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8:41 a.m. - September 18, 2005
Mini Golf. Seven Year Olds. Lotus Position. Quite a Recipe.

Well, there’s nothing like a seven-year-old’s birthday party. Not even root canal.

I kid, I kid, of course. (Yes, dear, I took it back…)

Katie, Kristin, Liz and I went to our great-nephew’s seventh birthday party. Yes, you read that right, great-nephew. Thank you convoluted family. He is the son of Niece Nurse and lives near Lafayette. (Mind you Niece Nurse’s husband is OLDER than I am…yep, technically I’m younger than my nephew-in-law. I know, I need to provide an org chart.)

The party was going to be at a miniature golf place in the Tippecanoe Mall at 6:00 at night. You read right, we had to go to a mall on a Saturday. That’s the sound of me trying to think of any excuse not to go. “Uh, I need to wax my begonias. Uh, I gotta take my iPod in for a 50,000 mile checkup. Uh, I need….ah, crap!”

But yesterday, it just wasn’t as simple as trotting up to Lafayette for the party. Of course, this was the day some dear friends of ours from Zionsville decided to come over for a visit with their 5-year old and 1-year old. They wanted to see the baby and see how much Katie has grown since we moved. (Of course, I’m just a potted plant. I could spray paint my body gold and write satanic symbols on my chest with a razor blade and they’d say “Hey, how are you. Where’s Kristin?”)

Our house was a bit disheveled. We had a lot of cleaning and straightening to do, some groceries to get (Katie has to bring the snacks to preschool on Monday), dishes needed to be done, and I had to haul a load to cardboard boxes and magazines across town to the recycle center. So there was plenty of action and drama en la casa de Smed. (“Will the laundry dry in time so another load can be started? Will there be enough time to dust the top of the bookcases? Tune in tomorrow!”)

So after I did a load of dishes, I gathered up ye olde recyclinge and took care of that chore. I almost was attacked by bees, but I made it through. (Direct quote: “Aaaaah! Beeeees!”). Then at Katie’s naptime I took Kristin on my run to get groceries. I even had to make a stop at Satan’s Discount Store…er…Walmart. Katie needs a little area rug to do yoga and ‘movement’ at preschool. Yes, they do yoga at preschool. (More on that later.)

So with all that taken care of, and after my part of the house tidying I get to watch about three plays of a college football game when the guests arrive.

Actually, it was a very nice visit. Their son and Katie had a ball playing together, and of course everyone just doted on Kristin. The only downfall was that I couldn’t offer beers (nor drink them) because they had a drive ahead of them, and we had a drive ahead of us. So, lemonade and Diet Cokes were consumed and the rug rats had fun.

They left at around 5:10 – the party started at 6:00. It’s at least a half hour to the mall in Lafayette plus parking time. Oops, we’re going to be late. But we had to go forward.
Since there was only cake and kool-aid going to be served at this party, we had to eat dinner. So, we made it a special occasion and went drive through at Satan’s Fast Food, er…McDonald’s. (Satan has a whole line of mega-conglomerates, if you haven’t figured it out by now.) We are healthy with Katie’s meals, well, relatively. With her McNuggets we always get apple slices. Well, we got the bag o’ food (side note: That should be a McDonald’s meal – “The Bag O’ Food. What will we put in there? Who knows, but we’ll fill it up – trust us!”) they had fries instead of apples. I had moved five feet forward so there was decision time. Should we move forward or go back and tell the slack jawed lapdogs for Ol’ Scratch that we got the wrong order.

Satan won this one, because in the interest of time we just moved along. So it was a double secret special day for Katie. McDonald’s WITH fries.

So onward we drove to the mall. I let Liz and the girls out to find a place to park. I was afraid that I was going to have to park back home and walk back up there, but I fortunately found a spot within the same township, and went to find the golf place.

I don’t go to malls much. For one, many of the stores are not in my demographic, meaning I’m not 18-25 with way too much spending money. Second, I prefer to do my shopping in a very concise, clipped manner. Get in, get out, get on my way. It’s impossible to do that in malls. Liz is a lingerer and shopper and there’s always another store to go browse. I can browse in bookstores for years, but hauling around kids that’s not going to happen without the boredom factor setting in. And I used to love browsing in toy stores, but taking a 3 ˝ year old into a toy store is much like inviting a bum on skid row to the factory where they make Mad Dog 20/20.

But I hold my disgust and find the golf place. Well, it’s not just any mini golf place. It’s a place where it’s all under black light. Everyone wears glow necklaces and they have fluorescent tape and markers everywhere to help you in your golf play. They have a lot of cheesy black light posters of jellyfish, and tigers, and all kinds of freaky things on the walls as well.

Kristin, of course, was a bit freaked. Well, I was a bit freaked. My eyes were going a bit batty at first. But I found everyone. The kids were all playing golf except for Katie, who was waiting for me.

My gosh,seven year olds are loud. Loud, loud, loud. My great nephew has an especially booming voice, and since he’s seven has little volume control or self-control. (The voice is genetic – my entire family could talk over a jet taking off and be heard. Liz is a bit quiet and reserved, and let’s just say she said approximately 3.5 words at her first family dinner with us.)

The funky lights and the loud kids was a recipe for a unique headache for sure. But they were having a blast and I soon got used to it all. Perhaps it was the music they were playing in the place. Now you would think that a place like this would be cranking out today’s rock hits, or good ol’ classic rock. (Somehow Sammy Hagar would fit in perfectly with the cheesy setting). But they had an adult-contemprorary music station playing. So we were putting to the sounds of the Box Tops, Gerry Rafferty, and I think I even heard “Come Saturday Morning” as I was putting over the loop-de-loop.

Katie and I went off to play some mini-golf. Now as you may have read here golf and I don’t get along any more. We’re estranged. And I get that feeling of angst just picking up a putter in mini golf. However, I wanted to be sure Katie learned how to play and have fun. So I told her how to hold the club, and on the first hole, she got it in the hole in just three strokes.

Now sometimes, she played more polo instead of golf. Katie didn’t want to wait until the ball stopped. However, I could overlook that transgression, because she was having fun as you can see:

Kristin had her own commentary on the event:

After the golf, we had cake and kool-aid (Just what Katie needed for a balanced meal, McDonalds with fries, chocolate cake and kool-aid. Yikes!) and presents were opened. Again, seven year olds are LOUD! I need a remote with a mute button. After hugs were exchanged, we had to go to get Katie back home in time for bed. My niece gave her a party favor for showing up.

It was a necklace that had a whistle attached to it. Thanks, thanks a lot. Can we send her up to your house for a week?

As we were walking out of the mall, Katie said, “I really liked playing golf with you, Dad.!” Awww…that melted my heart.

So on the way home, as I was basking in the afterglow of that statement, Liz and I were chatting away about the day while Katie was doing play by play of how the moon was moving. “Oh, the moon is following us! Oh, the moon is going towards us – oh, now it’s going away….no it’s following us!”

At one point we were talking while she was providing this expert commentary and Katie chips, “Hey! Everyone! Lotus position! No talking until I’m finished!”

Lotus position? What? Oh, it’s a preschool thing.

Have you ever tried to drive a car while in the lotus position? Even Buddah couldn’t do it.

 

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