Friday, August 21, 2009

Toad spit and squirrel attacks

One of the fun things Alex and I did this past month was go to the Arboretum with our friends, Katie and Charlotte. They have a membership, and we don't (yet) so they invited us on a playdate to play in the "Spitting Frog Fountains".

With A and his water issues, I wasn't sure if he'd even get near the fountains. And at first, both of the kids were all, "You want us to do what?"



I even got Alex's "woman, you must be outcha mind" look.



There were a bunch of other kids running around when we first got there, so I think maybe our little ones were even more overwhelmed by all the splashing and screaming. But after a few minutes, the place cleared out, and Alex and Charlotte gradually started to warm up to the water.




Ironically, I think they "warmed up" to the water because the water was cool, and it was flippin' hot that day, even at ten-thirty in the morning. They had the place to themselves for a few minutes, then another onslaught of kids showed up. By that time, A had really gotten into it - he tends to succumb to peer pressure, especially when his peers are slightly older, so he spent about ten minutes walking back and forth between the fountains while the older kids splashed him. He literally just stood there with water shooting directly into his face, like he didn't want to be a sissy in front of the older kids and go crying to his mommy. And of course, I was all, "Hey dude, you scream bloody murder when I pour water over your head to rinse your hair at bathtime, but you're gonna stand there and let strange children pelt you in the face with water?" Maybe I should just have one of those kids come to my house during bathtime to wash Alex's hair...





Once the kids had had enough of the water, the next plan was to let them run around for a while so they could dry off a little before we had lunch. The Arboretum had done this storybook project where different businesses designed these big playhouses that were based on classic stories and built them at different points throughout the Arboretum so the kids could play on/in them. Even cooler than that was that Katie's husband/Charlotte's daddy Josh is an architect who helped design and build the Treasure Island playhouse (built it twice, in fact, after the Arboretum decided it was in the wrong place), so we all got to play in The House That Josh Built. Neither Katie nor I could remember exactly what happened in Treasure Island - I think that the story we came up with was a cross between Peter Pan and Robinson Crusoe - but the kids had a ball playing in the boat and running through the house.






Is she not the cutest thing ever? After a bit, we moved on to another playhouse that had a slide, and the kids took turns clapping for each other as they slid down.






By this time, we were starving, so we found a place to sit down and have a picnic lunch in a spot that overlooks White Rock Lake. What we did not realize was that squirrels also appreciate a nice lake view. That, or as Katie suggested, we set up camp directly on top of their acorn stash because they would not leave us alone. What is it with the squirrels in Texas? In case you have forgotten, I have a long and sordid history with aggressive squirrels (remember this and this?). And these nasty rodents were no exception. We threw things at them, made loud noises, tried to chase them away, and our efforts to get rid of the only got the attention of other squirrels who then came over to find out what all the ruckus was.

We considered moving but decided that a) it probably wasn't the place we picked that attracted them, but rather, the fact that we had a veritable feast of sandwiches and crackers and fruit displayed at their eye level, so moving our feast to another spot probably wouldn't have made a difference, and b) we just didn't feel like packing up the kids and their stuff and all the food and trying to find a picnic table, especially since we were halfway through the meal already. By the time we were done eating, the kids were yelling, "Shoo, squirrels! No-no! Go squirrels!" and clapping their hands with delight as the squirrels got closer and closer. Apparently they weren't as worried about catching The Rabies as we were.



A LOVES to have wide open spaces where he can run around, and he also loves to run around half naked (or whole naked, when circumstances allow). So to be outside, half naked, and running around, he was in hog heaven.



The kids were mostly dry at that point, so we changed them and got ready to go home for naps. But not before A tried to get his mack on. I'm not sure what his strategy was, but it involved poking at Charlotte with his finger and talking to her in a high-pitched baby voice. Yeah, he's got game.




When that strategy didn't work, he just skipped the small talk and went in for the kill. When his hug was rejected, his changed up his strategy and started playing hard-to-get.





Good girl, Charlotte, I'm sure your folks would like for you to keep that attitude about boys for a very long time.

It's so fun to have A at this age because you start thinking about how the friends he makes now could end up being his "childhood friends", the kids he will have known since he was little and who he grows up with and with whom he reminisces about the "good ol' days" when they used to run around the Arboretum together...hopefully that will be the case with these two.

And to encourage that end, we have another playdate on Tuesday at the zoo, and I think Katie and I are just as excited about that as the kids will be. The next installment in The Adventures of Alex and Charlotte, soon to come!

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