I did my time at the inflatable slide. I had to be the bad cop, yelling at kids to go one at a time, and feet first, and stop pushing and all that jazz. Things that came out of my mouth: “I see you back there.” “No wedgies.” “It’s not nice to roll your eyes at the slide master.” “No, I don’t own this slide. I wish!”
I also had the pleasure of working the slide with beta club students from the local high school. I really don’t talk to a lot of high school kids, so it was interesting. They even confirmed a suspicion that Todd and I have had for a while: Hobos are so in.
Rollie had come home from school recently and was constantly talking about hobos. He had learned about them from a kid on the bus. We discussed hobos, and what they were. Rollie thought they were people who were poor and who steal. I tried to explain to him that his idea of hobos was not really accurate. Mostly I tried to understand how the hell these kids had learned about hobos in the first place! Since then, i have heard other kids down the street talk about hobos, and it’s come up a few other times. Todd and I started wondering why they are all talking about them, other than the obvious answer that they talk about it on the bus.
So, the high school kids and I were talking about costumes, because the kids at the festival wear their costumes, and i asked them if they still dress up and trick or treat, or go to parties, or whatever. One girl said her friend bailed on her, because the friend thought it was stupid. I asked her what she was going to be and she said “a fairy who had lost her wings.” Her costume sounded v. subversive. And the boy? He was going to be a hobo.
I was like, “what is the deal with hobos?” And the girl said, “They’re just kind of in.” So strange. I think i need to be a hobo zombie pirate tomorrow.
After I got off duty, I headed to the cafeteria for a dinner of bbq sandwiches, baked beans, and squash casserole with the fam. Not bad.
Highlights of the evening included doing the cakewalk with Rollie and i won and he got to pick the cake and he picked homemade chocolate cupcakes and we did high fives and it was awesome. I also enjoyed it when Tiller’s balloon animal (a dog she creatively named “woofie”) came unwound and turned into just a long balloon. She cried and cried, wearing her pigtails, and her saddle oxfords and white tights and cheer leading outfit. I held her and then told her we would find the clown and see if he could fix Woofie up. We did find the clown, but the line was so long that i just went up and watched him make a balloon dog and tried to mimic his actions. After three balloon dogs, I had it down, and it was one of those perfect parenting moments where you know that your kid thinks you can fix absolutely any problem that comes down the pike. She looked at me with her eyes big and tears still wet on her cheeks and i said, “Betcha didn’t know that Mama can make balloon animals, did ya?” And she shook her head side to side, and looked at me with awe, then i handed her Woofie. She hugged him to her chest and laid her cheek on him and then put her arm around my leg, and said, “I love woofie.” We walked back to the car in the dark mist, just me and her, hand in hand, her clutching Woofie. The whole way home, she held Woofie, and petted Woofie, and told him it was okay, he was going home with us.
When we got home, Woofie sat with us as she and I had a cupcake together at the kitchen table that belonged to my Grandfather. We sat in only the light of the fixture over the table, just like Pop would have done at 9 pm on a Friday night. (At least until Friday night fights came on.) Woofie sat on the sink while Tiller had her bath, and then she hugged Woofie while I read SkippyJon Jones to her. I had to convince her that Woofie would be better off on the bedside table than in her arms while she slept. She loves Woofie so.
I decided not to tell her that Woofie is deflating as we speak, and that he probably wouldn’t be around come Monday.