This is not that blog.
Alex’s birthday was weeks ago. The reason I’m writing about it now is that his present came last week and it was exciting. Sadly, he was out of town when it arrived, so he was the last one to use it, but the kiddos and I really enjoyed it.
I should back up. Well, I “shouldn’t,” but I want to and it’s my blog so I won’t not be backing up for you.
Jack threw up in the hallway at school the day Alex’s gift arrived.
Wait. I should back up. (See above.)
Jack gets carsick. Jack especially gets carsick in the morning. Jack has to ride in my car for an hour every morning because of our fucked up driving schedule. Usually he’s okay, but sometimes he pukes because of this. I prefer that he do it a block away from the school, but that doesn’t always happen. One time I opened the car door in the drop off lane and he leaned out and puked all over the curb in full view of the main office.
Once you puke at school, you are officially persona non grata for that day. It doesn’t matter that I know and you know and Jack knows and the whole damn school knows that it was because he was carsick. If a kid throws up on school grounds and an adult witnesses it, you have a buddy at home for the day.*
(*Exception: Quinn. Sometimes they let him stay because he pukes if you, like, cough loudly in front of him.)
Anywho. I drove all my kids to school that day, came home, sat down, and the phone rang. It was my friend, the school nurse. Jack never even made it to class. He threw up right in the hall. You know the rest.
So, Jack and I were at home. We had a brief but intense scuffle over the homework he would have been assigned that day. I emerged with a Phyrric victory.
All of that is to say that Jack was home when Alex’s birthday present arrived.
Oh no. I fear I have to back up again.
I bought Alex’s birthday present a long time ago. I mean, there is no way on earth that it would have arrived in time for his birthday, but it surely shouldn’t have taken as long as it did. See, I bought Alex a hammock. He asked for it and I thought it was the stupidest present ever, but I decided to buy it for him anyway.
The hammock part of the thing came quickly, but the hammock stand did not. Eventually I got an email from the vendor saying that my return had gone through and that my money had been refunded, which was a drag because I was not entirely sure that I could hold up a hammock USING AIR.
It turned out to have been a mistake. “The shipper damaged the package during shipping,” they told me, “and just returned the remains to us.”
Naturally I wonder what exactly the hell happened to that hammock stand. Remains? Really? I almost asked for a photograph, but the customer service rep was busy helping me re-place the order and waiving the shipping so I didn’t want to rock the hammock, so to speak.
So, hammock remains…shift forward…Jack carsick…shift forward…Jack at home…shift forward…hammock stand arrives.
Are we all caught up? Good.
So, after the homework battle was waged and won and the video game reward was presented and used, we needed another activity. The arrival of the hammock stand was perfect. Jack was tailor made for hammock stand unpacking and construction, mostly because it involved lots of metal tubes packaged in bubble wrap.
*I* was less delighted by the contents of the package, mostly due to this:
Fortunately, my partner had a gung ho attitude and set to work.
We even found a secondary use for the hammock stand.
The next step was maybe even more fun for Jack than the bubble wrap because it involved carabiners and chains, which offered all kinds of shiny metal fun. I’m actually a little surprised that he hasn’t since disassembled the thing.
Jack was excited to be the first one to try out the hammock.
By sheer coincidence, I happened to be taking a photo when Jack and I discovered the back breaking capabilities of the hammock as well.
Evidently there is a balance element to sitting in a hammock.
So here’s the thing about the hammock. It has turned out to be maybe the most awesome thing we’ve ever owned. Jack lies in it and it kind of wraps around him and swings and is in the sun and is sort of the best thing ever for a kid with the exact sensory seeking profile as Jack.
I think that Alex thinks it is all right too. Quinn was so thrilled when he came home. He made me make him a glass of lemonade with ice cubes and a bendy straw to take to the hammock, because evidently that is what you do when you have a hammock.
I’ve been won over too. Somewhere between snuggling with Jack in the sun and sitting in the thing while Jack asked if he could gently rock it, I decided that we might be a hammock family after all.