Thursday, September 27, 2007

Just call me Mrs. Griswold

Ellen that is. And for that matter, you can now refer to my darling husband as Clark for we are the Griswolds reincarnated.

I've often thought it. I've suspected it on a number of occasions. But last weekend's outing has solidified my fear that we are, in fact, the real-life version of the National Lampoon's Griswold family. Not exactly the roll models I had aspired to in my youth, needless to say. Much, much less graceful.

It began before we even got married. I should have heeded the warning signs. But I didn't. Since then, the Griswold-ness has shown itself on numerous occasions as we blunder through one event after another. And last weekend was no exception.

It started out as a relaxing Sunday afternoon walk in the park after a lovely roast lunch. Our oldest had her bike, our second had her scooter and the baby of the family would be in his all-terrain buggy. Except hubby took the wrong pump to inflate the deflated tire. So our 13 month old ended up in a kangaroo carrier meant for babies and that resembles all too much something one might find in an S&M catalogue with all its ties and buckles hanging about.

A big sigh and off we went...

Up the path, the happy family. And then Clark suggested we take a right because that's where, he was certain, we would find mushrooms (despite the then lack of rain). Our oldest charged ahead on her bike followed closely behind by her scootering sister. We followed up the rear as our toddler struggled to climb up papa's back, most likely to escape the humiliation of being seen in such a reputation-destroying contraption at such a young age.

On we walked. Through the forest, down a hill, around a bend.... And then we were confronted by a massive hill, especially in the eyes of a 7 year old with her bicycle and a short-legged 5 year old with a scooter. When looking back at these events, I often wonder what exactly I was thinking and why I don't speak up when I should, but as in the past, I again chose not to say anything. Instead I put on my best happy face and encouraged the girls to do their best to climb that hill. I ended up pushing the bike to the top. Clark trudged behind, dragging the scooter. Baby was still on daddy's back and was still attempting an escape. The girls plodded on.

The top of the hill was the breaking point and I finally questioned our destination, only to find out that Clark's internal navigation system was as broken as ever and we had been headed in the opposite direction for the past 15 minutes. But lest I fret, he had a solution and it was, according to him, simple: we had to go off-road.

Again, I need to stop and question these things, but I suppose I still have faith despite it all.

And so we went cross-country. 3 kids, 1 bicycle, 1 scooter. Lots of trees, roots, rocks, leaves, mud. Too much whining, whinging, "Mummy I'm tired", and "Are you sure we're going in the right direction, daddy?"

We did finally emerge from the thick of the woods, much to our surprise as well as that of the other families out on their Sunday stroll. But we didn't look like those families, the ones who stayed on the trails and remained all cleanly attired and civilized. We were aware of our mud-covered shoes and slightly disheveled coiffures laden with bits of pine needles and branches as we slunk off to find our car.

It wasn't exactly the Sunday stroll that you read about it books. Just in blogs.

Wonder what we have planned for this weekend.


BellWookie said...

you know despite it all the kiddos are having great adventures. something to be said for not sticking to the paved path.

Andy & Rebecca said...

You definitely took "the road less traveled by"... now, has that made all the difference?? :)

Fun stories Gretchen!! Your family sounds just like mine. Our scooters go with us everywhere.


tootsiegrace said...

Makes good family memories, though! Something to keep talking about as the kids grow older.

melissakate said...

How funny! On the plus side, maybe this means you'll win a trip to Europe :)

melissakate said...

Okay, wait, I just realized that you're already in Europe! lol
Maybe you'll get to go to Wally World!