Monday, November 17, 2008

The Great Unwashed (Toys)

Autumn arrived in earnest in Seattle this past weekend, as the magnolia tree in our front yard informed me by dropping all of its leaves in a 24-hour period. That meant that my Saturday was earmarked for raking -- one of my least favorite pastimes, as each magnolia leaf is as light and easy to rake as an encyclopedia. But given that it was a dry fall weekend, a relative rarity in the PNW, I was excited to get Finn gussied up in his little snowsuit that we bought down at the local secondhand store for some outdoor fun.

We had originally intended the snowsuit for the cabin this winter, in the event that we got some snow before the ski mountain opened, in which we could take him sledding. Judging by the fit of the suit, however, we have approximately 18-hours before he outgrows it. It better start snowing, stat.

I figured that if I was going to have to rake, Finn was going to be jumping in some leaves. Even if I had to throw him into them. The problem was that our front yard, where all the big leaves are, was still too wet and the magnolia leaves were like a big pile of mashed potatoes with a gravy that you didn't want to get anywhere near. That left our little dinky ghetto back yard. I cobbled together a pile of birch leaves, sticks and common household garbage and tossed in some Finn.

This picture's a little blurry, since he was listing heavily to starboard and was about to faceplant in a large twig and/or Big Gulp straw. It sure does look fun, though, doesn't it?

This past weekend also marked our introduction into full contact parenting -- i.e., toy shopping. Ever the conscientious hippies, we of course were focusing on second hand toys at the toy swap. For weeks, I had been complaining to Kitty that we didn't have enough scratched up toys with weird stains on them, so this was really her gift to me.

This place was insane. I was completely out of my league. It started at 9 AM and we showed up at 9:05 AM, only to watch the two toys that we had pre-agreed that we would go after heading out the door as we were going in. Five minutes into the event and the place was already picked clean. It was elbow to elbow with kids and parents scrambling to grab something, anything, just so they didn't leave empty handed.

Here's a picture from the West Seattle blog (including Kitty, Finn and Lisa), but it doesn't do the scene justice. When this was taken, I was outside splashing water on my face and checking my body for broken bones. We did score a 1950's phone, a little steering wheel and a Thomas the tank engine, along with some random shapes that don't seem to light-up, beep or blink, which is weird. It took about 2 hours of scrubbing with lye, but I think they're finally clean enough to go in his mouth. Which is the only destination these days.

Finn's Memaw / Grandma Finn arrived on Sunday for the latest salvo in the War of the Grandmas, so hopefully she'll be able to show the boy a better time than Mommy's crappy toy dash and Daddy's pile of dangerous garbage.

It won't be hard.

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