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October 9th, 2004

Oct. 9th, 2004

"Look, Brian. My cereal is trying to send me a message. It says, 'OOOO'."
"Peter, those are Cheerios."
-Family Guy

I feel a lot better now. I guess it was just passing frustration. Because of the way I felt last night, I wasn't able to tell you all about last night's events, so here goes:

We got to NJ and drove to my grandmother's house. We took her, my grandfather, and my grandfather's friend Richard in our car and drove to the restaurant. We were late for dinner by the time we got there, and my uncle and his family still hadn't arrived. Everyone was really worried for awhile since he wasn't answering his phone and we've dealt with car accidents in our family before (around this time, actually), but then Brianna came running up to our table out of nowhere and it was all okay.

Brianna's all right...she's 7 and kind of a brat, but she can be okay sometimes. Rachel is my real favorite, though. She'll be two on Thursday and she is the best child I have ever encountered in my seventeen years. As I've said before, if I were guaranteed to have one like her, I'd have ten. She's so good and doesn't cry at all. She doesn't talk much either, but she doesn't really have to. She sat on my lap a lot last night and played with me. We also went to see the lobsters in their tanks (breaks my heart...it makes me want to become a vegetarian. For now, I just don't eat lobster). For some reason, she loved that and kept asking to do it again the whole night. She would make this noise which kind of sounded like "Nuh uh"..when people say no, and then she'd point in the direction of the lobster tanks and say, "Mo" for "more". After about three times of going to the tanks, I eventually said, "No, Rachel. No more lobsters. Bye bye lobsters!" She waved bye to them, but it took a lot of effort to keep her from going back to see them again.

I find it really funny how every time I come here I always end up being the unofficial babysitter. I am like the Pied Piper, playing my flute and being followed by young children instead of rats. And then later on my mother will act as though she had to do all the work, when really she was not the one running after the children in the restaurant, or frantically searching Babies R' Us for a five-year-old and answering questions from salespeople as to whether she was in "special school". No, she's not in special school. She's just a brat. I don't mind taking care of Rachel, though. Like I said, she's the best kid ever.

Rachel, Rachel, Rachel, and...Rachel

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."
-John Lennon

It's his birthday tomorrow (thank you to Kerry for pointing this out :) ), so that's in his honor.

Today was incredibly busy. After my last entry, my mom brought my grandparents here (the bed and breakfast) to see it because they were interested (it's new around here), and we all went to Brianna's soccer practice. I wasn't expecting my little Rachel-face to be there, but she was (I'm so bad...I practice favoritism)! I played with her and watched Brianna scrimmage for awhile. When it was over, Brianna went in our car with Grandma, Mom, and I, and we all went to Windmill while my grandfather, my uncle, and Rachel went back to my uncle's house to get some things. Windmill is the best hamburger/hotdog place ever, just so you know. We had lunch up on top of the place where the windmill is. Brianna started to bug me then, but she REALLY got on my case (and everyone else's) when we were walking around with this frozen yogurt type stuff (I was so excited that it's all low carb and it tastes amazing...we need one of those in Ft Lauderdale) and she was begging to go to the park. Meanwhile, we had a lot planned for today and it was all fairly fun stuff, so it's not like we were going to funerals and dentists appointments and she just wanted to have fun. My mom said no, and we went on our way. She kept asking, though. When my mom had said no about three times, she started asking me. Honestly, I'm going to be a great mom, but I'll be somewhat strict. No way am I having a kid like that. I'd just as soon not have any. She is always like this and has been for years. I care about her and all, but after awhile I'm ready to part from her.

We picked apples after that, which was soo much fun. I've never done that before and have always wanted to. We went to Delicious Orchards, which is this market type thing. Like a grocery store but better. It has flowers and stuff so we looked at that and walked around. After we'd finished we went outside to the "hill". I should explain this. The "hill" is obviously not an actual hill. It's more of a grassy slope. When I was about two or so, I started calling it the hill and insisted upon rolling down it. It's become a family tradition that all the grandchildren roll down the hill at least once in their lives. I taught Matthew and Brianna, and today was Rachel's turn. Rachel didn't roll, though. I don't think she really grasped the concept. I was lying on the grass like an idiot, trying to show her, and she just kept laughing and running down the hill. I suppose that works just as well. We took lots of pictures outside of Delicious Orchards, so when I get them developed I'll bring them in and show everyone.

I realized when we were playing outside that children are so incredibly faithful. Rachel was walking up this small set of risers filled with pumpkins, and when she reached the top step she stepped off, assuming I would just keep catching her even when I didn't stand in front of her. Of course I did, but I suppose that's what they mean by "faith like a child". In a lot of ways, I wish that didn't fade as we got older. We become so jaded as we grow up, and we have a hard time believing the things we used to believe. We stop coloring clouds purple and Santa Claus green. We stop coloring outside the lines. And you know, I think we stop living outside the lines every so often. I think this century's version of living outside the lines is for the most part drugs, drinking, and casual sex. What ever happened to dropping the adult act and being a child while we still can? I just want to lift my arms heavenward and spin around when I'm happy, but I don't. It's all about stepping out of one's comfort zone and really living, whether it's playing hide and seek or tag as a teenager or spinning in circles. It's different for everyone.

After, we went to my grandparents house to hang out for awhile. I played with Rachel and Brianna and listened to people fight. I swear, we can be a really fun family but we can also be one of the most unhappy. I personally think my uncle is just an asshole most of the time and that he talks to his parents like they are below him. I find this amazing, considering that my mother is the one who raised me to be just the opposite, and she was raised by the same parents as he. For goodness sake, my grandmother has Alzheimers and she's going through enough, and so is my grandfather. Do you really think they need this right now?

Dinner was a difficult meal. Brianna and my uncle were so annoying I couldn't stand it. Rachel was slightly difficult, but she's two so she has an excuse. Plus I favor her. I'll admit it. She's just so good and smart. And she favors me, so that helps, too. My uncle asked her if she had fun today, and she goes, "Yeah, ball." As in, "I had a ball." He didn't get it, I don't think. If he did, he didn't act as impressed as I was. I suppose he hears this kind of thing all the time. The best part was when I was sitting with Rachel and she touched my hair and said, "Ooh!" Then she touched her own hair and said, "Me." I completely understand her, so I knew she was saying that her hair was like mine. My heart melted. No one else has our hair. It's the best. I kept playing with her curls all day long.

Me: Rachel, what's that?
Rachel: Car!
Me: Right, and what's that?
Rachel: Car!
Me: No, boat. Can you say boat?
Rachel: Car?

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