Sunday, June 19, 2005
Father's Day Weekend ... of DOOOOOM!
Saturday was interesting. Not so much in the 'intellectually stimulating' way. Just little events strung together. The morning swim went grandly. The Mrs had bought two swim outfits for the kids that had flotation devices sewn into the torso. This made it easier for the kids to do their strokes without some bulky vest encumbering them. Well, as soon as Alexis figured out that she did not need to have daddy or mommy to cling to, she would have NOTHING to do with us. Little Mrs independent. The upside is that she was kicking the whole time trying to tread water. I was hoping that this would tire her out so she would nap during our drive up to the Hinterlands of NJ. We had pancakes at Perkins as scheduled, but found ourselves saddled with a neglectful waitress. Everything was fine till we wanted to leave. We sat there for 15 minutes as the kids became more agitated. We just needed a bill and a box for the left-over food. After a while, we got tired of waiting and a I grabbed the kids and hustled them out while the Mrs got out her hunting equipment. She was about to track down the errant server when she caught the attention of a bus-boy who got the bill and a box for her. never saw the waitress (Michele) again, but that may have been a good thing. Either we would get a weak apology or none at all. In any event, the Mrs did the tipping and she is not as generous or forgiving as I am.
We had a house warming event to go to ... near the Pallisades in NJ. Fairly nice area actually. The standard NorthEast sleepy hollow sort of town that has one major intersection that is perpetually clogged. The downside is that you really cannot get anywhere in that region quickly unless you take the Garden State Expressway, which is an adventure in itself. The upside is that they use EZPass. The downside is that you have to stop everywhere to pay tolls. At least in the Northern part, the EZPass readers could handle you going 65+ mph. The shore traffic was going in the opposite direction for both legs of the trip so it only took us about 2 hours on each leg. Given that it was just over 100 miles for each trip, we did fairly well. The kids slept for about 30 minutes the whole time. Recently, they have become less interested in taking their mid-afternoon naps. Ahhh, if they only knew how much I would love to be forced to take a multi-hour nap in the middle of the day. Ohhh, the arm twisting and cajoling it would require (sarcasm alert!). We arrive shortly before 1400 hours and find that we are nearly the first guests to arrive. Perfect, it gives us time to let the kids get settled in and for the Mrs and I to converse a bit with the hosts before they become harried with the standard party emergencies. The kids lasted about an hour before the engaged in the typical mind-rending flurry of demands or actions that strike fear into the hearts of parents. Disappearing around corners, charging at the grill, dashing off at top speed at the salt-water aquarium. Standard stuff. I think my hair-line is receding and it's not the wife's fault.
Later on in the life of the party, some folks show up with lap dogs. The dog that the kids become most attached to is a 'wiener dog' puppy. Jake could not leave him alone and thankfully, the owner was more than happy to be with Jake as he tried to lead it around on the leash and 'take care' of it. Fortunately, I think we have gotten through to him that you cannot treat the smaller dogs like they treat the indestructible haupertonian cybernetic hounds. At 1800, we have had enough of chasing our kids around and slowly initiate a retreat to the Family Tank. We say our goodbyes a couple times as we return to pick up various belongings deposited about the property. That, and we needed to abscond with a few metric tons of rice-crispy bars and chocolate cookies to keep the kids in check till we got back to the manor. The larder at the manor is stocked with all the appropriate vittles fortified with sufficient fuel to keep the kids from lapsing into a nutrient deficiency rage. Here on the road though, we are at the mercy of whatever 'fat of the land' we happen across. The trip back was relatively uneventful. Outside of the standard INSANE driving habits of those around me and the various accidents involving tractor trailers. We manage to zip by those disaster scenes before the rubber-neck hordes had flocked to the scene like a battalion of destruction famished vultures. The usual traffic impedances had cleared up and we got back just in time to give the kids a small meal and then send them off to a severely needed dream land. The frazzled parental units were also longing to dive into bed and let the days events drift away on the wings of dreams. Alas, we were to be sorely disappointed.
When the Mrs and I finished up prepping the Manor for the night, we dove into bed and started to nod off before the waves in the mile wide water bed had subsided. There were the usual creeks and groans from the old frame, of course. I bought the thing back in 1990 when I was working at DEC so it is coming to the end of it's days. I paid no attention to the tiny 'pop' that accompanied the litany of groaning wood and sloshing of water. The noise I could not ignore manifested itself about an hour or two later. It was that steady 'drip-drip-drip' of water going where it should not. I immediately shook myself to a waking state and ran over to the light. I was courteous enough to alert the Mrs so she could cover her eyes. Nothing like waking to the blinding glare of a dozen recessed lights to get you into a cranky mood. I started inspecting the perimeter of the bed and quickly found the origin of the noise. There was a leak in the liner. Which is just a touch worse than finding the leak in the tube because now we must immediately drain the bed since the liner will not hold the water. We have been intending to clean out the Master Bedroom for some time now so I could refinish the floors, it's just that I was not expecting to do it at 0100 on a Sunday morning ... Father's Day morning. It took till 0200 to get things right where the bed was draining into the shower and the leak in the liner was staunched. The rest of Sunday was spent cleaning out the master suite and disassembling various bits of furniture. I did get a card from the kids though, it made the day a bit more tolerable. So guys, How did YOUR special day go?