First, I thank, thank, thank all of you who commented to Jake and Jack. They read them this morning over cereal and felt like total big shots. They, in fact are so damn pleased with themselves (Internet!) that they will be posting with some regularity-ness (is too a word). They also want to pass this link to Runescape along...
Next, the mini ski holiday... well, let me just say that 8 children + 3 mothers = 3 women who are grossly outnumbered. Here is how it all played out:
Sunday: we leave, oh, let's say, 2 hours later than we intended. My girlfriend picks me up and I load Jake, Jack, Eva and 400 bags into the back of her Suburban (henceforth to be known as "Cheryl") where 3 of her 4 kids already are (one child is in Yuma, AZ. for ski week and perhaps, according to the hosting mother, losing her "street cred".) as well as their 400 or so bags and damn Cheryl can hold a lot of stuff off we go. Fifteen minutes later, one of the 6 children says, "I have to pee".
Of course you do. Of course you have to pee. There is no possible way you could have peed at home.
We make her hold it for an hour.
Ah - lookee over there, the base of the mountain! And cars coming down the mountain have snow on them! Yea snow! Yea mountain! Yea getting out of this friggin' car! First, however, we must climb the mountain. Out of our way traffic patrol man, we are in Cheryl and she can tackle this wussy CA mountain! Chains - shmains! Oh fuck, black ice! We skid! We skid across the road and then back again! Skid, skid, skid!
"Steer into the skid!" This is my helpful comment. Because, you know, I, who won't drive in anything less than 70 degree, sunshine filled weather with ideal traffic conditions, attended driver's ed 20 years ago and this is what I remember... "steer into the skid." I can't believe Tori didn't fucking shoot me.
So Tori pulls out of the skid and the whole episode lasted like 30 seconds, but the children... the children later that night, "We almost died!" "It was soooo scary!" "I almost threw up!" Clearly, we need to toughen these kids up.
The cabin we are staying in is owned by friends and they are Norwegian and very blonde and very supportive of IKEA. There are lots of Intelooken cabinets and Fustovelt beds and Pergo flooring... there is a big front yard that comes complete with thrasher snowboarders next door who like to drink beer, smoke cigarettes and practice their moves on the homemade jump in their driveway. The children? Enthralled and in heaven. The thrasher boys greet us with, "Hi. If we get too loud can you just tell us and not call the cops? Thanks."
What an auspicious beginning.
Well, we get settled and our other girlfriend arrives with her 2 kids and the battle for "Who Eva Likes Best" officially commences. There were a few tense moments throughout the weekend and most seemed to have the Diva at the core... for example, a rousing game of, "My Dog" could bring about bad feelings if a certain small Chinese person chose the same stuffed animal over and over... other games such as, "What's Your Name" or, "Slamming Barbie Cars Into Momma's Head/The Wall", frequently ended in trauma... oh fickle, thy name is Eva.
Monday: OMG. Where did all these people come from? There are children everywhere. You cannot swing a cat without hitting a child. And, due to the unprecedented noise level, hitting a child sounds mighty appealing. Or maybe, a child is hitting another child? I don't know, I just want coffee.
We feed and dress the troops and I just have to know... Internet, I need to know, how in the hell do you live in snowy weather? All the gear? The boots? The gloves? The hats? How many mittens and hats do you lose on average? We lost a thousand. We found as many.
Off to the slopes. Now, I am not skiing as Eva is only 2 and too young for ski school and neither Tori nor Christy are planning on schussing down any mountains... our plan is to stick the kids in morning semi-private lessons and then ski school for the afternoon. HA FUCKING HA. There isn't a lesson or ski school spot available. The mountain? They have less than 12 private instructors. Hello? Where are all the college kids on break who need to make money and want to ski at the same time? I remember these instructors/hotties from my own college days when working at the ski resorts was the ideal winter break job. Do kids not need jobs? Does anyone work? Yes! Yes, they do. They all work in the parking lot. The parking control at this place? A marvel! The ski school counter? A joke. A joke in the DOS computer program, backslash kind of way... so, the point of all this? No skiing for the kids! Good huh? We try to blame everything else, but the bottom line is we suck and the kids aren't skiing until Tuesday. To compensate for our extreme suckiness we spend a small fortune on ultra private lessons. Because, no matter what Dr. Spock will have you think, children can and will happily be bought.
The solution for the afternoon is one of sledding and coca-cola and snowballs and although we feel like we rather blew it on the organizational side, the kids are having a blast.
Dinner is take away Chinese and I make a run to the liquor store where I apparently purchase way more alcohol than the clerk is used to seeing 30 something year old women purchase, because he asks, "I think you are having a very big party? Maybe I can come?" So, I explain, that he actually can't come, but if we were having a big party we would totally want him there and thanks and bye.
Tuesday. Tuesday we ski! Or, the kids ski! There is skiing to be had and it is a gorgeous day and the kids are cute, cute, cute in their ski togs and we settle ourselves down with $12 diet Pepsis to watch them swoop down the slopes and watch we do and every now and then one of us will yell, "There is Ruby, over by that tree and Jack is with her!" Or, "There goes Maia! Wow!" Or, "Hey, Eilidh just fell off the ski lift!"
Yes, indeed. We watched our 4 youngest come down the run, slide into place at the chair lift and hop on... and then, as in slow motion, one fall off. OMG! OMG! You know the part where, once you get on the chair sort of rocks back and then swings forward and off you go? That is where she dropped. Right under the "A" in Mountain Express. We watched with bated breath while they stopped the lift and some guy ran over and picked her up (we couldn't see her as she was in a bit of a ditch) and then, lo and behold, plopped her back on the lift and off she went! Woo-hoo Eilidh!
Skiing with kids takes longer, costs more, and is generally a lot of work. Gone are the days of waking early, duffing a cool Bogner ski outfit and spending the entire day on the mountain. Now, it is breakfast for picky eaters and complicated clothing and maybe only 2 or 3 hours of actual skiing. However, it is so excellent to have your kids tell you about the jumps they went off, or the cool turn they made or even how funny it was when Eilidh fell off the ski lift... you can't help but feel lucky.
And so the weekend ends. Free cabin + 8 kids + 3 mothers + eleventy billion dollar ski lessons = big time fun