Sunday, November 20, 2005

Long Long Overdue

Last week, Wednesday, I had my second blogger meet-up. I grabbed the kids and headed down to Long Beach, to meet Gina and her three-year-old son, Mr. Personality. Because Gina is so completely put-together and organized, she found the spot for us to meet and sent me terrific directions over email. She doesn't even live in L.A., and she knew how to get there better than I did. (But then again, that's not saying much.)

Gina is smart, and kind, and easy-going, and we had a really great time. I am definitely looking forward to meeting up with her again. The one difficulty in meeting with another mother is that much of the time is spent running after the various children, so all kinds of interesting conversations were started, and not many of them were finished.

Isaac was still in his "you are not the boss of me" mode, so I had to do more chasing than usual, especially once he found the arcade, with all the shiny shiny games, and steering wheels, and flashing lights. Vivian was her usual easy but shy self. Neither child ate a bite of their taquitos, or the mixed vegetables I rustled up from the Chinese place at the food court. They each ate a handful of pretzels and some applesauce and that was it. (I enjoyed my fish tacos--they seem to go well with blogger meet-ups!). Fortunately Mr. Personality didn't eat much of his lunch either, so there wasn't any reason to feel inadequate. (Not that what your child eats at the malls food court should have any bearing on your inadequacy schtick, as Phantom calls it--but that's assuming you are sane logical person. And we all know I am not.)

Anyway, both boys were dressed in striped shirts and khaki shorts (didn't you know you have to arrange for matching outfits when you meet a blogger?) and I got some okay photos, which I will post in a minute. They LOVED playing in the water fountain, to the extent that both boys were sopping wet by the time we left. Still, the arcade beat the water fountain hands-down. I'm just glad they are at the age where sitting at the games "pretending" to play is just as fun if not more, than if I had anted up the requisite fifty cents per game. Vivian liked the arcade, too, but we finally had to leave when Mr. "I can do whatever I want and you can't stop me" (Isaac, of course. Mr. Personality was an angel the whole visit) decided to climb into the basketball game and up into the hoop. (Why? I don't know. I do know that all the way home I had this conversation: "Did I climb into the basket, Mom? Yes, you did, and that's why we had to leave. But why? Because you are not supposed to climb into the basket. What are you supposed to do, Mom? You are supposed to throw the basketball. But did I climb into the basket? Yes. Did I climb into it, Mom? Yes. What are you supposed to do to the basket? You are supposed to throw the ball. But did we have to go home, Mom? Yes." and so on, and so on, and so on.)

Photographic proof:
Don't they look cute in their little "uniforms"?

In the arcade. Mr. Personality is enthralled with the game's screen, which in addition to showing the race cars, also periodically showed a scantily clad, big-bosomed woman walking around with no apparent purpose.

And we can't forget Vivian:

I would love to say that was the end of our wonderful visit, but unfortunately I still had to get home from a strange place. It was after one o'clock, so I had to keep Vivian awake. And--surprise!--while I was turning my head to sing and make faces at Vivian, I missed the exit to the 105. Which would not have been that much of a problem, except I didn't realize I'd missed the exit until I finally gave up on keeping Vivian awake, about 7 miles later. When I was in Montebello. Fortunately, I did manage to find my way home without too much trouble--I spent four years working in Montebello, and while it would not have surprised me to get lost in a place that I should have known quite well, Lance would have had a hay day. Anyway, we finally made it home while Vivian slept in the car and Isaac drove me insane with his incessant questions about the basketball game. Once home, each child refused to nap despite all my bribes and pleadings, and instead wore me down by fighting with each other, whining, and breaking anything within their reach. Finally Lance came home, I snapped, and he sent me to the Ojai Valley Inn.

So--THANKS, GINA! That really worked out well for me!

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