the class could watch it turn into a frog. When John was at the neighbor’s house trying to get the pump running so we could drain the quagmire and cause a disturbance in the mosquito force to rival that caused when the Death Star destroyed Alderaan, he noticed the tadpoles. Luke was very excited to tell his teacher he could bring in tadpoles. She said, “Oh. Greeeaaat.” Was this sarcasm? Could be, since there aren’t many days of school left and school will be out before the tadpoles turn to frogs. Then what will she do with them?

Tadpoles are also quite the prima donnas. They are very specific on the containers they like. They prefer to be in rain water. They like lettuce but it must be boiled and frozen before it can be given to them. They also prefer organically grown greens. They like protein but only a couple times a week. They eat constantly, and you have to keep an eye on their food supply and feed them again as soon as the food is gone. Sounds like some kids I know.

So here we go on our collection journey.









The Collecting:

video

The Result

video

We ended up collecting more than the class needed. The boys really wanted to keep the extras as pets. I really, really, really did not. Really. Once we had them collected and started doing all the work of transferring them to their final home, etc. the boys quickly lost interest. So, we put the extras in the base of our creek/waterfall and maybe they’ll survive there and turn into frogs one day. I guess if they die, we can always start biology class a few years early.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there. And to everyone posting about their moms on their blogs today, I just have to say that I’m very sorry but my mom is better than your mom.

Just kidding. But doesn’t everyone think that their mom is the best and that there is none better? So, you can stop reading now if you will be bored by this post, but I am going to write about how wonderful my mom is, and why I am wonderful because of her.

My mom is one of the smartest people I know. She never went to college, but she used her quick mind, aptitude and determination to work her way from assistant librarian when my sister and I were in elementary school to administrative assistant (this may not be the correct title) of a yellow page advertising agency when we were in junior high to executive vice president of that same company when we were in high school to owning and running her own successful business now. I worked for her at that ad agency during my summer breaks and learned more than your average high schooler about the “real world” of careers and work ethics. When I graduated college and was seeking employment, I spoke of her and those summer jobs often during interviews. Just speaking of her gave me confidence and reminded me of what I was striving for. I believe that made me standout from other candidates and helped me get the jobs that I really wanted.

I have many good friends that I’ve made throughout the years, but it’s safe to say, other than John, my mom is my best friend. She’s the one I think of when I have news I want to share or just feel like talking about nothing. When I feel like having a girl night out, that “girl” is her. We’ve gone on vacations together, taking on Las Vegas, Colorado, Lake of the Ozarks and Florida. My senior year of college, it was she that I took with me on Spring Break. We got up early and laid on the beach to watch the sun rise, we went and ate breakfast, we went back to the beach, we went to have lunch, we went back to the beach, we went to have dinner, we hit the bars, we got hit on, and we rarely paid for a drink. Our vacation styles are very similar, and revolve around where and when we are going to eat next.

My mom and I always joke that she and I are the only ones that can tolerate living with the other one, and the only ones that we can tolerate living with. That’s because we really are so much a like, and all the years we were roommates we got along so well. It was emotionally overwhelming for me when I moved away to college, and then got my first job which required a move to Florida. But she was strong and encouraging. When I left home for good, she was the one I asked to walk me down the aisle.

This Mother’s Day is a difficult one for our family. I am celebrating my mother, but she has lost hers. I would give anything to take away her sadness but know that is not possible. So I will do what she would do for me. Just be there for her and love her. And I do love her. I love her more than I can express in this blog, and almost more than my heart can hold.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Saturday Laughs

To my darling husband,

Before you return from your business trip I just want to let you know about the small accident I had with your truck when I turned into the driveway. Fortunately the small accident was not too bad and I really didn't get hurt, so please don't worry too much about me.

I was coming home from Wal-Mart, and when I turned into the driveway I accidentally pushed down on the accelerator instead of the brake. The garage door is slightly bent but the pick up fortunately came to a halt when it bumped into your car.

I am really sorry, but I know with your kind-hearted personality you will forgive me. You know how much I love you and care for you my sweetheart. I am enclosing a picture for you.

I cannot wait to hold you in my arms again.

Your loving wife.
XXX



P.S. Your girlfriend called.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Hoodwinked Again

Jack typically ends his bedtime books with the request of, "Rub me. With fingernails."

Last night I was too tired to do any kind of back scratching. So I told him, to much protesting by him, "Not tonight, buddy. I'm just too tired."

Here's how it went about 30 seconds later:

Jack: I have an itch on my back.
Me, beginning to scratch in the middle of his back: Where is it?
Jack: You have to scratch under my shirt or you won't get it.
Me, scratching under his shirt: Did I get it yet?
Jack: Up, up, up, left, left, left, down, down, down, right, right, right, up, up, up, left, left, left.

After two minutes, I finally realized that the kid had tricked me into giving him his rub with fingernails after all. See? Told you I was tired.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Just Missed the Cut-Off

Luke just missed the birthday cut-off for the Rookie T-Ball team. So he is playing with the Mini-Rookies. Let me just say there is a big skill-level difference between four year olds and five year olds when it comes to T-Ball. Or maybe Luke just gets it a little more due to the fact that we practice a lot because Jack has been playing for two years.

This was just warm-up, and Luke came away relatively unscathed and not crying, which is more than I can say for many of his attempts to get the ball during the game:

video

He eventually just gave up even trying to get the ball, knowing that he would end up on the bottom of a pile of screaming kids all wanting one tiny ball. This is not football, people:

video

We'll see how long Luke tolerates his own teammates tackling him every time he makes a play. I'm half terrified he'll haul off and whack one of them, and half-terrified he won't.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

A Recipe for Summer Boy Fun

Is the end of the school year fast approaching? Do you have boys on your hands and face the prospect of constant declarations of, "I'm bored"? Are you fearful that you will run out of fun and stimulating activities by week two of summer break?

Worry no more, people! Because you've come to the right place for the directions for an activity sure to please even the most discriminating boy in your household. And all you need are a few simple items that you probably already have in your own backyard and hanging around your house and garage.

Supplies:
  • One rope
  • One sturdy chimenea placed a fair distance from anything flammable and from running children
  • One lighter
  • Dead trees - bonus points if any are partially hollow and filled with carpenter ants
  • One chain saw
  • One determined husband
  • One break from rational thinking
Instructions:
  1. Try to talk husband out of project.
  2. When that fails, remember the last time you cut down dead branches at your last house and nearly destroyed your porch and got your head bashed in.
  3. Tie rope around tree.
  4. Try to talk boys out of helping.
  5. When that fails, send boys to neighbor's yard to play.
  6. When that fails, have boys hold end of rope at greater distance from the tree than the tree's height and place yourself between the boys and the tree.
  7. Say silent prayers as husband begins cutting tree with chain saw.
  8. Yell to boys to "Pull, pull, pull," and tug rope as husband cuts tree with chain saw.
  9. Watch as neighbors come out on porches to watch the spectacle, and wonder which ones will call social services.
  10. Stare in amazement as tree falls gently to the ground, no one is hurt, and the project is finished successfully.
  11. Realize there is still chance for injury as husband begins to saw tree into small logs.
  12. Lift boys up to examine hollow tree stump and all the carpenter ants that made it their home and killed the tree to begin with.
  13. Carry small logs to chimenea.
  14. Start fire with lighter.
  15. Listen to ants scream and attempt to scurry to safety as logs catch fire.*
  16. Don't even think of trying to document any of this with a video camera, unless you want to virtually guarantee a trip to the hospital for one of the participants.
  17. Later that night, tell your mother all about it.
  18. When she says, "I hope you were safe," tell her that, despite your best efforts to injure or maim your family, you failed once again.

*Just kidding. No ants are to be burned alive as part of this activity. We're not breeding serial killers here.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Saturday Laughs

While on a road trip, an elderly couple stopped at a roadside restaurant for lunch. After finishing their meal, they left the restaurant, and resumed their trip.

When leaving, the elderly woman unknowingly left her glasses on the table, and she didn't miss them until they had been driving about forty minutes. By then, to add to the aggravation, they had to travel quite a distance before they could find a place to turn around, in order to return to the restaurant to retrieve her glasses.

All the way back, the elderly husband became the classic grouchy old man. He fussed and complained, and scolded his wife relentlessly during the entire return drive. The more he chided her, the more agitated he became. He just wouldn't let up one minute.

To her relief, they finally arrived at the restaurant.

As the woman got out of the car, and hurried inside to retrieve her glasses, the old geezer yelled to her, "While you're in there, you might as well get my hat and the credit card."

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Tiger Woods We Ain't

A couple of weeks ago when I was scheduled to go out with other St. Louis bloggers and meet Bossy, John planned a night of mini-golf with the boys. To his detriment, he did not heed Luke’s warnings of, “My tummy hurts,” and the third hole ended up with a new hazard that no one wants to find on any golf course. So mini-golf was rescheduled for the next night and I was able to go along.

Something you need to know about engineers and mini-golf: we take it very seriously. The angles, the correct strength of the swing and speed with which the ball must travel, the trajectory, the lines. Figuring that out and being rewarded with a hole-in-one makes us a bit giddy. We tried to convince the boys to let John go first so they could see the correct line (or incorrect line) and try to emulate that (or not), but being almost 7 and 5 they already know everything there is to know about everything so there is no need to watch and learn. They did look cute and determined as they laid their clubs on the ground for use as sights to try to figure out and line up the correct angles of their shots only to be slightly disappointed when they were way off and the balls landed too far from the hole. If the ball completely left the green, however, that was considered a successful putt. Why do the makers of mini-golf balls make those things so darn bouncy?

When we go mini-golfing I usually do not play. There are several reasons for this. First, I am usually holding everyone’s stuff, which makes it hard to putt. Second, even if I wasn’t holding everyone’s stuff, I have other things going for me which make it hard to putt, like being totally directionally challenged and being more likely to hit my feet than the intended target or, worse, hit nothing at all. Third, once one of the kids is finished with his turn, he immediately runs to the next hole leaving anyone who hasn’t finished in his wake. By not playing, I am able to keep up with the boys and make sure that they don’t fall into any of the moving contraptions or water hazards or disturb the game of those ahead of us. We may be out-of-control, but we try to maintain some semblance of mini-golf etiquette. Fourth, I have to keep track of whose turn it is to go first. We must alternate who goes first on which hole to keep things fair and prevent golf clubs from being turned into weapons of mass destruction.

Luke is very good at giving advice and direction on things that he has no idea how to actually accomplish himself. Such as, “Just barely tap it,” or, “Line it up straight and it will go right in.” I don’t think Luke has just barely tapped anything in his life and line it up straight is an oxymoron in his vocabulary. But, maybe I’m not giving him enough credit. He did score pretty well for a four and a half year old. That could be due in part to the fact that he used his club as a barricade and laid it across the green anytime his ball started to roll in an undesired direction. It also could be due to the fact that a "4" was the highest number I gave anyone on the score card. I'm sure, had I counted accurately, we would have been in the double digits on several holes.

Missing an easy putt caused Luke to proclaim, “Tartar sauce,” and Jack to warn the next hole, “This time, it’s personal.” But, hole after hole, they never figured out that mastering this game takes patience and control, two things that my kids possess only in minute quantities and apparently do not want to waste by using. Ever.

We celebrated a great game of mini-golf by ending with the ultimate go-kart race. The boys raced these little ones. How cute are they?

video

Then we went on to race the big boys, with John driving Luke and me driving Jack. I've figured out that the real race at most of the tracks we go to is not the race on the track, as most of the go-karts run the same speed, but is actually the race to see who can get to the first go-kart in line. That is usually the person that wins the race. So, Jack and I won the race as we got to drive the first go-kart in line.

And the only person who had any accidents was me – once driving back into the parking spot, and once when John bumped me. The first referring to when I hit the tires and rails trying to get back into the parking line. The second referring to when I peed in my pants when John bumped me.