It's not all crazy weekend adventures around here, you know. Sometimes we just stay put and enjoy life here in Camas; so near to Portland, and yet so far. It really is a different world on our side of the river. Last week I was buying groceries at Fred Meyer, and the checker paused as she held up my tub of hummus.
"I've always wanted to try that," she said. "But none of my friends eat it, and it's pretty spendy." I needed mine, so I didn't hand it over to her. I did mention that she could make hummus at home, but she looked really alarmed and confused, as though I'd just suggested she lay an egg. I'll have to get her some next time.
Going to the liquor store with the kids is another interesting local outing. State-run liquor stores always make me feel like I'm doing something transgressive by shopping there. Particularly if I have my kids with me. Usually the clerks have suckers for the kids (so, see, it's not that bad to bring them), but they didn't the last time I was there with Willem, and he was starting to get restless.
"I wish I had something for you," the sales clerk told him, rubbing her chin. "Oh, wait! I have just the thing." She disappeared into the back room and came out holding a cardboard tube-shaped box that said Bowmore Islay Single Malt Scotch Whiskey. I presumed it was empty. "You can put your cars in there." As she handed it to him she said,"That's a good Scotch."
There's nothing like walking out of the liquor store with a four-year-old who is clutching what appears to be a bottle of Scotch.
For the past several weekends we've been holing up at home with a bunch of kids' movies, now that Nels has toughened up enough not to have a nervous breakdown every time something negative happens. Most of the movies have been pretty dull, but watching the boys enjoy them has been highly entertaining. The instant we finished The Sword in the Stone, the boys leaped off the couch and ran to put on their armor and find their swords. After Cinderella, all the tidying up of toys around our house was done by singing mice. And, oh, the piracy after we watched Muppet Treasure Island! (Note to adults: there are jokes for grown-ups in it, just like in the real Muppet Show. I found it pretty darn entertaining. And it has Tim Curry as Long John Silver!) Muppets from Space, on the other hand, was abysmal. What a stinker.
Last weekend we took a break from movie night (we put Cinderella
off for a day) to go out with our friends Jeff
and their daughter Amelia. They suggested we go to Toji, a Korean grill house in Portland on Hawthorne. It was our first Korean food experience, and we were grateful to have people there to show us the ropes. I've never been one to want to cook my own food at a restaurant, but there were fortunately many willing and able folks to do the at-table grilling. Willem ate the chicken like we hadn't fed him for a week. There were at least ten different condiments to try and everything was delicious. It's "busy" food, so it keeps the kids more engaged than a typical restaurant would. Good call, Mullins family!
In other Martin news, we got our cat a bed that looks like a flower and she actually sleeps in it when she's not shredding our doorways with her claws or throwing up on the carpet.
Willem has decided that jeans are cool and other pants are not. He also wears shorts if it is warmer than forty degrees out. He has very strong opinions about what looks good and what doesn't. I have to admit, he usually looks pretty good.
Nels is more concerned with the life of the mind these days. He finds himself in the grip of big thoughts and feelings and spends a lot of time trying to figure out "what his problem is." Such an old six-year-old soul.
Drawing and reading are starting to become a big part of the boys' lives, and it's been really fun to see that happen. And Nels is just eating up all the science he's getting at school. The kindergartners spent the two weeks before Valentine's Day learning about hearts, and they even got to handle turkey hearts. "Don't worry, mom," Nels reassured me. "My teacher said to tell you that we washed our hands after and the turkey hearts came from the store." I wasn't worried. I was thrilled.
Tomorrow Willem will wear his pajamas to school for his "P" Party (Don't ask me why they're celebrating the letter "P." My guess is so they have an excuse for wearing pajamas. There's nothing cuter on earth than a bunch of pre-schoolers in pajamas.) Nels will have a proper Valentine's party, although the inclusion of candy in the Valentine cards has been forbidden. Fine with me. I bought the cheapo Valentines that didn't even come with an envelope. Live and learn.
Live and learn.