It’s after 11 p.m. and my kids are still awake…
Which is shocking and shameful, I know, for an almost-four-year-old and a two-and-a-half-year old. But, this is what you get when you let your kids take looong, late naps. I’m actually fine with it, A. because it’s Saturday and sort of a holiday, and B. because it was a wonderful day.
Our Saturday was basically unscheduled: we had no set plans until late afternoon, when we knew we were hosting the family Father’s Day barbecue. I love to plan meals and cook, so hosting this was going to be a treat. Late last night, I pulled a recipe for “super-easy can’t screw-up baby back barbecue ribs”, not the actual title of the recipe, but that’s what it was.
So when Babyboy and Babygirl were awake at the eyesplitting hour of six on this rainy, cool summer Saturday when we all really should have been sleeping in, Hubby and I decided we needed to get our groove on and get them out of the house for the day. Amid the usual morning melee of “MOMMY! He Hit Me!”‘s, “But I don’t WANT my diaper changed”‘s, and “I don’t want these Cheerios, I want those Cheerios!”‘s, and while balancing hot strong coffees with Desitin and the kitty litter scoop, we bounced around some ideas, checked the internet, and decided we would get out and to the city Children’s Museum by opening time.
And dammit, we did. Not only were we well-splattered with soap suds in the bubble experiment room five minutes after opening, but we had managed to pack the kids’ lunches. No waiting in line and then spending inordinate amounts of cash on overpriced toddler food at the museum restaurant!
Our triumph lasted until we figured out that we had forgotten the baby wipes… We did end up spending too much on an emergency pack of those from the museum gift store, but, hey. Almost perfect.
We went 1:1 with the kids, me and Babygirl to the toddler-friendly cartoon-character-water table room; Hubby and Babyboy to the Construction Zone. This is the beauty of the Children’s Museum: It’s not really a museum, but rather, an educational Chuck E. Cheese. I raise an eyebrow at the blatant marketing of several cartoon franchises throughout the place, but feel virtuous as every exhibit has some redeeming scientific or social lesson embedded in there.
So the kids learned about the effects of various obstacles on water flow, and what construction equipment does which jobs and how; they had an early (and healthy, and cheap!) lunch outside on the docks, and then we corralled them to the car and towards home, via the ice cream shack and an impromptu visit to lovely friends who are moving out of the area next week. We were driving by their place and saw they were having a driveway Moving Sale; hence, they got all of us for awhile, including our kids with sticky strawberry ice cream faces; bonus!
We knew we had the Father’s Day Barbecue to do, and we pulled it off. That recipe called for slow cooking the baby-back ribs for several hours before slathering them with the commercial sauce of your choice and throwing them on the grill to get a bit of char. In the time it took Hubby to rodeo lasso Babyboy into his street clothes in the morning, I had opened the plastic wrap off of two large racks of ribs, cleavered them into manageable 3- or 4- rib chunks, doused them on both sides with Lawry’s Garlic Salt, threw them in the Crock Pot and poured in an inch of apple juice, setting the timer to 6 hours on low. The meat was falling off the bone well before cookout-time, albeit an unappetizing shade of light grey. I gently fished out each chunk, slathered both sides with a dark honey BBQ sauce we use, and then at grill-time, Hubby carefully set them meat-side down on a super-hot grill, and VOILA! Beautifully Caramelized, Slightly Charred, Super-Easy Can’t Screw-Up Barbecue Baby Back Ribs.
The barbecue itself was inside, not because of weather, as it has cleared up and was sunny at that point; but because of the World Cup. Italy vs. England was the entertainment for the afternoon, highly entertaining, that and a few Coronas with lime, easy family interaction, and (goshdarnit) good food.
Since we are newly obsessed with fitness, both of us fighting the seemingly inevitable Belly Fat of the Forties, somehow, we also fit in walks and runs for both of us, each of us with kids in the jogger stroller: mine with Babygirl before the cookout, where she fell asleep; and Hubby’s with Babyboy after the cookout, since he slept on the couch through the whole thing and was wide awake at 8 pm. Off they went.
Bedtime bathtime was pushed back to almost 9 pm, but the kids fell into the nighttime book-reading routine like usual, and we’ve had minimal stall tactics. Just the occasional murmury request for a back rub or a blankie or a “mommy? can we rock just one more time?”. I think that despite the late afternoon snoozes, they had such a full day that they’re tuckered out, and they’re both just about down…
And since I managed to get Hubby’s Father’s Day gift wrapped last night, I can now use these precious few minutes before I also collapse in blissful exhaustion to blog.