I have the greatest cousins. Although we don't get together as often as we like, I have a blast when I am with them. Today The Tribe was able to hang out and lunch with one of my cousins, CD, her husband and two boys. At my suggestion, we headed to a fast-foodery where we could enclose the kiddos in a glassed-in play area and make an attempt at a "real conversation." (Whatever the heck that is.)
The scenerio is pretty much the same every time we do something like this. We arrive at our destination, hustle the kids across the parking lot and into the establishment to a frenzy of "where are we going to sit?", "Not right now, we'll play after we eat," "Are you gonna order? What do you want to eat?" "Hang on just a minute.", "How many chairs and high chairs to we need?", etc., etc., etc. So designated parents get the food and today it was me and JD, my cousin-in-law. We get in line. "I can't do fast food math fast enough." "CD has given me a run-down of what we need." "You go ahead, I haven't got the math finished." We order. Food is passed out to all the kiddos, ketchup is dispensed, all is well. We begin conversation. Kids take four bites each of their food and it's, "Can I go play now?" After a few encouragements to eat a little more, they are off. We commence conversation about the acting ability (or lack of depending on your stance) of Johnny Depp, PEEHIP, Kids Market and various children smells that make us gag. Truly the intellect is staggering, but we are enjoying it and no one is having to recite their ABC's or Hop on Pop.
Of course there is the intermittent interruption of someone needing a drink or getting in a playground scuffle or whatever, but for the most part we are good, and as long as I was popping food into mine they were happy. Daddy's Girl informs us of a playground bully, but she has it under control. Little Prince is in heaven because his big sister's got his back and he gets to play with his boy cousins too. We send them after lost socks about a dozen times and finally just tell DG, "Just find some socks and bring them back, and we will figure out which ones are ours!" We continue on our conversation, the guys get milkshakes and everything is going along fine.
Then it happens. Daddy's Girl comes up to our table breathless and in tears. I was sure that she had been punched by the bully. But it turns out she has fallen backwards off of the slide that she was standing over onto her back and knocked the breath out of her. She is panicking because she thought she had paralyzed herself and is sitting in my lap crying. Now I've given Sunshine to Mr. Wonderful who is wrestling with her because it's way past naptime and I've fed her everything on the table, plus two packs of fruit chews and some jelly beans that were in her bag, and LP is running from our table to the lady two tables back to give her the salt shaker. I am sitting on the outside of the booth and, as you may or may not know, that means I am the point man for chasing any runaway kids. So I set down DG and go after LP and when I am turned around the woman behind me mouths that "She fell really hard. I think she really might be hurt." To which I wanted to reply, "Maam, this is nothing. Three weeks ago, we about lost a finger in the bathroom door.* We're good." I know she wanted to call DHR.
Daddy's Girl recovered, we got all the kids together (with socks) and all was good. Now I'm trying to decide, since we are two for two at fast food playgrounds, should we will be taking visitors here at the home front for a while. Well, come on by and we'll sing our ABC's and read Dr. Seuss for you.
*For those of you who haven't heard the story, I'll try to post it soon.
P.S. JD, this one wasn't just LIKE your life, it was your life.