Who Doesn’t Like Freedom Friday?

Freedom Friday is always the best day of my week. I don’t have work, Manchild doesn’t have school, and we form a dynamic duo launching ourselves eagerly upon Baltimore County. We feel drunk on the  freedom from schedules, and love the endless choices of adventures we can embark on – until 2:30pm (when our Loanerchild comes over while his mom goes to work). There is nothing I enjoy more than waking up not knowing where the day will go, and not having to consult another grown-up soul about it. Manchild’s opinions count, but I’m still the Schenanigans Team Leader.

Today, we ventured out to the Classy Walmart. It’s north of us, closer to the over-priced real estate section of town, and also the only Super Walmart around. It’s always an exciting field trip for me since we rarely go there, and clean Walmarts are just plain mysterious to me in general.

So off we jaunted into the cold, gray, rain of May. We decided to make a quick stop at Lowes to grab some rustic cabinet handles. Captain Schenanigans made a pantry out of pallets and wine corks, then stuck my tin metal chicken signs on the doors to fill in the gaps (therefore cementing himself firmly in place as my hero). There is chalk board paint on the bottom half of the doors, since we don’t want anything to look too neat and tidy, thus conflicting  with our over all decorating scheme.

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While debating with Manchild over which handles looked the most like what a cowboy would use, I notice Manchild wandering around the lower end of the aisle. He’s making full eye contact with me, talking a mile a minute in true Manchild style (we were told by the speech therapist to try to get him to talk less- no joke). I see the lady beside him push her cart forward and begin to leave the aisle. At the same moment, Manchild, still emphatically telling me every thought in his roaring mind, begins to head out of the aisle as well. It dawns on me that while he may be talking to me, he is following her! This kid has ZERO situational awareness, and that’s on a good day.

“Manchild”, I call after him,  “Are you leaving with her?” He stops talking, looks around sheepishly and runs back to me. I wonder how far he would have gone? I get a bashful hug from a still silent little boy. I’m laughing so hard I had to call my mom and relay the moment. ‘Cause thats what moms are for. Manchild remained smirking.

After the hardware aisle we head to the garden center, my favorite part. Ten seconds into it Manchild declares that nature is calling, and we run for the Ladies Room. Coming out, we pass four water fountains. FOUR. I offer Manchild a drink. He denied any hydration needs, and we resume our shopping. A New York moment later Manchild, who is fascinated by the outdoor fountain section, pops into view and proudly announces that he has taken a drink from his favorite fountain. Never mind the fact that the water in there is probably 6 months old, growing bacteria Sea World has yet to identify, and a dingy shade of gray. He is shameless. You may remember, this is the boy who licked the bathroom wall (above the changing table) in the mens room at Chickfila. Gross is just par for the course. But I still try my best to teach against it. Immune systems are not made to be broken.

By the time Loanerchild and Girlchild are home, the rain has let up but not departed. The decaf trio suggest finding the biggest puddle they can all fit in, don their rain boots and slickers, and scamper off on a group mission. I think this is a delightful idea, as it involves me sitting in a warm dry chair,  alone, blogging. With another sleeping chick on my chest, of course (I told you we’d begun socialization boot camp for the chicks).

The baby pool proves to be the best splashing challenge. And they play together until they are all (momentarily) no longer friends with Manchild. Then Loanerchild falls (and remains laying until I show up) in a cold mud puddle. Annnnnd, nature time is now officially over.

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Three dry children later I am doing laundry and remembering the childhood fun of playing in the rain. The kids are in the basement watching Wild Kratts. They squeal like girlie hyenas on cue when Captain Schenanigans accidentally turns off the lights. They are all afraid of the dark. Eventually, they lounge around until the subdued glaze of fatigue glosses over  their bleary eyes, and the rest of the night is a slam dunk.

While Manchild and I did eventually make it to Classy Walmart, shop for 2 hours, and run a few other errands, I feel as relaxed as if I’d been home all day. There’s just something nice about being your own boss for the day. Choosing what you do, and don’t, want to do. Playing hookey to all my responsibilities and taking my pint-sized sidekick off to fun places is my personal favorite kind of day. Next week we’ll check out Marshy Point Nature Center if it’s raining, or hike the Loch Raven trails if it’s nice. Either way, it’s gonna be fun times. It’s Freedom Friday, after all, and we get to call the shots!

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