School Vacation (and Easter) in Washington D.C.

School vacation and Easter converged upon us this year. The Oppressed has long-expressed a desire to visit Washington D.C. I, of course, could never argue against this interesting proposition.

My youngest daughter and I went to work putting together a loose itinerary for the family. Wife, with a million things to take care of at work, was happy to have someone else deal with the details of the trip. I, with mountains of dishes and laundry to climb, was happy to have the diversion.

We decided to break the journey up into two days. We stopped at a hotel on Friday to eat and rest. On Saturday, we resumed the drive and arrived at what would become our base of operations for the next five days. We arrived at night and took an elevator that kept making weird noises. The elevator door opened and we were able to keep our eyes open long enough to make it to our rooms before collapsing on the bed.

Wait for it…

Easter Sunday was spent at the National Basilica. For some reason, I tend to spend Easter away from home. Washington D.C. joins a list of places I’ve celebrated Easter Sunday that includes Tampa and the Netherlands.

Slick, The Oppressed, and I took in the Easter Sunday mass at the National Basillica. I thought there would be a problem getting into such a place on such a day. Luckily, we had no such problems.

We did run into a tiny snafu at the mass. Then again, it wouldn’t be a holiday or a vacation if we didn’t. The Oppressed suffered a minor injury when she accidentally scratched her thumb. It was one of those small cuts that irritate you and don’t stop irritating. We needed to find a restroom and do something about this cut. While we left the service and go downstairs to find a restroom to clean it, I was trying to convince The Oppressed to be brave and strong. I was also hoping for a little Easter miracle where my daughter would be healed.

We find a restroom and my youngest daughter is able to clean her wound. She emerges from the ladies’ room with a wet paper towel pressed against her thumb. We return to the service stealthily as if we had never left. The rest of the mass goes off without a hitch for us.

We went from the Basilica to a local donut shop, where we procured freshly baked donuts for the rest of the family. We enjoy a simple Easter brunch at our hotel room and proceed to our nation’s capital, where we take in the sites that are not closed for the holiday. This includes the Lincoln Memorial. It was imperative to The Oppressed that we visit the particular monument. She learned about Martin Luther King, Jr. and his “I Have a Dream” speech. She wanted to see where it happened.

The Oppressed is ecstatic about visiting the Lincoln Memorial and insists we call my father. Not call, FaceTime. My father is an avid Civil War fan and has probably read every book written about Abraham Lincoln. We call him and wish him (and my mother) Happy Easter. The Oppressed is excited to be able to share this moment with her grandfather.

We see the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument. It’s time for dinner. Obviously, we can’t just walk into a restaurant on Easter Sunday. We have enough problems with that with a party of eight on a regular day, let alone a holiday. Lucky for us, there happen to be food trucks on this day. Everyone finds a food truck they like and orders something. We enjoy our non-traditional Easter dinner on the grass. It’s not too cold. The food is good and some of us even get ice cream from one of the trucks after dinner.

Easter Dinner

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Protecting your Treats from Nosy Children

Quickly eating before being caught.

You read stories of American colonists hiding stores of ammunition ahead of the British army coming to seize it. Pirates hid treasure. People would secretly make then hide booze. People did whatever it took to make sure someone else didn’t take what was theirs.

photo: gotrum.com

I’m seriously considering these practices in my house. As you know, I’m usually the one who does the grocery shopping. Sometimes I need to go to the wholesale store. This is necessary when you have five children, three of them are in athletics (if you count cheerleading).

I get this. I played sports. I rode a bike. You sweat. You need to hydrate. It happens. I understand this. What I don’t understand is why one of the Gaggle needs to pack four sports drinks in the morning. He needs to stay hydrated. Do the water fountains not work in the school?

The Boy is one of the children in sports. He needs to hydrate. That would be fine if he actually finished his hydration. He doesn’t and he’s not the only one. Wife and I are constantly finding half-full (or half-empty) bottles around the house. They belong to nobody, of course. All of the children are perfect and they finish and properly dispose of everything they consume.

Sometimes I see something I think Wife will really like when I’m shopping so I grab it. Something nice to give her while she overworks at her job. I make sure to give it to her while the little pillagers are at school. If they’re home, I’ll tuck it under something in a bag, then retrieve it and, with great stealth, slip it under some papers or behind a book so she can enjoy it without having it poached by one of the Miracles of Christ.

Wife has seen what’s going on as we find depleted supplies of tonic and juice and assorted treats. She has resorted to taking some of these rations and storing them in special hiding places so she can enjoy a little something when she feels like it instead of gobbling up something for the sake of getting something she’d like before the children conduct their raid and it’s gonna forever.

Interestingly enough, my store of fruits and vegetables hasn’t been pilfered 🤔. It’s a fascinating thing that occurs at my house, but I haven’t had the need to hide apples, oranges, peaches, plums, or carrots. It’s a phenomenal situation, but this is one of the reasons they’re called the Miracles of Christ.

The colonists hid guns in woodpiles, bullets in sacks and barrels. Bruce Wayne has secret passages at Wayne Manor. Heroes have ways to hide and store necessary supplies for when they need it. Wife has taken to these tactics before the locusts – I mean, children – descend upon the spoils of a shopping trip. If we’re lucky, they’re absorbed in a screen that provides some mind-numbing experience for them. This allows us to find a place to hide something being saved for a special occasion or something that’s planned for a meal. Either way, we have our system. It may not be as elaborate of a system used to warn of British coming into Boston Harbor, but it does allow me and wife to preserve our stores and hold off the grocery shopping for another hour.

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Talking to your children

Parenting’s tough. Anyone who has children knows that. Sometimes it takes more than a larynx and diaphragm to get a message across to our little cherubs. Sometimes it only takes a slight variation of the vernacular to reach them. Here I would like to share with you my little nuggets occasionally bestowed upon our miserable little darlings. I’ve also included the intent of said nuggets. As an intelligent human, I’ll let you figure out the desired result(s).

I can’t even. (The words to describe this tomfoolery have yet to be invented.)

I will violate my parole. (I will find a cop and confess to whatever unsolved crime they are investigating if it means a couple of days to myself.)

I’m out of medals. (How nice of you to put your plate in the dishwasher this time. Your job this week was all of the dishes, which I have done twice in as many days so we could have clean dishes for dinner. I’m sorry you were up texting your friend until 12:30 this morning but some of us had to be responsible people today. But thank you for gracing us with your presence this mor- afternoon.)

I want proof of life. (Come out of your room and into the kitchen so we know you are actually out of bed and dressed.)

We’re not translating “The Divine Comedy”. (You have to write a sentence about a cat. Put on your big boy/girl pants and suck it up.)

Who’s on Dish Duty? (There is a mountain of dishes in the kitchen that’s about to topple over. how about putting the phone down and washing those dishes we told you to do three days ago?)

Who’s on Laundry Duty? (Everyone’s out of clothes again. How about pausing that PS4 and taking a moment to load the washer? It’s alright. You’ll have a solid 15-20 minutes of gaming before you have to move the load to the dryer and reload the washer.)

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