"Quick Daddy, I need to show him my jibjabs."
This weekend has been odd. My wife was already suffering from a pretty annoying cold, and we were planning to come up north for a few days and actually go out on a date. My wife wanted - in spite of her cold (so bad that she actually couldn't speak on Friday night) to drive for an hour north right after work, plop the kids off and then drive right out to a swanky restaurant. Sounds nice. Except I wasn't in the mood to ditch the kids, the food frankly looked stupid (two cherry tomatoes and 4 squares of pita for the cost of a whole meal) and I knew full well that my son won't allow his mother to let him go after an entire day, and then another hour on top when he had waited for her. What we didn't expect was for my daughter to sleep the whole way and then flip out when we arrived. Not in a normal way either - in a "please Daddy don't leave me!!" weird way. She clung to me, wept when I left the room and begged me to stay with her. My son - as predicted = flipped out and wouldn't let his mother go. Because we were supposed to go out for dinner there was none for us made. I was in bed with my angry kids by 8.30.
This morning - after buying some skis for my daughter to use this year - I found myself hiking out through the woods to rescue a row boat two miles into the Adirondack nothingness with my father in law. My daughter tagged along. We found the boat, strapped it down to a home-made deer-carcass trolley made in the 60s for after a successful hunt, and tried to walk it out of the woods. Uphill. And then along an active railway line. In 30 degree weather. My daughter thankfully kept her spirits up even after getting smacked in the face by a tree branch after following her grandfather too closely. Instead she smuggled out some quartz rocks from the train tracks for her rock collection. We figured we'd try and convince her mother that they are dinosaur teeth (it didn't work). That took three hours to do.
This evening we had a bonfire to celebrate Guy Fawkes. Which was technically odd to do in the company of ardent Tea Party supporters, one of whom attended Catholic school. I for one am glad we did not burn an effigy of a dangerous traitor, because I'm fairly certain that I would have been party to an unpleasant experience if we did. After that (we had the fire first because the kids love having camp fires and it's easier to do before dinner) and then ate a pretty nice dinner. Joint of beef, mashed potato, asparagus, mustard-cream cabbage and gravy. Followed by apple crisp and vanilla ice cream. After dinner my daughter excitedly wanted to show her Uncle another one of the Jib Jab movies we'd made. Hence the utterance of the first sentence above that had me recoil slightly. And then we followed that - fantastically - by Irish coffee. I know far too many people who passionately claim the mantle of how an Irish coffee should be made (not to mention enough actual Irish people), so I'm not telling you how I made it. Suffice to say it was bloody good. My wife even went back for more.
That after all was the original point - I wanted to Irish the cold right out of her. No way would she neck a few whiskeys anymore. So this was the tastiest way to get a few of those into her. She's asleep now. I am still aware of a warm pleasant glow from the tip of my ears down to my toes. But I'm off to bed. Because while an extra hour of sleep may seem good to you people (in the US at least - our clocks go back tonight) all it means to me is that when I get up my kids are going to want to get up at 4.45 in the morning.