2. Should an (almost) 40-year-old woman really be expected to fit sheets on the top bunk? (“Mom, I can’t believe you came up here and didn’t break it!”)
3. If you’re at the public pool and one of your children tries to drown the other one, isn’t that really the lifeguard’s problem?
4. If you open your purse and find a half-sucked, half-melted lollipop embedded in its interior, would it be wrong to just throw the whole thing in the trash and buy a new one?
5. If you’re looking for a little stress release after a hell of a week, is happy hour with a three-year-old and a five-year-old the answer?
1. He’ll just deny it
2. Darn kids should clean their own rooms, already
3. The mother is always responsible. Haven’t you figured that out yet?
4. Take the money out first
5. Hell no
Scenes from our camping vacation to the Redwoods, also the celebration of our ten-year wedding anniversary.
(As we greet a blackberry bramble enveloped in fog and mislabeled by California State Parks as our campsite)
Me: Honey! It’s where I always dreamed we’d awake on our ten-year anniversary!
Chicken Noodle: I am afraid all of these trees are going to fall on my head.
Chicken Little: I don’t want to hike. Carry me.
Chicken Noodle: You start hiking down the trail this instant or I’ll put you in time out!
Captain Daddy: Do you think this fog is a metaphor for our marriage?
Chicken Noodle: I am afraid a bear is going to eat us up.
(I come around from the backside of the truck to find Captain Daddy violently shaking a water jug over open flames burning in green grass five feet from the fire pit but two feet from the tent. His face is the color of chalk.)
Me: What did I miss?
Chicken Noodle: Daddy started us a fire.
Me: So, what do you think of your vacation so far?
Captain Daddy: I think it’s a good thing I didn’t have any expectations.
Chicken Noodle: I am afraid the ocean is going to drown us.
Me: So, the way I see it, we could pack up, hug one more big tree, and blow this joint.
Captain Daddy: Oh, baby, you turn me on with your words.
(At one more big tree)
Chicken Noodle: I am not getting out of this car until we get to a motel!
(In the pool of a motel on the freeway in Grants Pass)
Chicken Little: This is my very favorite part of our whole trip!
(Back at home)
Me: Next time I guess we’ll just skip the whole national park thing and go straight to a Best Western on I-5.
For a similar story, see My Hawaiian Vacation in Quotes
Each time I braced myself and called home, not one person screamed at me from the other end.
Hmmm, I wondered. Curious. But I couldn’t ask Captain Daddy about all of this odd business, because he’d left for his day job, saving the world.
PS Is this picture predictive these things? Or anything else that’s happened in the last decade, for that matter? I think not.