Our two youngest children are attending some free summer school programs this month. Essentially it’s a summer camp Monday-Friday as they learn about science and tech. It’s as if the school board took all the fun stuff from elementary school and put it together for three weeks of fun. Our children are really enjoying it. That’s about the nicest thing that I can say about today.
This morning, I told my wife at the last minute that we were going to take our oldest daughter and the dog when we went to pick up the two youngest. I said that I wanted to go for a picnic and we could pick up some KFC and find a park or some place. That’s when the grumpiness kicked in.
Our oldest daughter didn’t want to go. She had slept in until 11am and barely wanted to get dressed. My wife didn’t want to go without a better plan in motion. She was also upset that we were behind schedule in leaving to get the children. It’s not that we would be late to pick them up, just late to find good parking. It didn’t help that on our way we got stopped by a train for an extra few minutes…
After we picked up the kids, we went to pick up KFC. I thought it would be a nice treat: some greasy overpriced chicken. It’s something we rarely eat, to a point that our 11 year old son says he’s never had it. We took our bucket of 12 pieces and a box of fries and hit the freeway. Seriously. There is no nice way of advertising a “Bucket of Chicken”.
We got off the freeway a few minutes later to go to a small place called Barnston Island. As we headed towards the tiny ferry, we got stopped by another train. Sometimes my work follows me everywhere. The touching, pushing and nagging was in full force in the back seat. We made it to the ferry (aka tugboat and small barge) and crossed over to the little island in the middle of the Fraser River. I drove us around to the other side, pulled over and we all got out and headed towards the edge where the water was.
No one wanted to carry anything. Not the food, not the drinks, the blanket, not even the leash for the dog. So my wife barked some orders out, and the grumpy noises occurred and they all took something. We headed towards the rocks and found a little spot to eat lunch.
Even though the weather was a bit grey, we sat and ate. The meal was peaceful. No fighting. Except when my wife tried to use her new selfie stick to get a family shot. No one was cooperating. Even the dog was unimpressed. Shortly after eating, a few raindrops happened, so we packed up and got back into the Pathfinder. It was a brief lunch. The bickering and touching occurred in the back seat once more where it had left off.
What I was hoping to be a nice surprise picnic lunch was less than stellar. Last minute planning isn’t our thing as a family it seems. I better plan the next “spontaneous event” at least two months in advance.