Monday, June 7, 2010

Summer Fun, Wasted Food and a Moment of Bliss

I just realized I missed posting last week.  There was memorial day, then I had to do end-of-month billing for short, it's the oldest, lamest excuse in the book:  I forgot.  I also spent the end of the week making lists and gathering things to go out of town to see Jason's parents.  I have to say, it was by far the best, most relaxing road trip we've taken with Jack.  We left at bedtime on Friday.  Jack hadn't taken a nap and had run around like a nut with my parents all afternoon, so he crashed in the car almost immediately.  He did not, however, pass out before we went through the Chick-fil-a drive-thru with the little general demanding a vanilla milkshake, which brings me to an important digression:
We asked if they had a kid-sized shake, because even the small size is gargantuan.  They didn't, so Jason asked if they would just fill up a small halfway.  We'd still pay for the whole thing.  Apparently, their shake machine dispenses pre-determined amounts, so they couldn't give us less.  It seemed kind of ridiculous.  We ended up with a small (giant) shake and an extra cup.  I quickly ate off the whipped cream and cherry, and then poured about a third of it in the extra cup with a lid for Jack.  The rest of it sat melting and wasted in the front cup holder, Jason and I determinedly refusing to give into the temptation to finish it.  As it turned out, Jack took three sips of his portion of the shake and fell asleep with it between his legs before we even got out of town.  So, instead of getting, say, a six-ounce cup of shake, we wasted approximately 14 ounces of ice cream and milk, a cherry and whipped cream that I didn't really want to eat, and we sent two styrafoam cups, two plastic lids and two straws to the landfill.  All this, and Jack didn't even really drink much of it.  I REALLY wish restaurants would offer not just kids' meals, but toddler portions.  While the waste of money does irk me, what bothers me more is the abundant waste of food and plastic containers.  It shouldn't be so hard to get less, especially when you're not even asking for a price reduction.
So that digression turned out to be longer than I intended.  I'll hop down off my soapbox now.  We had a great trip to see Jason's parents.  We took Jack to the beach on Saturday, and he loved loved loved it.  He shrieked joyfully at each wave when we were out in the water.  He didn't even mind that much when one occasionally hit him in the face.  He delighted in stomping on the sandcastles Jason's mom (Linda/"Gigi") made expressly for that purpose.  He chased seagulls and hollered, "come back!" at them when they took flight, and he intently licked the saltiness off my shoulder as I carried him.  We stopped for burgers and fries on the way home.  Jack ate about a third of his grilled cheese and about four fries - another food-wasting opportunity.  Why can't I order half a sandwich for him??  But that's beside the point.  It was a great day.  We all had a good time, and Jack had a blast.  Linda and I took a lot of pictures, but I'm pretty sure none of them is going to really capture the simple fun of the day.
The rest of the weekend was also great.  Jason and I got to go to an Astros game with his dad (David/"Papa") that night.  The Astros lost, but we relished the opportunity to be out together as adults and not have to have eighteen conversations about backhoes and frontloaders and trash trucks and fire trucks and ambulances.....  Sunday, Jason and David played golf.  Linda, Jason's sister (Shannon) and I took Jack to Kemah Boardwalk.  We rode the train and took a ride on the carosel - Jack's first.  We ate lunch there and met the guys back at the house afterward.  Then, we packed up to go home.  Jack, exhausted, fell asleep for a nap in about ten minutes.  When he woke up an hour later, we made a pit stop and continued down the highway with Jack happily playing with his cars in the back.  As we neared home, I thought the weekend had been close to perfect.  I actually felt relaxed after being in the car for three hours with my toddler - damned near amazing.  As I reclined in my seat with my bare feet propped on the dash, I took time to cherish the moment.  It's nice Jack can finally entertain himself with a few toys and his own imagination for a bit.  I took a picture of it in my mind and told myself to remember it, because since we're thinking about kiddo number two now, it's going to be a long time before this happens again.

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