I've given my friends strict instructions to slap me and holler: GET A HOLD OF YOURSELF! - if . . .
I sound like I am entertaining the idea of hosting tailgates on back to back weekends while simulatneously opening my home midweek to four out of town college buddies of Tank's all while organizing homecoming rides/flowers/wardrobe/pictures for two high school kids who are staying home . . . as I continue to babysit for an active tot crowd.
Things that cropped up during the 6 days between the two tailgates included, but are not limited to: driving home from tailgate #1 in a round-a-bout fashion to deliver Mini (who had a TERRIBLE COLD) to ND, finding out the next day that she had the flu, scoring Mini an appointment at a minute clinic and finding her a ride that would wait while she went to said doc appointment, attending a long-awaited appointment at my rhuemotologist in the city (translation: half of a day gone), cheering at two volleyball games of Curly's, editing a paper for Tank, zooming while sitting for 9 kids during Reg's 504 plan, getting my allergy shots, adding two kids to my easy-breezy Thursday group because they needed care that Thursday, and potty training twins.
I powered through all of the above while making 3 HUGE crockpots of chili, 6 loaves of pumpkin bread, 3 loaves of choc chip banana bread, 7 layer taco dip, cowboys caviar, 3 dozen shamrock sugar cookies, rocky road fudge bars, and 60 choc chip cookies. One day I experienced one of my least favorite episodes: waking up in the middle of the night and then sleep alluding me. I got 5 hours, which beats the week prior when I got a whopping 4 hours and was awake for 20 hours straight.
Did we have fun? YES, we sure did. Am I exhausted? YES, I am. Does my house look as though the tailgate took place in my home and the cleanup committee walked in, shrugged and opted to skip this place? YES, it does.
Oct. 8th we were at Ed's school. We shared our Airbnb with Mini's BFF's parents. Coach and I were up early cooking the make-ahead frozen breakfast burritos that I'd thawed overnight. We re-heated the sausages wrapped in bacon and put them in a giant thermos. We hoped to arrive to our meeting spot ahead of schedule, because Ed's girlfriend's mom, Lydia, had gotten us a parking pass. We planned to enter the parking area in a caravan with Lydia and her friends in two other cars.
Running ahead of schedule is not my strong-suit, but we feared the making Lydia wait party foul of having Lydia. We didn't want to be blamed for getting into the lot late and missing out on a great space, so we arrived 10 minutes early. Shock. The couple we shared our bnb with were coming to the field later. Cell service often fails at crowded college events, so we simply said: LOOK FOR GUMBY.
Words to live by.
The weather was perfect. 60 and sunny. I was so very grateful for the beautiful day and for the good night sleep. This was a few days after the 4 hours of sleep and I was thrilled to be feeling so well rested.
Due to a lack of direction from staff, the parking lot was a free for all. Fortunately Lydia hopped out of the car, idenitified a space, and waved us into a spot.
Coach and I got Gumby into position. One of the other moms in our group, who I'd never met before suddenly popped up on the other side of my car as I was struggling with the big green guy. She offered to help. That's when you know people are good people - not snooty or uppity or anything, because manhandling a foam guy and maneuvering him into postition when it was still chilly out is a sign of a genuinely good person. Let us all go forward and gage how good people are based on their willingness to lend a hand when affixing Gumby to a car roof.
The day was amazing. Tons of Ed's friends showed up. People praised Gumby for leading them to our car. My food received generous compliments. One of Ed's girlfriend's friends told me I was a queen because of the food I made. The breakfast burritos were a huge hit. The sausages wrapped in bacon were a huge draw.
Tank had hemmed and hawed about how he wouldn't be able to hang out with his brothers, because they were actually 21 and older and his fake ID wouldn't get him admitted into a real bar. Well, everything worked out because he borrowed an ID of one of Ed's roomies. It was a legit ID. He skipped shaving, donned a hat, and was believeable as a 21 year old. Some of Ed's friends at the tailgate told me that they thought Tank was Ed's older brother vs his younger brother. What do we call that? Art imitating life? Dumb luck?
We were next to a group of college kids tailgating. They occasionally wandered, or staggered in a drunken stuper, towards our tables and oogled our spread. I don't know each and every one of Ed's friends, or his girlfriend's friends, so I had no idea if people who were helping themselves to our food were imposters. I elbowed Ed occasionally for clarity. Tank was ON IT. So was Lad.
Tank witnessed a guy swipe a piece of pumpkin bread, take a bite, and make a celebratory face at his friends. Tank realized the thief was not with our group because he rejoined his friends at the neighboring tailgate. He walked up to the offender, snatched the pumpkin bread, threw it to the ground in front of him, and stomped on it.
OK, this sounds extreme, but my kids were not afraid to send a message in their plight to guard our food. Robbing other tailgates of food goes against proper tailgate code. The rest of us were very entertained at Tank and Lad's dilligence.
Have you ever had to protect your food? Met new people and feared 'they're gonna think we are weird for (insert whatever - for me, hoisting a Gumby on top of the car), and yet they embrace your weirdness, no questions asked?