Sunday, January 02, 2011

California Dreamin', Day Four

The kids are creeping back to a normal wake-up time: 3 on Day 1, 4 on Day 2, and now 5 yesterday morning. They're also getting the hang of how my parents' house works and what our schedule is like. So they're on pretty good behavior.

I steal out for a run in the morning before we head out to the local mall to meet up with some high school friends at Johnny Rockets for lunch. I picked the place because I figured the menu would afford plentiful acceptable options for everyone's kids, but we got a bonus in that there was an entire seating area that basically spilled out into the rest of the mall. This meant that we could be a lot more fluid in terms of kids sitting and eating and then running around. A very important consideration when you have 12 kids, including 10 between the ages of 2 and 7, in play. Thankfully, though Jada was the only girl among those 10, everyone seemed to instantly bond, and took about playing some combination of keep-away, hide-and-seek, run from parents, and serve imaginary ice cream, while the 12 adults caught up and scarfed down burgers.

I thought the kids might nap after all of that but they didn't, so we went straight to our next activity, which was assembling in the very cluttered living room for family pics. This was quite a production, and involved lots of camera adjustments, furniture shifting, and family permutations, but eventually we got all the snaps we wanted.

We then headed out, the four of us plus May and Harish, to a local playground. Aaron got a second opportunity to pee on a tree, as he had to use the bathroom halfway there so we made a human wall around him and let him do his thing on the side of the trail. Once we arrived at the playground, the kids played to their hearts' content while the adults chatted. Then we made the long trek home, Aaron requiring a little bit of carrying and Jada even less.

Dinner, prepared by Ba, May, and Harish, was delish, and once again the kids were ready for bed, tired as they were from all the fun they got to get in. I think that when we return to Philadelphia, and to the cold and the grim routine of our lives there, they will wonder what the heck we are doing in not being in California and playing and seeing friends and family all the time.
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