Sunday, July 8, 2007

Venturing off the island with 11 children, an adventure

Exotic grasshoppers we found in the grass.

I don't know if I can take much more of what truly seems like dragging Girl to the beach. I can see the wheels turning in her head and am imagining her in the therapist's chair years from now saying, Well the earliest thing I can remember is when I was almost three and my mother (the use of mommy long gone) forced me to walk across the sand and all of those things were there: dried sea weed, SAND, and sea shells ...(shudder, shudder.) I am going to try a new strategy. Have her stay back at the house with someone fun and maybe, just maybe she'll see that everyone else is at the beach and want to be there. NOT likely. But, worth a try...

Boy is ready to swim to Cuba. Except he can't swim. Yet. He is busy chasing little fish, watching dolphins and pelicans and if he could set up a tent and sleep on the beach, that would be fine by him.

Today we decided to leave the island to go over to this cool little town across the bay. Among other things, it has a playground with shade. We had 1 thirteen year old boy, 1 ten year old, and in descending order a 7 year old, 2 five year olds, two 3 1/2 year olds, and 3 almost 3 year olds. That should add up to 10 kids and 1 teenager. If not, we forgot one. So...we decided to venture out. One grandmother, 3 moms and 1 dad. Hopefully it doesn't take a village, because clearly we were outnumbered. We began to assemble by the vehicles. Three hours later we were off (only a slight exaggeration), with one pit stop at the Dollar Store for a case of water. The playground felt cool initially, but after much swinging, climbing, and exotic grasshopper discoveries (of which we did not tell Girl) we decided it was definitely lunch time. After circling through town and pulling up to two restaurants that were closed, we ventured back out on route 98 and headed East (I believe, although I have NO sense of direction and have already gotten lost here just on the island! [stop laughing, E!]) We arrived at a little Mexican restaurant, which was open and were seated with food in front of us within 15 minutes, maybe. The only fast thing that has happened so far involving children. It squelched the hungry wails immediately and for about five minutes we actually had a quiet group, contentedly eating.

In summary: it took over an hour to load up the car to go to the park, 30 minutes to get there, we stayed for 45 minutes, took us 30 minutes to find a place for lunch, we stayed 40 minutes, took us 25 minutes to get back home. In all, a very normal day with children.

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