I’m Only Happy When It Rains…

Even though it would appear we exchanged the rainy weather in Florida for the rainy weather in Massachusetts, so far the rain here has proven to be much more entertaining.  At least, when it comes to a couple of little Monsters.  You got a glimpse of that yesterday when I put up the pictures of Mason playing in his first “real” mud puddle.  obviously with all the rain we get at home, there are puddles all of the time – but rarely do you see an actual mud puddle.  Mostly it’s just sand or concrete.  That little adventure was magnified yesterday tenfold.

First, we had to go shopping yesterday to get food for the week, as well as some bug spray and anti-itch cream (OMG did the mosquitos up here get genetically modified or something?  They’re like the size of baby ptyerodactyls!) because Mommy and the boys are more sensitive than most to bug bites (read:  we swell up like balloons around the spot that’s been bitten, and the itching is so unbearable we tend to claw the bites open in our sleep).  Unfortunately, as Daddy was showering and everyone else was getting ready to head out, Mason was not.  Mason realized he had a rare moment to himself, so what did he do?  In under 30 seconds he spread dirt from a potted plant across just about every surface in the dining room.  Table, window, baseboards, floor, and so on.  He was covered in potting soil.  As was the dining room.  And all it took was 30 seconds of freedom.

I cleaned him, Granny K cleaned the table, Grandpa Dave cleaned the floor, and Daddy marveled at his child’s ability to create havoc in such a short amount of time.  Grandpa Dave made a comment at some point similar to “If that’s the worst he does while he’s here we’ll be fine.”  Daddy said exactly what I was thinking – that is almost certainly not the worst thing he will do.  So, mess cleaned up, we headed off to the new Super Walmart – at about the same time Mason would normally go down for a nap.  Now, there’s no point in trying to give the little rascal a nap while we’re here, because he’ll just weasle his way out of it, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t a bit crotchety during the day.

We get to the store and headed over to look for something Daddy needed to help Grandpa Dave fix a light socket (this completely reminds me of a Dr. Who episode when Rory’s dad ends up in the Tardis while trying to help Rory fix a light socket).  Of course, to do so we have to go by the toys.  Or, should I say, the giant evil aisle filled with matchbox cars and monster trucks.  In other words:  Mason’s instant screaming ON switch.  Daddy and I were looking at outdoor toys when the screaming started.  We could hear him ten aisles down as if he were sitting right next to us.   We exchanged a glance and with a quick “He sounds like he’s dying” from Daddy, I headed toward the sound to see if everything was okay.  Of course it was.  Mason just wanted a car.  Kaleb was walking around with one of those giant balls they set up in nets all over the store like mean little “there’s no way you’re leaving this store without a ball you don’t need” traps.

Mason, sitting in the cart, proceeded to scream like someone was removing his fingernails with a rusty spoon for fifteen minutes.  Eventually Granny K caved (as pretty much all of us do at one point or another) and took him back to pick out a car.  Quickly, we headed over to the grocery section to avoid another incident if at all possible.  Eventually we figured out a plan, everybody ran around grabbing food and throwing it in the cart, and we headed to check-out.  One more quick stop at a store for produce (Daddy, Grandpa Dave, and the Monsters stayed in the car), and we were homeward bound.

We made lunch – which neither of the kids ate having eaten a bunch of snacks while shopping – and put the boys down to have some quiet time.  After a couple hours we headed outside to see what Daddy was up to, as he’d vanished shortly after lunch never to return.  While I discovered that Daddy was resurrecting an old fire pit (much to my delight, the future S’mores dancing in my head), Mason discovered a lawn mower while Kaleb enjoyed swinging and taking in the sights.

Mason has an obsession with lawn mowers.  I don’t know if this has been mentioned before or not, but he is absolutely in love with them (as well as anything else that has a motor and moves).  Mondays at home are Mason’s favorite because practically every house on our street within viewing range gets their lawn cut on Monday, and Mason gets to run around from window to window all day watching the lawn mowers in action.  Daddy notices Mason excitedly inspecting the lawn mower, and decides to take Mason for a ride.

This did not go as we had expected at all.  We anticipated glee, excitement, laughter.  What we got was a shrieking, angry little Monster who wanted “DOWN!”  Though I did get a good picture anyway.

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Shortly after that little adventure, Granny K, Grandpa Dave, the boys and myself walked over to the playground next door.  Kaleb and Mason both immediately honed in on the slide for a bit, then we went to swing.  Kaleb loves to swing.  I’ve been trying to figure out a way to hang a swing from one of the trees in our backyard for years, but it just won’t work.  Mason on the other hand, both loves and hates to swing.  He ended up sitting on my lap, facing me, with his legs wrapped around my back like a little spider monkey while I did the best I could at swinging without dropping him on his head, or falling back on mine.

Kaleb learned how to roll down a hill, and Grandpa Dave taught him how to pump his legs to get the swing to move.  After a while it was time to go, since they wanted to take the boys to a place called Natural Bridge.  I’d never heard of it, so I did a bit of googling on the way.  Here’s what Wikipedia had to say:

 “Natural Bridge State Park is a Massachusetts state park located in North Adams, Massachusetts, in the northwestern part of the state. It contains the only natural white marble arch/bridge in North America. The “natural bridge” for which the park is named, according to geologists, is 550 million year old bedrock marble, carved into an arch by the force of glacial melt water over 13,000 years ago.[1]

Formerly the site of a marble quarry from 1810 to 1947 and privately owned tourist attraction from 1950 to 1983, the site became a state park in 1985. The arch and associated quarry have long attracted attention from hikers, including Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1838, who wrote of it (among other local features) in his An American Notebook”

And of course, it started to pour on our way over.  Luckily, by the time we got there the rain had pretty much stopped and we were looking forward to a bit of a hike and some cool sites.  We managed to get almost there when the next storm came through.  And of course, Mason could not help himself, he was going to find a puddle.  This presented more than just a few problems – the biggest being that we were in the middle of a bunch of slippery marble on the edge of raging waters.  Foregoing the nice dry luxury of the umbrella, I went after the Mini Monster to help him find a place where he could play without the threat of slipping down a deadly slope.

We all ended up under a big tree that was blocking most of the rain, and Mason played away.  The rain let up and we continued our trek.  We found ourselves at the top of a waterfall, looking out at a dam as fog rolled in.  And we were in that same spot when the rain rolled back in as well.  Mason at this point had become downright miserably angry at all of us each time we made him leave a puddle to go look at a different spot.  We headed back over to the tree to wait out the rain, while Mason headed straight for a new puddle to play in.  After the first time he started to take off I jumped back into the rain to stay by him to make sure there were no more escape attempts.

Once the thunder rolled in it was decided we needed to leave.  This did not work for Mason.  Kaleb had been running around wearing a hat he took from Granny K’s car when we arrived, so most of the rain water didn’t so much as touch him.  Mason and I, on the other hand, were soaked right through.  I picked Mason up, and carried him back down to the car while he screamed to be let down the entire way.  On a really big plus, there were some pretty slippery stairs we had to tackle to get down to the car, and Kaleb managed to walk all the way down without freaking out.  I’m still really proud of him – I know he was probably freaked out of his mind.

We got back to the car, looking like a couple of drowned rats, while Mason continued to scream over the injustice of it all.  Daddy got a blanket for him and got him in the car, Grandpa Dave got a blanket for me and we headed out.  Of course it stopped raining as soon as we left.  The rest of the evening was spent trying to keep the kids happy and dry.  When they finally fell asleep Daddy and Grandpa Dave tried to start a fire.  After 30 minutes of battling damp branches, they finally got it going.  Just as the skies opened up again.

Whoever it is out there doing the rain dance, could ya give it a rest for a few days please?  We really want S’mores.

Here are some pictures from the adventure of yesterday – I never did get a picture of the Natural Bridge – it was raining by the time we got there and I couldn’t pull out my camera.  I’m sure you can find a good one if you google it though.

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