Adventures with Ri & Jenna

Last night Carolyn and I took our little friends Riley and Jenna to see the Winter Festival of Lights in Ocean City.  Carolyn and I have gone to see the lights the past nine years (maybe even ten–I can’t remember if we went in 1998).  Anyway, the past couple years we’ve taken little ones to see them.  I think Carolyn might be covertly introducing a new twist on this tradition.

Riley loved the lights, and Jenna really enjoyed them once she snapped out of her nap-induced grogginess about halfway through the ride.   At that point she had a whole lot to say about them, though I have no idea what.

Afterwards we went to Dumser’s to get the kids ice cream.  Carolyn and I hadn’t eaten dinner yet (Katie, the kids’ mom, had fed them before we picked them up), so we ordered some food while the kids ate ice cream.  The waitress probably thought we were neglectful parents, getting the kids ice cream while we ate dinner.  If she didn’t think this already, she certainly must have when we were walking out the door and Riley spotted a McDonald’s across the street.  He said, “Maybe when we leave here we can go to McDonald’s!”  When we told him we weren’t doing that, he shouted, “But I’m still hungry!” as he walked out the door.  At that point Dumser’s probably reported us to somebody.

It was really cute listening to Carolyn and Riley engage in kindergarten talk.  They’re both deeply immersed in kindergarten culture, so they swapped stories and asked about each other’s kindergarten practices and experiences: ways that the teacher gets the kids to be quiet or line up, what the daily schedule is like, where they are in their reading curriculum, songs they’re learning, etc.  It’s really cute.  My wife’s little kindergarten buddy.  Last time we borrowed the kids, Riley told Carolyn, “I wanna go visit your kindergarten friends!”  Apparently he now aspires to be a teacher.  Last night he told us that when he grows up he wants to be a kindergarten teacher.  He plans to teach his students how to learn and how to swim.

When we were loading the children in the car to leave their house, I asked Riley if Jenna was still a baby (she’s three).  He answered without hesitation in the affirmative.  So I asked how old she’ll be when she stops being a baby.  He said, “I guess five, because I’m five and I’m a big boy.”

A lot of times Jenna talks and talks and talks and I can’t understand a word she’s saying (except “Sponge Bob”–for some reason that part always comes out clearly).  But once in a while she’ll burst out with something very audible and clearly enunciated.  As we were getting in the car last night after leaving Dumser’s, she piped up from the backseat: “Can you push play?”  I was amused but had no idea what that meant.  About halfway back to their house it hit me that their family drives one of those souped up minivans with the DVD player for the kids in the back.  Jenna was wanting to watch a DVD in Carolyn’s car!

We had a ton of fun with Riley and Jenna, but there was another benefit as well.  Katie said that the kids’ baby twin sisters used the rare peace and quiet as an opportunity for a nice little nap.  They are such cute little babies!  And Katie made us some delicious chocolate chip cookies and hooked us up with a bundle of them.  Delicious breakfast!

Good times, good times…

Published in: on December 21, 2007 at 10:52 am  Leave a Comment  

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