Henry fell asleep last night and woke up this morning talking about snakes, snakes, SNAKES. He dragged us outside, bright + early, in pajamas, to the snake barrel. Charlie was running through the yard in his underwear, helping to fetch snake breakfast. We offered worms and slugs. The customers politely declined.
It was decided that a trip to the store was in order. Our mission: better accomodations for our new friends (with the caveat: no, we won't be bringing them in the house -- and, no, we can't keep them forever as our pets). Henry was the brave helper, swiftly grabbing tails from the bottom of the barrel and introducing them to their new digs. Welcome to the snake hotel!
Niceties were added: stone, grass, seashell, sculpture, water feature. Would sir prefer beetle for breakfast? Millipede perhaps? Room service?
And then we learned the unfortunate fact-of-the-day. Too late, of course.
We returned from breakfast to find ... only one snake. I even pulled that seashell out of there and gave it a cavity search -- I was so sure that there was no possible escape route. But, alas. Lesson learned. Garter snakes can flatten their bodies and slither through impossibly tiny spaces. Namely, the vertical rectangular opening in the corner of the lid (above).
We hung around and witnessed snake no. 2 attempt a copycat escape. He chickened out and recoiled after manuevering about half his length through the slit ... but Henry eventually chose to release him in hopes that "he would lead us to the other snakes."
Where did he lead us? Right to the foundation of our house where he promptly disappeared into a crack in the ground. Which definitely, most certainly, absolutely does NOT lead into our basement. Right? Right?
Tonight Henry isn't the only one going to sleep thinking about snakes, snakes, SNAKES (eeeeek!).
yard wildlife: garter snakes have appeared at chez normal~ish.
definite love/hate situation. love: little boys' excitement, observation, study. hate: how many are out there?
right now: two fine specimens in a galvanized trash barrel. served dinner (centipede, spider, grub, ant, worm, mushroom) and given a dried grass bed. how many of their friends will we find tomorrow?
monday project: stick tipi in stump park.
supplies: big stump, random collected branches, twine, jumbo IKEA cable ties.
result: wild/life hideout in the making.
When: Saturday night
Where: Grandpa + Grandma's house
Who: Grandpa, Grandma, and Henry
I want to admit:
1. I'm being unreasonably intolerant of our current heat wave. The air conditioning is pumping away and I am not straying far from it. The boys and I have not been getting outside to play nearly enough -- and the lack of fresh-air-therapy shows. There were times in my life that I desperately wanted to move south -- to Florida or Texas or a tropical island. Now I'm pretty sure it was a good thing that it never panned out.
Henry has been pretty complain-y about the heat this year and (prior to this week) I had been trying hard to curb it by giving him plenty of opportunities to figure out that he actually will not melt. I hope that I'm not now adding (as they say) fuel to the fire. Because, really, I think this weather is only suitable for being wet (see below).
2. We haven't made it to the pool yet this summer. I am struggling with this. I don't feel like I can safely -- nor sanely -- manage both of my wild children there without Eric's help. This is huge bummer on so many levels. I know so many parents do just fine with larger flocks of kids (and I marvel at them and scratch my head and think "If only ..."). But the difficult truth is that we have "issues." Listening issues. Impulse-control issues. And some run-of-the-mill toddler issues. I think we could have some fun family evenings at the pool if the kids weren't so sleep-deprived and exhausted by the time Eric gets home from work. Hrmph.
3. I'm totally addicted to Domino's thin-crust pizza. I'm not sure how this happened since I had scarcely even tasted Domino's pizza until fairly recently. There is a carryout location mere blocks from our house, which I now know is much, much too convenient.
4. Against my better judgment, I took both boys grocery shopping with me twice today. You'd think I would've learned my lesson at the first store when Henry actually got reprimanded by an employee (!!!). True story. I ran into a friend and was attemping to chat for a few minutes (while her two children, I might add, waited patiently). Patience for such things is not a strong suit of Henry's. Vying for attention, he was getting progressively more wild and outlandish with the available "props" in the produce aisle. Pretending scallions were sprouting out of his head. A head of cabbage was a "hat." Until an employee put the brakes on it, reminding him that "people will need to eat this." At which point I was a mixed bag of feelings, not the least of which was "incompetent parent."
5. Charlie's ex-nursery is stuck in a holding pattern. He never used it for sleeping and has now outgrown the other uses (diaper-changing, rocking to sleep). Thusly the poor room has inadvertently morphed into a giant, messy closet. I have a great pair of vintage Jenny Lind twin beds earmarked for the room -- and, in a burst of motivation, I even dashed off to IKEA for mattresses. That was weeks ago. I have some serious clothes-sorting, purging, and organizing to do -- before the beds can make their debut. So ... holding pattern.
6. The second grocery store visit today was at the end of the day (e.g. the end of my energy). When I realized that we were going to be waiting in the checkout line for awhile, I opened a bag of potato chips and used them to keep the boys happy and cooperative. This was only moderately successful and definitely morally questionable -- but still worth it.
7. I think I also need a potato chip. Or, perhaps, a thin-crust Domino's pizza.
air-conditioned play on a steamy afternoon. must. break. away. from. the. vent.
This was a fieldtrip in the most literal sense -- we visited a field. Oh, I do love a farm fieldtrip. And this was not the standard midwestern cornfield. It was a lush, green, bowl-of-a-field. Tucked down at the base of a steep, mysterious path is this sustainable treasure. I may have audibly gasped when I emerged from the shaded, tree-lined path -- and found myself in the midst of delicious hazy light and rows upon rows of vegetables, surrounded all around by thick woods and a stream.
This is Henry's Farm -- not my little Henry, but rather the very wise farmer Henry. This double-name situation did create minor confusion, namely for Charlie. As we discussed our upcoming trip to "Henry's Farm," Charlie repeatedly corrected us: "Charlie's Farm!"
He did seem to love it. He was immediately comfortable, happily wandering far ahead of the group as he followed deep tractor tire tracks. Here he picked himself a tender onion for sampling (he thinks it's his farm after all).
"Hmmm, yes, everything is looking good here..."
"... and here, too."
Henry made himself right at home as well -- acting as a little shadow to farmer Henry (and not wanting to miss out on any freshly-picked offerings!). Here he got permission to try out a special seat (note the mouth "accessory").
Of course they found the mud.
A trip to the field does them good.