Sunday, September 15, 2013

While You Were Sleeping

 It was the best kind of Monday possible. Labor Day had arrived and with it meant that our weekend with Dad had been extended. I awoke, however, to an unusual stillness. My ears were awake before my eyes. As I lay there with my eyelids tightly closed, I wait for the sound of shuffling feet on hardwood floors or the sudden sound of a raised voice, angry over a stolen piece of Lego. Proof of a home full of active children was absent.The foreign voice of quietness was all that was there to greet me. My baby, whom I'd been up with a few hours earlier, was sleeping soundly in his crib. But where were his siblings?

Checking the clock I determined that Andrew had whisked them away on our planned morning adventure. I was simultaneously impressed and hurt by the fact that he had fed the children, dressed them (this was hopefully assumed) and packed up their fishing gear all by himself. And through the chaos of his morning, I slept blissfully unaware. The garage door, which sounds like a kitchen disposal chewing up a dozen forks, is directly under our bedroom. How did I miss the sound of that opening?

It was a weird feeling to wake up and not have anyone to answer to. I made my way downstairs to the kitchen. The familiar post-breakfast mess was almost comforting as it seemed to say,

"We've been here, Mom! Now clean this up!" Instead, I went ahead and made myself a bowl of  'Raisin Brown' - as Lottie calls it. Eliza answered Andrew's cell phone. In the background I could hear celebration as it would seem that Lottie had just caught a fish. Again, I felt sad that Forrest and I had been left behind. However, as the day progressed and I realized how much I had truly benefited from those extra hours of sleep, I got over it. It wasn't long after that the rain arrived, putting a halt on their fishing adventure. It was a good thing they had left as early as they did.

The fishing crew had a great time. Everyone caught more than one fish. Henry, it was reported, caught the biggest. It was a cat fish. He was pretty thrilled about it.
The fish are well camouflaged in this photo, 
but believe it or not they all have a fish at the end of their rods. 

And, as a consolation prize for Forrest and me, they brought home a little present. Nothing says "We love you Mom!" more than a cuddly, sweet, 'oh please can I hold it now' pet snake.

 Yay! Awesome! That's so great!  Ugh.
Meet Viper. 

Rule #1. Snakes aren't pets. Don't bring them in my home.
Rule #2. If you break Rule #1, at least give him a warm-fuzzy, naturally cheerful type name. Suggestions include: Elmo, Captain Sunshine or Fred. Names like 'Viper' and 'Lord Venom' increase disdain.

Happily I will admit that I never held the snake. As for the kids and neighborhood friends, they were glad to have him around. He provided loads of entertainment.
Lottie shows me how it's done. 

Andrew kept the surprises coming the following day when he came home from work. As he opened the garage door, a random dog ran up to greet him. This lap dog quickly cast a charming spell, much like the snake I'm sure, as Andrew scooped him up and brought him inside. Teasing the kids, he announces the puppy as our newest family member. 

You would have thought it was Christmas! Quickly, being the Grinch, I had to inform them otherwise. Thanks to the magic of Facebook, we were able to locate his owner. To their credit, my kids were great dog owners in the few hours they enjoyed him. It was a good thing we had Viper around to help ease their disappointment when the dog left. 

A week or so later, Viper escaped. I've been told, it happened while he was outside. For the sake of maintaining my personal sanity I am going to go ahead and trust that I was told the truth. I'm glad we can permanently check, "Have a pet snake" off of their childhood bucket lists.

Speaking of bucket lists, Andrew recently had the chance to go on an extreme dream fishing trip. On the north fork of the platte river in Colorado, Andrew enjoyed a day of fishing.
You're right. I think he had fun too.


jamie t. said...

That is an impressive fish! My husband would love that too. You're a good sport with that snack. Eeek!

Katie Jensen said...

Rule #1 is no animals :) (for me at least). We mothers have our limits, right! What a fun surprise to get to sleep in. Is it sad I dream of the days I can sleep all I want? We miss you guys. Let's plan a zoo date or a dinosaur park date.

*Jess* said...

Andrew is a great dad :)