Mr. Andi jumped in and guest posted for me last week – only the second time in all of my time blogging – so I was hesitant to bring him back right away. However, this blog is about our ordinary extraordinary life, so I can’t pass on the opportunity to let him share the following story with you.
With Andi in Tennessee, I had both kiddos solo this weekend. Undaunted by last Monday’s adventure on the high seas involving a toddler, cold water and a shortened fishing trip, I decided we needed to get outside on Saturday. I intended to take them fishing, but a friend had invited us to go hunting at his club about an hour away. After I got home from work Friday and sent the babysitter on her way, I talked to Sarah Kate about my plans. I gave her the choice of going fishing with me and Nathan or going hunting with me and Nathan. I thought this plan was foolproof. Daddy gets to fish and the kids actually make the decision.
Not what I was expecting by any stretch. Hunting it is, then!
The prep work started. I rounded up Nathan’s camo shirt and jeans. Well, crap, the jeans are in the hamper of dirty clothes. I dug them out, smelled them, and decided we were good. After all, it’s hunting and he might get dirty, anyway. He was easy. Sarah Kate started getting ready and came out in a white shirt, blue jeans and pink Converse tennis shoes with a heart medallion on the laces. Maybe I was not clear…
She claimed she didn’t have one. That can’t be, I think, she has always had one. She didn’t. So, after reviewing several iterations of equally unsuitable shirt choices, we settled on a short sleeve gray one, and I go get one of my camo shirts – I figure we’ll just let her wear it over the gray one. I myself am wearing a white t-shirt, camo shorts and Merrell trail running shoes and I was planning to put a camo shirt on over the white one. If we had gone in anywhere as a trio, we would not have been pegged as going deer hunting.
I told my friend we would be there around 2 p.m.
We arrived about on time and fell into the middle of a discussion of who might be going to which hunting spot. It sounded like an auction “Who wants 2, gimme 1, you take 8, we’ll send them to 6”, etc. It all meant nothing to me, of course, because I didn’t know the layout of the club and was just awaiting deployment instructions for my crew. It was determined that we would hunt on #2, and despite hearing from three different people three different descriptions of how to get there and where to park, I thought I had a general idea of where we were going.
We found the spot without incident, parked, and started walking. I managed to get both kids to the shooting house, but realized we would have to climb a 10-foot ladder to get in it. I took Nathan up first and put him in, since he couldn’t run off that way. [Editorial note from Andi: yes, my first thought was to wonder what would keep Nathan from jumping out…] I came back down and climbed up behind Sarah Kate to make sure her footing was solid on the ladder rungs.
It went off without a hitch.
We got settled in around 3:30. Sarah Kate wanted to bring “her” binoculars and I refused. They are cheap, crappy giveaways, probably as a safety award from my prior life with a big company that needed to keep spending to a minimum on 10,000 such awards. She is using MY binoculars, I insisted. I had tried to think of everything we would need and even had an idea about how to keep Nathan still and quiet.
I brought Andi’s old iPad.
So we started watching Wallace & Gromit and Shaun the Sheep. The only catch was that Nathan wanted to continuously tap the screen and press buttons so we had to start some of them over approximately 27 times. However, it mostly worked and he sat in my lap, mostly still and completely quiet. He also watched Baby Signing Time and followed along in sign language. So he was talking his head off, but he wasn’t making any noise since it is all in sign language.
I felt good about our chances.
About 4:15, I looked to the far end of the field and spotted a doe. I whispered to Sarah Kate, who slowly stood up so she could now see out the window with the binocs. She was happy that we had at least seen a deer. But, the deer was young and small so we elected to leave her alone, content to just watch. About five minutes later, I looked out the other side of the shooting house and saw a larger doe. I tapped Sarah Kate who repeated the process of slowly and quietly standing up and checking out the deer with the binocs.
Sorry to leave you hanging…come back tomorrow for the rest of the story. 😉