Monday, October 15, 2007

Rodney Atkins said it best....

My family is recovering today from a trip to my parents' house yesterday. The Prince of Darkness himself woke up in Eric's room this morning. At 5:00 a.m. Let's go back in time and see how the day went, shall we?

My parents had invited us up to their house on Whidbey Island for a birthday lunch, as my birthday was last Wednesday and Mike's is this coming Wednesday. My 9-year-old niece, Ellie and her 6-year-old brother, Jack had been staying the weekend at Grandma and Grandpa's, so we thought it would be a delightful time up on the farm for the boys to see their grandparents and their cousins.

We left our house around 9:30 in the morning, ran through the Starbucks drive-thru, and were on our merry way by 10:00. The freeway was clear, the boys were happily watching a dvd in the back of the van, and there was no line for the ferry. Zero. We literally drove up to the ticket booth, then immediately drove onto the ferry. It was such a happy little trip, I'm surprised we didn't see cartoon birdies flying around our van all the way up to Whidbey.

We had a delightful time at mom and dad's, ate lunch and birthday cake, the kids played, Mike watched football, I started knitting my mom's socks and showed my parents the Viking Hat (my dad, a Norwegian born and raised in Ballard, had some design tips on making the horns just right), again--a complete fairy tale day, except for the moment when Ellie socked Jack in the nads while the kids were all in the hottub.

Ellie and Jack's parents were back home from their weekend away, so Mike and I agreed to take the kids home since it was on our way. No sense in Caroline and Jeremy coming up, or in my dad taking the kids back to Seattle when we were going to be practically driving through their neighborhood. And then all 4 kids could spend more time together. In our van. On the drive home after a long day. This is what Mike and I like to call fiveshadowing (NPR had one of their game shows where people make up words and funny definitions for the words. Fiveshadowing is a blatantly more obvious form of foreshadowing).

Ryan and Jack ended up in the very back of the van--a 6 year old and 7 year old boy, sitting side by side in an enclosed area. Eric was in his usual seat in the middle section, and Ellie was next to him. Ellie is a very sweet, loving, sensitive young lady. She is also extremely moody, emotional, feisty, and has been a pre-pubescent in training since she was about 18 months old. We all fear for the day she actually turns 13 (on the flip side, no guy will ever mess with her. Ever).

So we very happily drove away from my parent's home for the 4 minute drive to the ferry dock. Only to discover the 2 hour wait up the hill. Ryan and Jack were in rare form and spent that entire 2 hours burping, giggling, laughing hysterically, and talking about Star Wars at a volume level reserved for rock concerts, not a tight-knit group in a van. Eric was watching a dvd and Ellie was using her free time to brood. And about once every 3 minutes she would order Jack to pipe down using the most disgusted tone of voice she could come up with.

After 2 full hours we finally made in onto the ferry, let the kids wreak havoc on the boat, bought them each a treat from the vending machine, then set off for home. Got on I-5 going south, thinking we would be at Ellie and Jack's house within 20 minutes, and ran smack into a horrific accident. All but one lane was closed off for miles. In the dark. At dinner time. After already being together for 2 1/2 hours after a long long day on the farm after Ellie and Jack spent an entire weekend on the farm. For whatever reason, this prompted Ryan and Jack to up the ante:

Ryan: Hey Jack, I have something to tell you

Jack: What?

Ryan: Use the Force!

Both: Haaa haa haaa heee heee heee (wiping tears from their eyes), whooooooo hooo hooo

Ellie: (through gritting teeth) be quiet!!

Jack: Hey Ryan, I have a question for you

Ryan: What?

Jack: Use the Force!

Both: Bwaaaaaaaahaaaaa haaaa!!! Heeee heeee heee heee......

Ellie: I said be quiet!

This went on for 30 minutes while we sat on the freeway trying to get past the accident. At this point, Mike and I gave up. We had tried placating Ellie, we had asked Ryan and Jack to keep it down to a dull roar--they were too far gone. So I turned up my ipod, which was running through the car stereo and started hand picking songs to liven things up. We first blasted AC/DC's Shook Me All Night Long. Will Smith got Jiggy Wit It, Eric bopped along to Josh Turner's Firecracker, and The Eagles had a Heartache Tonight. While the Eagles were singing "somebody's going to hurt someone/before the night is through/somebody's going to come undone/there's nothing we can do" I know Ellie was starting to plot our demise. She was trying to decide who to bump off first--Ryan and Jack for acting like a couple of giggling maniacs, or Mike and I for not tying them to the top of the van for the ride home so Ellie could brood in peace and quiet, as brooding should be done.

I then picked a song which I felt summed up the entire 3 1/2 hour trip--Rodney Atkins If You're Going Through Hell (If you're goin' through hell keep on going/Don't slow down if you're scared don't show it/You might get out before the devil even knows you're there) Around that time we arrived at the scene of the accident and saw all the commotion--a car that was completely upside down and had clearly flipped a few times before coming to a stop. So we tell the kids--wow--look at that car. What a terrible accident. To which Ellie replied "O. M. G." Mike and I had to turn the music up louder so she wouldn't hear us laughing.

We arrived at Caroline and Jeremy's around 7:00, walked in the door, and I said "to quote your daughter, O. M. G."

This morning was picture day at preschool. One of the 3 days a year I actually insist on picking Eric's clothes. He gets 362 days to wear what he wants. I get 3 and this is one of them. So glad I got to have that battle on the morning after the car trip through hell and back, when the Dark Lord himself arose to greet me at 5:00 this morning by yelling demands from his bed because apparently his legs were temporarily broken. I told him he could have gummy worms if he would wear the shirt. "I want 4". "Sold".

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