Saturday was marathon day. As soon as they got up, all the kids excitedly waved at busload after busload of runners being taken up the road to the starting line for the half and full marathons. We could hear music and announcements pumping from the park. I left on my morning run to the tune of Led Zepplin's Immigrant Song, and dodged 5 and 10k runners on my way out of town.
Woo and the kids (in their pajamas) were out in the front yard cheering on the last of the 10k stragglers when I returned.
We discovered that they'd also be throwing a free kids run this year, and Ruby, Herbie, Moses and Linus ran upstairs to put on their fastest outfits and shoes as soon as we told them. They ran sprints outside in the street and around the house until Woo could go find where to register, and while I packed a lunch.
Moses didn't want the honey and peanut butter sandwich I'd made him.
Moses: I don't want a sandwich! I'm going to run a race. I need something healthy! I'm going to eat carrots!Ruby was super nervous and had to use the porta-potties a few times.
It was the best free race we've ever done because they gave all the kids a t-shirt (a dream come true for Herbie), a race number with gold pins (a dream come true for them all), plus the kids got a creamie and a bottle of Sunny-D when it was all over. Even Linus got all that stuff, and he didn't even race. (He decided he didn't want to do it just before the start and joined Penelope and Archie in the stroller.)
Before the start of the race, the director yelled, "Who's the fastest runner here??" Lots of tall and speedy looking kids raised their hands, but they weren't planning on the terror that was Ruby. She took the inside corner on the last bend, and sprinted, white-faced and totally focused, through the finish line as the rest of the boys in the lead pack faded.
There were only about three runners between Ruby and Herbie, and he was much less focused, looking around for us as he approached the line. We told him that everyone that had beat him was older than him, of course.
Moses jogged in a bit later. We told him that we'd definitely seen him beating a six year old.
Moses: And I passed a seven year old! --Herbie!He didn't seem to understand that nobody cares who you pass at the start of the race. I blame Lightning McQueen.
Herbie wondered whether he'd run faster if he'd been wearing Nikes instead of Adidas.
After the race, Woo's parents dropped by on their way home from a lunch date. They seduced Woo with their tales of giant heads of cabbage for $1 and 50lb bags of onions for $10 at the local produce stands, so as soon as they left, we took off.
We stopped at several stands and bought a large box of delicious peaches, another of tomatoes, and some peppers. We still hadn't found the cabbages that Woo seemed to think were necessary, so we kept driving north. When we finally got there Woo bought 7 cabbages. The checkout girl said, "What are you going to make with all those cabbages?" "Nothing! We're just going to eat them!" She gave him a funny look.
Woo decided we needed to go back to the first place to get cilantro for lots of salsa, and he ran in the door past closing time, just as they were closing the door, and ran out holding up bunches of cilantro in his hand. He couldn't have been more pleased.
We stopped at a Thai restaurant on the way home. The kids are really, very good in restaurants. They stay in their seats. They wait patiently. They talk quietly after a few reminders or Woo tells them to pretend their spies. Archie sits quietly in his little seat and looks around at everyone and everything. (Of course, it helps when there's a giant TV playing Thai music and showing crazy commercials like of a woman chopping up a pineapple and making a meal on the back of a moving motorcycle ... )
I don't even mind that Penelope hasn't figured out a straw yet, and keeps spilling water all down her front when she tips up her cup to get a drink, while her mouth waits expectantly on the tip of the straw.
But, it does get a little old when each kid needs to use the bathroom about 10 billion times during the course of the meal. And that is not an exaggeration. Ok, maybe it is, but I personally took kids to the potty 5 or 6 times. Woo went once or twice, and we moved countless times to let older kids out and in. Anyway, I did eventually get to finish my meal, which was very delicious, and we went home.
This would be a good place to end my story, but there's more (sorry). It felt liked I'd just barely fallen asleep, when I heard blood-curling screams and panicky cries from upstairs. When I got to his bed, Herbie calmed down immediately and informed me that his belly felt a little funny. Hmmm. I was about to turn out the light, but saw Ruby's door open a crack. She also felt a little funny. I gave them hugs and kisses and went back to bed. It felt like I had just fallen asleep again, when Ruby threw up. I trudged back upstairs to clean the carpet and the bathroom floor, and the one toy in the hall, that she had managed to hit. I remember enough about throwing up as a kid to know you can't always control where it lands, so I wasn't upset, and I thought, I'd much rather clean throw-up off carpet in the middle of the night, than say, have an angry mob break into the house and steal my husband to tar and feather him and expose my newborn infant to the cold, so that he dies a few days later. I'd gladly get up in the middle of the night to clean up puke every single night, rather than experience that. And it only happens to us once every two years or so. Anyway, we have it pretty good.