Posted by: heartfull | January 30, 2008

Church, a Brewery Tour and Pizza

Sunday was one of those totally awesome days that makes me realize how lucky I am. I will have to back up just slightly, though, to Saturday to begin.

Bird had a Brownie trip to another leader’s house to make SWAPS from 2:00 to 4:00 on Saturday. Fun but exhausting for both of us. We got home about 4:15 to find that Chip and John had just woken up from their nap. I sat down to rest for a moment and all of a sudden it was 4:45 and we were not ready for church. I threw clothes on the kids, smoothed down their hair with some extra spit, and jumped in the car at exactly 5:00, ensuring that we were late for, um, 5:00 Mass. Nothing like walking in 5 minutes late with three kids who look like ragamuffins. The church was full, so we had to walk around for a while looking for a place to sit. I was embarrassed from the outset, and then my kids proceeded to act like hellions the entire time. I was pissed. Towards the end of mass, I hissed at Bird that she would be doing this again, tomorrow. Sigh.

Laying in my warm cozy bed on Sunday morning, I was seriously annoyed that I had to go to church again. I knew I had to follow through, though. Bird totally knows when I don’t and I can tell a difference in her behavior, after the fact, when I do. Them there kids, they be pretty smart.

After dragging myself out of bed, I told Bird the plan and warned her that if she didn’t get it right at 8:15, we would go to the next mass and the next one and keep doing this all day until she did get it right.

Bird, though, was an angel at mass. She mimicked me in a very sincere way, crossing her leg, singing hymns and sitting, kneeling and standing at the appropriate times. We sat in the very front row (which is so disconcerting, I have to say) and I was proud to be with her. Afterwards we went and got a bagel to fill in the time before PSR started. We held hands, skipped, chatted and basically turned what could have been a nightmare into really excellent mommy-daughter quality time.

When Bird got home from PSR, John and I decided to take the kids on an Anheuser-Busch Brewery Tour. This is a really fun tour and free, including two glasses of beer or soda and pretzels at the end. We hadn’t been in about a year, so the kids would really enjoy it. There is a good mixture of science and fun. First stop is the stables, which are beautiful and the horses are amazing. One Clydesdale was getting a bath when we walked in, so the kids loved that. We then proceeded to the beer making buildings which are terribly interesting. They just don’t build such beautiful industrial buildings anymore. Lots of gargoyles, mosaics, chandeliers, brass tubs, wrought iron. The science and technology of brewing process is explained very well throughout the tour.

To get to the top of the packaging building, we had to take seven escalators. Chip was in heaven, stepping on and off all by himself except for that iron grip he kept on my hand.

At the end of the tour, we took trolley-like buses to the hospitality room. The kids thought this was thrilling.

When we got back to the hospitality room, they had a trivia question and the winner (me!) got a really huge boxed bottle of beer. When I heard the question I almost didn’t raise my hand because, come on – it was so easy. But I looked around and no one else was raising their hand. What cracks me up, though, was that the reason I knew it was because it was basically an interior design question: “What two buildings had chandeliers from the 1904 World’s Fair.” Well, duh – the Stable and the Brew House. Obviously the Harley riders and frat boys on our tour just weren’t paying attention.

As were were leaving, a woman in the parking lot randomly complimented us on how well behaved our children were on the tour. I needed that.

We ended the night at Happy Joe’s, a pizza and game place – kind of like Chuck E. Cheese but no dancing puppets, 1/8 the size, and very run down. But the good part is the pizza is fine, it isn’t crowded and every game is a quarter, which means my kids had their fill of games for $10.

Great day, great kids, great memories.

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