|Aunt Roberta sent this lovely headband.|
|This is what Mary thought it was. Seriously. (It makes a great eye mask, too.)|
|I put her in this position only to fasten her snaps. Thus we learn Elisabeth is a tummy sleeper.|
|Yesterday afternoon, taken by Charlie.|
|Beautiful blue eyes.|
And now a funny story, entitled, "Our Trip Home From the Library: or Why Overloading a Plastic Wagon is a Bad Idea."
About a year and a half ago we were finding the trips home from the library were getting more and more difficult. The bags were growing in weight and in number. I struck on the brilliant idea of balancing some of these bags on the unused skateboard we had. It worked well taking the returns to the library, but on the way home we met with some difficulty: the board flipped and dumped all the books in the middle of an intersection. We scooped and slid and made it to the curb, much to the amusement of a lady waiting at the stop sign. She laughed and said, "What you guys need is a wagon. Come to my house and you can have mine." She gave us her address and a few days later we picked up a red, plastic, two seater wagon.
Oh, what a joy were library trips now! As you can imagine, I'm sure, the wagon got much use. So much in fact, that the front wheel began to bend at an ugly angle. It wasn't yielding to our attempts to fix it (such as my oldest son smacking the daylights out of it with a hammer and driving our crazy neighbor slightly crazier), so we just carried on with it, knowing that one day it would fold and we'd be, once again, wagon-less.
On Friday we went to the library. It was our first visit to OUR library since Elisabeth was born. (We'd been attending the library in a nearby town b/c of their summer reading program. On the way home, we'd swing into our library so Nathan could pick up our accrued "orders." But we hadn't walked up to our library in many weeks.) Nathan pulled the wagon load of books and Charlie up the hill and all the way there, while Mary and Joseph rode their scooters and I followed all with Elisabeth in the sling. Naturally, having been gone so long, there were a great many new books. And a great many favorite old books. And a great many in between. We came with 3 FULL bags of returns. We left with 6 FULL bags of reading for the week. I had to step out with Joseph and Charlie (and, of course, Elisabeth) b/c they were getting rowdy. The librarian, Miss Mary, helped Nathan and Mary load the wagon, trying to leave room for Charlie. There was just barely room. Miss Mary watched skeptically as we headed down the slope of library lawn for the parking lot and around the corner to the road before laughing her way back inside. (Great sense of humor and patience in that woman!)
Mary pulled on the way home, while Nathan rode the scooter. (Joseph, Charlie, and Elisabeth were as before.) We were not more than 1/8 of the way home when Mary suddenly stopped and said, "uh, oh." I turned, thinking the handle had come off, though I don't know why I thought that. The wagon was at a funny angle, but as both front wheels were clearly still attached, I couldn't see anything wrong. The wagon was supposed to break by folding that front wheel. What else could it be? Well, there was a wheel on the sidewalk. A back wheel. And the axle was poking straight up on the other side with that wheel still attached. "Oh, this is bad. Bad, bad, very bad." We started laughing at the idea of getting ourselves home with this incredibly heavy beast. There was no way we could carry all those books. Nathan hopefully suggested that he could run back to the library and have Miss Mary drive us home. Umm, no.
Thus began a spectacle I'm sure many a neighbor enjoyed. At least several passing drivers laughed heartily.
We finished removing the back axle, leaving the wagon with two front wheels and its back end on the ground. Charlie was removed from the wagon, much to his relief, and to his delight he was given possession of Nathan's scooter. (Fear not, my safety conscious friends, he had a helmet. Yes, the boy rode to the library in the wagon with his helmet on. Nathan was driving, after all.) But Charlie cannot ride a scooter, he only thinks he can. So... Mary pulled the wagon, Nathan pushed the wagon (which left a trail of red plastic all along the sidewalk), Joseph rode ahead, and I pulled Charlie on the scooter, while trying to bounce Elisabeth to stop the "I'm getting ready to scream" whine.
Yes, many passers-by laughed. Especially as we hit the area of road construction and that intersection where we'd dumped the skateboard last year. That's where Joseph took off, yelling, "can we go to the park?" and the wagon hit one of those big, steel plates covering a massive hole and refused to budge, and Charlie fell off the scooter, Elisabeth lost all patience with my bouncing pats. All, of course, in the middle of the intersection. How did we react, standing there in the middle of the road with two cars trying to cross? I totally lost it. I laughed so hard I brought tears to my eyes.
We made it home. The wagon body is in the trash. The wheels have been claimed as a prize by Nathan.
Don't know what we'll do for library trips now, but we'll figure something out. It should probably involve fewer books at a time, huh?
Okay, one more Charlie picture. I can't help myself, this one cracks me up....