My Fresh Hell
Life in Scribbletown.

The Dusty Show Starring Steak Kabobs

2005-08-30
So, how’s it going with you? Over here, in FreshHell land, things are scrumptious. Despite the constantly threatening dark clouds and 534% humidity, Dusty and I went off to the elementary school on Saturday – after Red went down for her nap – to ride her bike. At least, that was the idea. But Dusty is so enamored of playground equipment, swings and slides and jungle gyms, that she decided she would ride her bike only after she had thoroughly tested every slide (except those with big puddles at the bottom), every swing and climbed everything climbable by a four year old. Then, we would eat lunch. Then, she would ride her bike. Then, she would play for “two more minutes” on the swings. And then we could go. Okay, as long as we’ve got the itinerary straight.

Dusty followed her plan pretty well and wondered about the few cars in the parking lot. I told her they belonged to teachers who were here getting their classrooms ready for the new year. She was intrigued by this and wondered whether the teachers could see her and whether they’d make us leave. No, I told her, I don’t think they care whether we’re here. “But what if they do? What if they make us leave?” “They won’t,” I reassured her. “But what if they do?” Fortunately, she cut her ownself off by climbing up another tower, or I might have spontaneously combusted from the on and on-ness of “What if?”

After a lengthy test of all the swings, we ate lunch at a picnic table under a huge oak tree that was filled to the rafters with cicadas. The noise was amplified by the fact that the tree limbs arced down around us creating a bell that we sat under. It freaked Dusty out a bit. And then she rode her bike all of five minutes before she was back to the playground. This kind of thing used to drive me nuts – the voyage to do one thing in particular in which the particular thing is not done – but now it no longer surprises me to witness her constant gear changing so I just go with whatever the plan turns out to be. I mean, we’re together and doing stuff so who really cares whether we’re out there to ride a bike or not? We’re hanging out together and those moments don’t happen very often. Flexible is my middle name. Kids really learn ya new skillz.

Then on Sunday, I had friends over. They brought their granddaughter who is Dusty’s age. This child is a stay-at-homer but occasionally attends a part-time preschool program. We both thought she could use some socialization and Dusty’s always excited to have someone to play with. She doesn’t care if the kid’s a stranger or an old friend, it’s all the same to her. I must say, I admire this since I never had much interest in strange children my own age when I was young. I preferred the company of adults over my peers, don’t ask me why. I guess adults just seemed more interesting. Plus, I was an only child until I was in kindergarten. I don’t know.

This child got her panties twisted at the get-go when she didn’t like the fact that I’d had to put her and Dusty in the art room for lunch, adjacent to the kitchen where the adults were. Simply because there wasn’t enough room for everyone at the big table. So, I moved the table into the kitchen. Then, still not satisfied, she up and walked out of the room. I have no idea what that was about, whether she didn’t like the food offered her (who doesn’t like peanut butter and jelly?) or what, but Dusty was a bit surprised and we traded upraised eyebrows. “What’s with her?” “Dunno.”

Eventually, the girl settled herself down and fun was had by all. Later, we were discussing Santa Claus and my friend asked her granddaughter what she’d like for Christmas.
“Steak Kabobs!”
“What?” Had we heard that right?
“Steak Kabobs.” We had.
“Well,” my friend said, “That’s certainly original. I bet nobody’s ever asked Santa for that before.” We exchanged a look.

Kids, I tell ya.

Yesterday, Dusty and I did Target but not before off-loading Red at her new daycare center. It was, on the whole, a success. But I’ll save that vignette for another entry. Got to pace myself here or I’ll run out of material. And we wouldn’t want that!

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12:43 p.m. ::
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