Whew. I got nothing practical done this weekend.
On Saturday night, I saw Metallica for the second time in a year. We traveled from Philly to NYC, parked on the street for the cost of a $2 meter, had some sushi at West Side Sushi (yum), walked 16 blocks to Madison Square Garden, rocked out, walked back to the car, and then drove to Brooklyn for a midnight snack with some friends that I wish lived much closer. At that point, I told CPM that I was going to sleep in the car. And I did. I would periodically wake up and glance at the speedometer, see the needle hovering near 90, have a heart attack, and then close my eyes again. We made it home from Brooklyn in about an hour and 20 minutes. That is insanity. I got 5 hours of sleep that night altogether.
On Sunday, I planned to get together with my sister and her three kids to photograph them in Pennypack park. Great idea, right? The weather was perfect, the light was perfect in the park, I was so excited. What I forgot to figure in was that two thirds of the nieces and nephews are a bit, how do I put it, delicate. The photo session went something like this:
Me: Hey guys, go sit/stand/lean on that huge old log.
Niece: Ew, there's dirt on that log. I'm not touching it.
Me: Could you at least stand in the general vicinity of the log, then?
Me: Hey guys, let's walk down to that huge boulder and climb on it.
**We walk. We have to cross a little stream to get to the boulder. My sister goes first, to scope the safest/driest path. She reaches the other side, looks down at the leaves on the stream edge and...
Sister: Hey guys, check out this little snake on the edge of the stream! Cool!
Niece: (Shriek is audible for 10 miles around. Eventually she is cajoled into crossing stream and looking at snake. This kid has balls of steel. Sometimes.)
Older Nephew (who, at 10, outweighs me by 20 pounds, and looks down on my head): No way am I crossing that stream or going near that rock. There are snakes and they will eat me. I'm standing right here. (And he did.)
Littlest Nephew: (Carried over stream by me.) I'm being a good boy, Aunt Hedduh. You taka my pikchah and I get banana bread when we go back to your house! (Yes, I bribed him to behave and to take pictures using banana bread. It worked like a charm.)
We finished up at the boulder and decided that the whining (dirt/bugs/leaves/hunger/etc.) from the older two kids had reached its peak, and were walking out of the park. My sister and her kids were a bit ahead of me on the trail, as I followed behind shooting artsy "walking ahead of me photos." They were bickering the entire time, but the photos make them look like the worlds's happiest family. Ha! And then my sister says to my niece, "Hold on a sec. What's on your neck?" And my niece then has the world's most impressive meltdown. You know when kids have to be held down to get shots/be examined? It was like that. It took two of us to hold her still enough to flick off the tick that had luckily not yet attached to her neck. The whole time she was slithering around, whipping her head away from us, kicking, screaming. It was really a sight. We found it funny. So we laughed. Laughing at her misfortune is the surest way of pissing my niece off. The screaming then became even louder. Her face was red, and she was yelling at us to stop laughing at her and crying at the same time. This made us laugh even harder, which made her scream harder. By the time we reached the car, my niece (who is only 8), had settled into a very impressive pre-adolescent pout. It was quite dramatic. Luckily, I had a fresh pack of colored pencils waiting for her at my house. (See, more bribery!) It is my most effective tool as an aunt.