Sunday, May 27, 2007

Tales From the Road, Chapter Three


Alex’s mom reports that at about 7 a.m. a sound-asleep Sam shouts “Pirates!” from his slumber. I told you there were stories about pirates in there.

Because Quinn still doesn’t feel well, I stay home with him to let him sleep and the rest of the family goes to breakfast. Alex neglects to bring me home anything to eat, so I have to resort to leftover spinach ravioli for breakfast.

While watching TV, a car commercial comes on (no TiVo at grandpa’s house) and Sam says, “The news is on; I don’t want to watch the news.” Because in Sam’s head there are two kinds of TV: stuff that he likes and the news.

We decide to go out for ice cream because Quinn is feeling better. The ice cream shack has soft serve ice cream and outside seating in the warm sun. Not a good combo if you’re Jack and your ice cream is melting faster that you can eat it. Compounded by the fact that there are sprinkles on it and he is trying desperately to eat the sprinkles off of his hand, the table, and (dear God, Alex and I are awesome parents) the ground before they get away. At some point he drops his entire cone on the ground. Without a word, Alex gives it back to him. (Like I said: awesome!) Then he starts eating it from the bottom of the cone.

Sam does a little better, and when he has eaten all he wants, Quinn trades his almost-finished vanilla cone for Sam’s larger vanilla and chocolate cone with sprinkles. Good trade, little man, good trade.

Later, after a trip to the estate lawyer, dinner, and dropping Grandma at the airport, Sam tries to figure out the differences in age, height, and speed between Alex and his mom, who recently had hip surgery. After figuring out that Grandma is older than Dad, but Dad is taller, Sam decides that speed can be the tiebreaker: “Someday, when Grandma’s hip is better, I want to see you guys race.”

On the way back to the house, after a lot of screaming in the backseat (Sam) and a little screaming from the front seat (Alex), I put the DVD player down again. I have some major philosophical issues with DVD players in cars, but oh dear God, I have some even more major practical reasons to love it. We watch Baby Einstein while Sam admonishes Jack, “I told you to laugh in your head.”

The evening winds to a close as Sam and Jack find some strange objects in the bedroom. (No, not that, you dirty mind.) Sam picks up two paddles apparently used for some terrible 20th-century hazing rituals and asks what they’re for. My list of acceptable answers would have included, “They’re miniature oars,” or “They’re decorations,” or even, “I don’t know.” Alex’s answer? “They’re from my dad’s fraternity to hit people in the butt.” About five minutes later, Sam emerges from the room to ask, “Dad, someday can we hit people in the butt with these?”


  1. Please, no more comments about Nana dropping a cookie on the ground and then giving it to Quinn. Y.M.

  2. But isn't ice cream even worse? The ground-gook doesn't stick to a cookie. I think I'll work on teaching the kids the meaning of "ground score!"


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