This was a good weekend. Amanda's last day of work was Friday, and her parents came over to put Boy to bed so that we could go and celebrate her liberation (incidentally, her blog-post on Friday was the best she's ever written). We celebrated with the Cronins and our friends Chris & Terry by having a nice dinner at Capital Ale House. We drank too much beer, ate way too many french fries, and came home to a wonderfully quiet house. A good time, all around.
Saturday was hot. Real hot. So what did we do? We took the boy to my mom's farm. Smart.
We got there at about 2:30pm, and Mom greeted us at the door looking quite different from the last time I'd seen her. She had cut her hair very very short (about an inch longer than mine, which is only 1/4"), was wearing shorts, knee-socks, slides, and a yellow sleeveless button-up shirt. It was very disconcerting, as she looked more like my grandmother than I'd ever seen before, but like a slightly crazy version of my grandmother. I was worried, but I kept my mouth shut.
We sat inside for a few minutes, looked at the fish in the aquarium, and then proceeded out into the heat.
First stop was the rooster. He came toward us and started calling out, which fascinated Alastair. He was craning around, trying to find the source of the sound, and when he saw the rooster ("Chicken Little"), he got really excited. Then we saw a baby farm-kitty, which failed to impress him, since he gets to stay inside all day in the A/C and see kitties.
So we went and looked at the horses that were gathered together in the run-in shed. As excited as he was about them, I think they were actually more interested in him. One poked its head over the fence and got really close to Beeboo. He breathed several times on Boy, and Alastair reached out and very gently petted the horse's nose. It was so adorable. He was just smiling and reaching and thought horses were the coolest things ever.
Mom wanted to introduce him to some of her more special horses & ponies, so we wandered into the sweltering barn. Boy met a few more horses before Mom pulled out Snowball, a mid-sized pony, for Boy to ride. We put him on Snowball's back, and he got to ride the pony from one end of the barn to the other. Amanda snapped a few pics, but I was too busy holding him and making sure my feet didn't get crushed to enjoy his experience. She and Mom said he just grinned and gushed the whole time, and he showed natural form for riding by grabbing firmly onto the pony's mane.
After his first ride, we went and met a baby colt, his mommy, and the stallion. The stallion was whinnying like crazy, which fascinated (but did not gratify) the boy. Then we wandered back to look at all the run-in horses, saw the rooster again, looked at some baby turkeys, and retired back into the comfort of the A/C.
It was a good time, and Alastair slept almost the entire rest of the day, but something about Mom's appearance just deeply unsettled me. There were huge cob-webs hanging from the ceiling, there was nothing on the walls except for holes where pictures had been, and the bathroom looked like it had been utterly ignored for the past several years, with disgusting discoloration in the toilet bowl, mold growing on the bottom of the broken toilet-seat, and NO SOAP at the sink.
Spartan ain't the word. I think depression might be.
But anyway, Alastair got his first experience with farm animals, and he got to see his grandmommy, too. It was a great time.