Monday, May 06, 2013

A Summer of Ladybugs and Wheelbarrows

Ah, bliss. We spent the weekend in New Hampshire, our first trip of the summer. The house had been opened up and cleaned in the week before our arrival, so when we got here Thursday afternoon, there were no dead mice to contend with. The drive had been longer than expected, so we hustled the girls to bed and then settled in for the evening once Andrew’s dad arrived as well. (With two big carseats in our Volvo, we can’t squeeze three adults into one car anymore.) It was a little tough to get the girls inside: Lucia, of course, remembers it here, and she ran straight down the hill toward the pond as soon as she got out of the car; Greta seemed to remember it too and made a beeline for the barn, where she pounded on the door, eager to get to the toys inside.

Andrew and his dad got the grill out right away, and we ate burgers and salad in the dining room for our first New Hampshire meal.

Friday and Saturday, we spent outside—gorgeous, sunny days, not a cloud in the sky. Lucia and Greta played with their New Hampshire toys, including the beloved red car, the tractor, and the see-saw. We got out all the plastic balls. Andrew and his dad cleared some weeds from the front of the house, and the girls got to ride in the wheelbarrow when we trekked into a farther-off field to gather some branches for firewood. The girls were mesmerized by a fallen pine tree. We took nature walks and collected nature things to make dried-flower bouquets. Andrew discovered an eighteenth-century stone wall behind one of the barns.

At night, after the girls were asleep, we made a fire in the fire pit and watched the stars light up. There is nothing more peaceful.

There were some not-peaceful parts to the weekend as well. Andrew had to address a ladybug infestation in the living room, which is cute when there are just a few ladybugs crawling on the windowpanes and less cute when there’s about fifty of them on the ceiling. Lucia and Greta were both fascinated by them; Lucia would pick them up and carry handfuls of them outside, while I suppressed an Ick. Also not-peaceful was Greta, who has become four kids’ worth of trouble. If you have to pause and ask, “Where’s Greta?”, she will be doing one of the following: climbing at dizzying speed to the top of the steps, where she will stand, waiting for you, with a triumphant smile; scaling the most rickety chair in the room; taking the lid off the trash can; beelining into the barn to touch the cans of gasoline; or grasping countertops to see what she can pull down on top of herself. She requires constant attention, constant monitoring, which is hard enough at home let alone in the NH house, which is basically one big toddler death trap. It is exhausting.

Nonetheless, the peace of NH is so great that it reached us despite all the insane running around. We can’t wait to go back in a few weeks.

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