Friday, January 23, 2009

A Saturday Afternoon with the Kids

So, Barb had this crazy wonderful idea to give us a family gift this year for Christmas to force us to spend some quality time together as a family. She must have been out of her mind known that with two teenage girls and a 6 year old, there isn’t a whole lot that they all LIKE to do together, so she came up with something for us all!

For Christmas, she gave us all gift certificates to a book store – as well as some money to use to go out to eat before or after the shopping. Perfect because 4 of the 5 of us love to read, and the one who doesn’t can still get a CD or game – they have a lot more than books at book stores now!

So, we decided to go last Saturday because Jeff was starting a new job that would have him working on Saturdays for at least the next 9 weeks. So, two Saturdays ago, we all piled in the truck and headed south to the book store. We decided on Applebee’s for lunch, and then onto the bookstore that was just down the road.

Once at Applebee’s, we became THAT family. The one that goes in and doesn’t like the place that the hostess seats us at. (Not me, I was fine with where she took us!) So, Jeff asked, “Can we sit in a booth?” Well, you know… booths aren’t really made for 5 people, but since the 5th person is little, we can kinda make it work. Unless that 5th person insists on sitting with Mom and Dad and not with his sisters. So, it was a little snug, but we managed.

Conor and Jeff spent a lot of time looking around the restaurant at the paraphernalia hanging on the walls and pointing out different things of interest. Then I heard a song and it was one I liked, but it was from a few years back and I couldn’t remember who sang it. So I asked Jeff.

“I don’t know, ask the waitress.”

So, I did. She didn’t remember either, so she went to ask someone else and returned with an answer.

After she left Jeff said, “We should tell her that her tip depends on her knowledge of the music being played – for every one we ask that she gets right, it is a dollar. If she misses, it goes down a dollar.” “Uhhhh, no.”

So, she comes back and he tells her that! She was fun though, and she tried to play along. Conor assured her that his dad was, “Just joking.”

At one point she didn’t know one and I mouthed the answer to her so she would get it right – Jeff totally didn’t see me do it, but now he will know.

Then Jeff would quiz Allie and Ceara about them as well. There were a lot of old songs played, nothing really recent, but when one song came on, I was sure that Allie would know it.

“Allie, you know who sings this song, right?”

“Ummm, let me listen.” *pause* “No.”

“WHAT?! Seriously? I am SO telling Poppy on you. I can’t believe you haven’t been exposed to them. Starts with the letter at the end of the alphabet…”

I forget what she guessed, but it started with an X.

“Ummm, hello? You don’t know what letter is at the end of the alphabet?”

Then she guessed something else that started with a Z, but it wasn’t correct.

“Poppy looks like them a bit with his beard…”

Nothing. Blank stare.

“ZZ Top, duh!”
“I don’t know who they are…”

“OMG! I really am telling Poppy on you. I can’t believe you don’t know who ZZ Top is.”

I know she is young, and they are old… but I have gone to great lengths to torture expose her older music and make sure she has a little bit of taste in music. Like Lynyrd Skynyrd. And the Eagles. And Bob Seger. Stuff I make her listen to all the time in my car. And I KNOW that Jack (Poppy) also subjects her to older music. And she has done fairly well in picking up on it, and actually liking it.

And then it started. “What time are we going to be home?”

"Ummm, I don’t know, we are just relaxing and enjoying ourselves. We aren’t really on a time schedule.”

“Well, I’m supposed to go to the movies tonight.” (This was Ceara.)

“Yeah, we should be home in plenty of time for the 7 o’clock movie.”

“But I wanted to go to the 5 o’clock.”

“And I want to go to Chrissy’s” (Allie)

Sheesh! Guess it is too much to ask that two teenagers spend a whole afternoon with their parents!

“Well, we can’t help you. You didn’t tell us your plans, and we made plans, and we’re not rushing. This is supposed to be fun.”

Conor wanted dessert and so he got some chocolate thing (surprise) and the girls were squirming in their seats with impatience.

We finally left the restaurant, much to our server’s delight, and went onto the book store. As soon as we went in, everyone went a different way. Jeff went to look at DVDs initially, Allie went straight for the books, Ceara went to the games, and I chased after Conor, who went off on his own and gave his mom an anxiety attack while she was searching for him.

I found him within a couple of min and he announced, “I’ve already been to the kids section and there isn’t anything in there I want.”

Then he saw a display of stuffed animals and immediately wanted one of those. As if he doesn’t already have 100 stuffed animals taking up space in his room. However, it was his gift card to spend as he wanted, so I told him he could carry it around with him while we looked at other things. Hoping that I would be able to convince him to get something else.

We looked at books, games, movies, and he did not decide on anything else. Then we met up with Jeff, who had gotten a book on CD (Bill Bryson’s Shakespeare: The World as Stage), so I left Conor with Jeff while I went off to search for something for myself.

While looking, I ran into Ceara who had decided to get a Rubix Cube game, and said that she was just going to hang out with me while I looked. Then we ran into Allie who had found 3 books to buy. They both went to pay for their purchases, while I continued to look. Then Jeff and Conor walked up and Conor was done as well. Conor had found a magic kit that he wanted, in addition to getting the dog.

The girls wanted to go wait in the car for us, so Jeff handed them the keys and they took Conor with them to go sit in the truck. Jeff and I walked around together for a little while, and then he went off on his own. I looked all over the store and I was feeling a bit rushed and decided that I didn’t want to get anything that day. Sorry, Barb! I participated, I just figured I would be better off waiting until the book I want comes out, or having the time and no pressure to look around for myself.

So, I started looking for Jeff. I walked the whole store a few times looking for him. I even hovered outside the men’s room to see if he came out. I finally decided to just go outside and see if he was in the truck. Sure enough, he was. They were all sitting there waiting on me, so I just climbed in the truck and we were off.

Jeff opened his new book and put a CD in, while the girls sat in the back listening to their iPods. Conor took a little nap on the ride home, so he was a bit groggy when we got there. Jeff was volunteered to take the girls to their social events, and Conor and I went into the house to practice his magic tricks.

He was seriously disappointed that it wasn’t really “magic” and that he was unable to make things really disappear by buying this little box. However, he did enjoy finding out how to trick people into thinking it was magic. We went through the books and he practiced a few to try out on his dad.

He was never really a good secret keeper. He always tells on himself whenever he does something he isn’t supposed to do (like eat a piece of candy before dinner or whatever), so after each trick and his dad being amazed, he had to show him how it was done.

He said he was just going to tell his mom and dad because he didn’t want to keep secrets from us! I wonder how long that will last? I’m betting not very long.

We had a fun day, though! I would like, just once, to take a tape recorder or something with us when we do these outings. We always laugh a lot. Usually at Jeff because we all gang up on him, but still… it is fun. Although I didn’t get a book, I am getting one next week. When John Grisham’s new book comes out. That will give me something to read for a day. Or maybe two since it is a work day.

Thank you Barb! We did have a lot of fun despite my teasing at the beginning! :) I have just figured out how to do the strikeout through words. After all these years of blogging... lol Everyone enjoyed the food, and the afternoon together.

1 comment:

barb said...

You're welcome!! I'm glad you all got into the spirit of the gift and went together as I had wanted! It's so hard for families to get together for much of anything and I wanted this to be a special gift for all of you to share.

I think we need to find a way to make memories for each other. Thanks for making the effort to go along with me on this one, I'll remember it!

(your blogs are a hoot!)