It’s probably safe to say that things have been a bit crazy around here lately. You know it’s intense when I don’t have a chance to sit down and blog. Lucky for you though, I brought my laptop to Tyler’s soccer practice tonight. So here I sit in the driver’s seat of my car in total blackness, blogging. I had to put the seat all the way back just so that I’d have room to set the laptop between me and the steering wheel. I love my little car, absolutely love it. So much that I’ve often wondered how much it would cost to convert it to U.S. standards and ship it back to the states with me when we leave here. You’ll have to come out here to experience the awesomeness that is my car for yourself. Seriously. 😉
Since it’s been so long since my last blog I do have a few funny stories saved up. Youngest to oldest is the way I’ll work this today. Coincidentally that happens to be the order in which the events happened.
Picture yourself at the beach on a beautiful day. You’re sitting on your soft pink beach blanket under your red, white, and blue striped beach umbrella that is carefully propped up against your blue and white cooler in the soft warm sand just three feet from the calm, clear, warm, turquoise waters of the East China Sea. Trey and Trygg are in the sand in front of me building sand castles with their myriad of buckets, shovels, and other beach things. They sit in the sand, roll in it, lay in it, throw it, you name it (aside from eating it) and they were doing it. They were covered in sand from head to toe and they didn’t seem to care.
After a while they decided to float in the water and then they tried skimming across the top of the water on some of the toys we had. Trygg would carefully place the board in the water just inches from the shoreline and then he’d run up towards the top of the beach. He’d turn around, pump his arms as if he was running hard and then start moving his feet as if he was revving up to go full speed ahead. In no time at all he was flying down the beach towards the water. Full speed ahead as he entered the water, using his momentum he leaped into the air and onto the top of the board that he’d so carefully placed just a few seconds prior. Then he’d glide across the surface before violently flying into the water from either having too much speed, not enough speed, or just piss poor balance on the board. Regardless, he flew into the water that was only six inches deep at most if he fell backwards, and about ten inches deep if he fell forward. The bottom line was, no matter what he did there was no way he could prevent his swimming trunks from filling up with oodles and oodles of sand.
I hate sand in the car. So on the way to the car we stopped at the bathrooms and used the outside shower they had to rinse off the beach toys. This did a few things. One, it rinsed the salt and sand off the toys therefore extending their lifespan. But it also gave me a chance to rinse off the boys so they wouldn’t track so much sand into the car, and ultimately the house. So there I stood, water hose in hand, rinsing toys and boys. Trygg had a crazy amount of sand around his waistline, I mean, it was amazing how much sand was just sitting there along the top of his trunks. Without thinking, I pulled his trunks forward at the waist and proceeded to hose him off.
Ok, how that boy wasn’t in pain or super uncomfortable is beside me. He had so much sand, crushed coral, and Lord knows what else inside his trunks that I firmly believe he could have opened another beach. “Trygg, how did you get this much sand in you shorts?” I asked. He just grinned at me and shrugged his shoulders. “Wow” I thought. There is no way I can rinse this out. Time for plan B.
I had Trey come over to where I was and asked him to take Trygg to the showers and stand behind him while he rinsed off his “package.” Off they went to the open air showers not more than five feet from where I was. I could see Trey standing there, but a partial wall that separated the shower from the Men’s Room was blocking Trygg from my view. I continued rinsing toys, but out of the corner of my eye I could see Trey waving something around in the air. I briefly thought, “that boy is so out there sometimes” and kept doing what I was doing. Rinse, rinse, and rinse some more. I noticed a van pulled in and parked a few stalls down from us. Where we were at the moment had us facing the main entrance to the Marina, which was off the main road that runs throughout the island. That’s important information for what I saw next. Where Trey and Trygg were standing in the open air shower was more than clearly visible from the entrance…which happened to be controlled by a traffic light. So anyone stopped at the red light could make out Trey waving Trygg’s swimming trunks in the air as he attempted to get the sand out of them. Which meant, Trygg was naked. In broad daylight, in Japan, in an open air shower that was easily visible from the main thruway in Japan.
The boys had been pestering us forever to go bowling. They love having pizza at the bowling alley while they bowl. We finally gave in and agreed to take them bowling over the weekend. We had spent the day running from one soccer game to another, as is the story of our lives on Saturdays. Tyler had two games, and Trey and Trygg each had one. It was a very busy day to say the least. After their games we went to the driving range, another one of their favorite things to do. When dinnertime drew near we decided to go to the bowling alley: it’s air-conditioned, they have great pizza, and bowling is cheap.
We are walking towards the bowling alley from the parking lot with the boys trying to keep them under control without squelching their enthusiasm for a good time. When we got to the entrance we paused to remind them to use good manners. It was basically the you screw up and I’ll serve your head on a platter motivational talk, you know, the one every parent has memorized. When all the eye rolling, sighing, moaning, and other childish behaviors were said and done we proceeded towards the entrance doors.
The entire entrance is lined with glass. Whether it be a floor to ceiling glass panel, or a floor to ceiling glass door, it was all glass. Some of them opened, some of them didn’t. Some were automatic, most were not. The first two doors we tried to open didn’t work. The white signs on them should have been a dead giveaway, but they weren’t. You actually have to read them in order for them to be effective. I mean, these signs did say “use other door,” but whose reading them anyway?!
So we moved down the line to the next series of doors…again nothing but those signs. We walk to the far end of the row of doors and Bruce leans in to grab the handle on the door so he can open it. As he’s doing that I hear a really loud thump. Kind of like when a bird flies into your window. Only this would have been an entire flock of geese flying into your window all at the exact same moment. THUMP!
“Oh my goodness, Trey, are you alright?” I ask as he’s spread out on the ground in tears. Bruce and I make eye contact and burst out laughing. Then, as quickly as we started laughing we stopped because we realized what had just happened. Trey must have barreled into that window at full speed. He left a face impression and a wet spot from his mouth smacking into the glass on the window. He hit that thing so hard that I was shocked it didn’t break. He hit is so hard he flattened himself out on the sidewalk after he bounced off the glass.
Bruce immediately grabbed him and startded checking him over to make sure he was okay. I made a valiant attempt at wiping his slime off the glass. I noticed the group of workers at the information counter were looking at us. Certainly they heard it inside the bowling alley too, and being as the entire entrance is cased in glass it meant there was no possible way they didn’t see what just happened. I wonder if it felt like an earthquake had hit? Then the little old lady that was washing the inside of the windows and sweeping the entrance floor came over and asked me if he was ok. I motioned to her that he hit the window, thinking it was an open door. She stayed on the other side of the glass until Bruce could get Trey calmed down.
On our way into the bowling alley she asked me what happened. All I could do was look at her and say “You’re doing a great job on the windows!” 🙂
We left the bowling alley about an hour and a half later. On our way out I noticed a “Caution Wet Floor” sign. You know, those bright yellow triangle signs with the big bright red letters on them. Anyway, one of those signs was propped up against the inside of the window that Trey attempted to walk through. I was at the bowling alley on Monday afternoon. That sign is still there.
The boys and I rode down to Camp Foster to check out the USO Fall Bazaar. After the bazaar we went into the PX to look around the toy section. I like to do this with the kids right before their birthdays or Christmas. It’s an easy way to see what they want without specifically asking them. And, with Tyler and Trey having a birthday soon, this was definitely time well spent (no matter how terrible they behaved).
Like every parent, I know that my children can be bribed for good behavior. Naturally, the toy section was going to be the very last thing we did before heading home. That way, if they were terrible brats I could just leave, without going through the toy section. I stalled as long as I could without driving myself nuts in the process. On the way out of the PX I decided to leisurely walk through the women’s athletic department. I could always use more running shirts and shorts, especially in this hot and humid climate.
The four of us were standing in the aisle looking around when I noticed someone who looked really familiar to me. In front of me was the athletic clothing. This section of clothing marked the boundary between the teen clothing and fitting rooms on the left, and the bras and underwear (lingerie department) on the right. Now I know full well that shopping with three boys should not include the lingerie department. Which is precisely why I stopped where I did. I was located a good distance away from it so that none of them would start acting all goofy and silly while talking about boobies and coconuts (two words frequently used by them).
Anyway, this lady was standing in front of me near the athletic clothing. I was trying not to be too obvious when I said “Hey Tyler, is that your math teacher?” while motioning my hand towards her without lifting it higher than my waist. I wasn’t sure it was her and I’d rather not call attention to a total stranger by pointing at them and having all my kids look at them for no reason.
Tyler walks closer to me and says “What?” So, I repeat myself, “Is that your math teacher?” While nodding my head that way instead of motioning with my hand. He looks her way and then walks away from me towards her. The next thing I hear is “Hi Ms. Clark!” I looked up and smiled as she stepped out of the department. We introduced ourselves and small talked for a few minutes until she excused herself.
I grabbed the boys and ducked into the fitness clothing as quickly as I could. I was mortified. “Tyler.” I said sternly. “Let me give you your first lesson in running into your teachers in public.” “Ugh, ok.” he said. While looking at me with that what did I do know look?
“Ugh, Tyler.” I said. “If you run into your teachers in public it’s okay to say hi to them.”
“Ok.” he said cautiously.
Then I proceeded “Unless.” Huge dramatic pause…..”Unless they are looking at bras in the lingerie department.”