"…And she smiles at the future." ~Proverbs 31:25

Posts tagged ‘picnic’

Worst. Picnic. Ever.

I wake up this morning thinking, “What a gorgeous day! I should take the girls on a picnic.” So I pack up my two youngest kiddos and some grub, and we end up at this beautiful park.

minding our own biz

We’re minding our own business, just relaxing on a bench and watching graceful butterflies flit about as we enjoy our lunch in the fresh air.

And then it happens.

My twelve year old straightens suddenly and asks, “Is that…a RAT?”

And sadly, friends, it is. Yes, a RAT crouches just across the path from us, staring at us as we picnic in what now appears to be his territory.

He's watching us...

And if you know much about me, you know that this quickly becomes the shortest picnic ever.

I start yelling at the girls to “Hurry up and finish eating!” so we can get out of this ridiculously RAT-infested park. (Yes, I know we just see one at the moment…but there must be more, right? In fact, I’m seeing them everywhere I look now, and feeling them crawl up my legs, and they might even be spitting on me. Do rats spit? I’m pretty sure this one does.)

Although we can see our uninvited guest still lurking in the shadowy grass, at this point I’m thinking that maybe there’s still hope—that perhaps we can hurry up and finish and get out of here—when all of the sudden, the rat decides to leave his foxhole—and yes, that’s exactly what it is, as I’m sure he’s just waiting to attack us—and he comes right onto the path, not three feet away from my feet…or, I should say where my feet WERE, because you know I am up on that bench in no time flat.

Photo by Addison (I would NEVER have been able to hold the camera steady!)

Rat photos by Addison (I would NEVER have been able to hold the camera steady!)

Now I hear a lady from way across the park yelling, “What was THAT?” and looking in our direction. She proceeds to call out that she thinks she hears a bird that is sick or hurt. No, lady; settle down. That’s just me choking on my own screams. In the meantime, the rat is still moving toward us, and sadly enough, my five year old is cooing, “It’s OK, Mommy; it’s going to be OK.” (Hang on a minute…shouldn’t I be comforting her?)

But there is no comfort to be had. I feel sick now. My older daughter is delighted with this, because now she gets to eat my lunch. I just can’t down another bite.

He's coming! RUN!!!

He’s coming! RUN!!!

So maybe my shouts and squeals do disrupt the beautiful day at the park for every visitor within half a mile (or, as I prefer to think of it, they warn other park guests), but they also send the rat back into his hiding spot (temporarily, I’m sure). I take this opportunity to grab our stuff, jump down from the bench, and high-tail it out of there. I’m yelling to the girls to come quickly, as I’m pretty sure he’s chasing after us now. They shake their heads (as though this is funny?) but I can still feel those beady eyes boring holes through my legs and feet, which are now touching the same ground the rat is standing on. This makes me uncomfortable, to say the least.

As we rush to exit the park, I refuse to make eye contact when I pass the lady who worries about people only when she thinks they are hurt birds, but apparently doesn’t give a hoot about defenseless women and children, even after they scream, “A RAT! There’s a RAT over here!”

During our hasty retreat, my older daughter remarks, “Of all the living creatures on earth, I think the one most dangerous when frightened is YOU, Mom.” I just lock the car door, shiver, and try not to leave marks in the parking lot as we escape.

(Have I mentioned how I feel about RATS?)

The next time I wake up to a beautiful day, you can bet I’ll think twice about taking the kids out for a picnic.

Thanks for stopping by,


I’m not drinking from THAT!

I walked into the game room and found this sweet little scene:

Clearly, Remington’s baby dolls were having a picnic, and OF COURSE I wanted to take a picture. I loved that the play ironing board was their picnic table. I loved that the baby washcloth was their tablecloth. I loved that two of the babies were chowing down in the bathtub. But something didn’t seem quite right.

I thought of the old Sesame Street ditty, One of These Things is Not Like the Others. Before snapping the picture, I reached out and removed the little doll potty from the scene…and Remi freaked out.

“Mommy! That’s full of hot chocolate! WHY would you take all their hot chocolate away?”


I’ve been gone for a while, traveling and enjoying some precious time with my family and lots of new and old friends. But we’re back now and I have lots to share with you. So please…hang around!

Thanks for stopping by.

If You Give a Kid a Zoo Trip

If you (being the really brave soul that you are) decide to take six kids to the zoo for the afternoon, chances are they’ll want a picnic to go with it…

…and if you picnic in a great park with a beautiful lake and the weather is unusually nice for your area, they’ll probably want to go feed the ducks….

…and because you’re a really-well-prepared-for-anything kind of mom (yeah, right) you will have brought lots of bread and crackers for just that purpose, and will be surprised that you have to work hard to keep it out of the teenage boys’ mouths (even though you just ate supper during the aforementioned picnic) and in the end it won’t matter because the pigeons will have taken over everything anyway…

…and if you’ve brought along your 9-year-old tomboy who loves nothing more than hunting down birds and catching them with her bare hands, then she’ll probably attempt to take one of those pigeons home with her, and if there are exposed tree roots she’ll probably trip over one during the chase and slam her face into a tree hard enough to make it turn black and blue over the next few days…

…and chances are that if that happens, and if you’re a distracting kind of mom, you’ll steer everyone toward an open field where they can exert all that pent-up energy BEFORE you crowd in for the ride home, and your normally-calm-and-cool teenagers and their normally-calm-and-cool teenage friends will suddenly be doing somersaults…

…and wrestling…

…and chasing each other…

…and stealing each others’ shoes…

…and taunting each other (Why are boys are SO competitive?)…

…and moving so fast that you, the mom with the camera, can hardly snap a picture that’s not completely fuzzy (but you will love them anyway because they perfectly represent the BLUR of activity that was this day)….

…and you will rejoice that even the injured one is still smiling…

…and that someone finally sat still long enough for your to get a really great shot…

…and at the realization that these kids really do love life, especially the little things…

…and while you are still rejoicing, your oldest son might reach into his backpack for some ChapStick but accidentally pull out a stick of eye-black instead, and everyone will think it’s such a hilarious close call and decide that they all (“You, too, Mom!”) should get blacked up for the trip home…

…and chances are, that while walking back to the parking lot you will watch these silly, energetic kids and remember how your own mom used to always say, “Teenagers just want a place to be together. They really don’t care where.”

….and chances are that while you’re thinking of wise sayings right after a trip to the zoo you’ll also remember how, when you were a little girl, every time you’d ask where your mom was, your dad would retort, “She went to the zoo to see a monkey like you!”

…and you’ll decide that that’s not quite as profound but that it’s still a really nice memory to have…

…and  if all that happens, as you drive home you’ll be thanking God for such an exhausting, fun day with people you love…

…and chances are…you’re going to want some sleep to go with it.

(Thanks for stopping by!)

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