Thursday (June 13th) was a good day for Team Slap.
It didn’t start out that way, as befits any good tale – where’s the drama in perfection? At the last moment I checked my calendar and found that LuLu and Smiley had a dentist appointment at 9 a.m. Oops. That was bad enough, but it turns out I was wrong about the time, and we sat in the waiting room for an unnecessary half hour.
Both kids were there to have cavities fixed, and LuLu went first. Within a few minutes the dentist called back to the exam room, where Lu was steadfastly refusing to open her mouth claiming (and this was the first I’d heard of it) a fear of needles. After briefly resuming the argument the dentist gave up and recommended I take her to a specialist in pediatric dentistry.
Since I can’t afford this, I wooed Lu and convinced her to continue. She reneged on her agreement, and was promptly removed to the waiting room. Smiley then went in and conducted his business with unflappable English resignation, although I credit this simply to wanting to show up his sister, as he is normally quite afraid of the dentist.
Lisa later expressed her dissatisfaction with my failure to convince Lu.
Lunch and a nap followed, and then we gathered outside to take our bikes out of their winter quarters in the shed. The news wasn’t good. Of the six bikes we have for five of us (mine was stolen last June), one had had a bad chain, two had cracked tires that wouldn’t hold air, one had a front tire that was loose and later found to be leaking air, and the sixth was too small for anyone.
I fixed up the small bike by raising the seat and handlebars so at the very least Junie could ride it around the alley, but it won’t do long term. I fixed the loose wheel and tinkered with the others, but all in all it’s a shambles, and I don’t know where I’ll find the money to fix or replace them all.
Here comes the good news though.
Last week, when I took the mower Lisa bought me for Father’s Day 2012 out of storage, it refused to start. I was told I’d gummed up the carburetor by failing to remove the gas over the winter, which in my ignorance I had no clue was necessary. Lacking the funds to fix it right now, I made do with the awful rotor mower I inherited from my Big Grandpa. On a lark I tried the power mower again yesterday, and it started! Oh, it belched black smoke for awhile, but it came to life with vigor and I mowed the lawn, then, feeling inspired, took out the trimmer and finished the job.
Then even bigger news – Smiley learned to ride a bike!
Lu took him out to the alley and had him practice on one of the bikes, and like the Mother Hen she is she was calm and collected as she instructed him. Then, to our surprise, she let go and he rode down the alley. Lisa and I both let our a roar and threw our arms in the air! We’ve been trying for two years to teach the boy, and he’s always been too squeamish to master it, which was directly at odds with Lisa’s insistence that bike riding is a prerequisite for childhood. Again – hot dog!
Feeling all warm and family-ish, I grabbed our mitts and headed to the alley for a game of catch with Smiley. Lisa joined us for awhile, and soon Junie had designated herself as the ball girl, running after each missed ball as it traveled down the alley, which relieved me of the worst part of catch. Lisa then went and played some volleyball with Lu, but once I heard the kid start to whine I knew it was time to pack it in and go inside.
After a quick but improvised dinner Lisa and I cuddled on the couch and watched Dateline.
To finish off the night, while in the car the radio provided me with perfect driving music: Nine Inch Nails, GNR, Black Sabbath, Van Halen (Hagar), ABBA and One Direction.
All in all, a great day J