OMG what a royal pain in the arse it was getting ES to go back to school today. He refused to get out of bed. He refused to get dressed. He refused to tell LW what he wanted to lunch. He ate his breakfast with the speed of a desert tortoise trying to devour a rubber ducky. He refused to do anything LW or I told him in order to get ready to leave for school. I dropped him off at school on my way to work, and it's a miracle we were just barely on time.
Then, tonight, we had another episode with trying to get him to do his homework. I mean, it's FIRST GRADE. His homework is three simple worksheets that I KNOW he's perfectly capable of doing. He could have finished it in 15 minutes EASILY, but instead he wastes an hour and a half with high drama - pretending he wasn't done with dinner (because when he asked to be excused, we told him yes and to go do his homework), dragging his feet, claiming he can't find a pencil (there's a box of them on his homework table), making long dramatic sighs and holding his head in his hands, whimpering and crying. He NEVER would have finished if I hadn't stood there behind him directing him to do each task. With the commotion he was making, LW jokingly asked from the other room, "Is Daddy pulling out your finger nails in there?"
YS was also a challenge to deal with today. At one point tonight, he was wearing this headband with three colored feathers sticking out the back like a Native American warrior, and it reminded me of one of my favorite stories my Grandpa Ernie used to read to me when I was a kid. It was a short story called The Ransom of Red Chief by O Henry, and it was about a couple of not-so-smart criminals who kidnapped a holy-terror of a boy who pretended to be an Indian savage named Red Chief. Much to my surprise, I found the entire story available at this website.
Aside: Although I'm complaining about what a pain the boys were today, I have to offer two disclaimers. First, LW is the one who bears the brunt of the boys, and I applaud her for her patience and ability to deal with the frustration our boys can produce at times. I don't have as much patience as she does, and I tend to snap a little easier or a little sooner than she would. Second, we have to count our blessings. Our boys can be frustrating at times, but overall they're very good boys and we're very truly blessed to have them both.
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I just about fell off my chair when I got an email from one of my Nav-ET's from my previous boat yesterday. He's stationed in the DC area now and living VERY close to where we used to live in Ashburn, VA. He recently discovered geocaching, and as he was finding some of the geocaches around Ashburn he kept noticing this name "blunoz" and thought that sounded kind of like a Navy-related user name. He looked up this "blunoz" guy on the geocaching website and was blown away to find out it was his old Navigator. Turns out there are two other guys from my usetafish that are also living out in Ashburn and working in DC now. Small world. What are the odds of reconnecting with an old shipmate like that???
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Yesterday (Sunday), I went with ES and his Cub Scout Pack on a tour of USS RUSSELL, an ARLEIGH BURKE Class DDG. I was really impressed. They really put on the full-court press for our tour. They had static displays set up all over the ship with crew members standing by to show us guns and torpedoes and fire-fighting gear and fire hoses. The tour concluded on the bow of the ship with chocolate chip cookies and fruit punch. It was great!
As we were standing on the flight deck with a crew member showing off his Visiting Boarding Search and Seizure (VBSS) gear (black vest, black helmet, black goggles, black knee pads, black rifle, black pistol...), I looked across the water at the sub base side of the harbor and did a double-take. I said to myself, "Self, that is most definitely NOT a 688 Class submarine parked over there!" I was pretty sure I read the name on the brow banner correctly, but confirmed it with another bubblehead in our tour group.
It turns out, a long time friend of mine is on that boat. Nate and I were classmates and became friends in Nuclear Power School in Orlando and then roommates in Prototype in Charleston. He's the guy I previously mentioned I had gone to the Army-Navy Football Game with in '95. Later, we were both Navigators at the same time in San Diego. Then, we both went through the Submarine Command Course together.
So after leaving the RUSSELL, ES and I headed over to the other side of the harbor to welcome our unexpected visitors and invite Nate to dinner. We took Nate down to Ryan's in the Ward Center for an excellent dinner (see my previous post for more info about Ryan's). This time I had the corn chowder and the fish tacos. They were both really good. I think the corn chowder was a little bit of a rip off though - 5 bucks for a very shallow bowl that didn't hold much. Although the fish tacos were not at all like Rubios (THE best place for fish tacos in SoCal), but they were still really really good.
After dinner, Nate came over for a while for us to play some Halo 3 on the XBox and reminisce about old times.
The boys were both really excited and looking forward to going for a tour of Nate's boat today. After I picked ES up from school this afternoon, we headed over to get the tour. In spite of his excitement beforehand, YS complained almost the ENTIRE tour, "I'm thirsty," or, "I'm want to go home." He was a real joy (tack this comment onto the first section above). Anyway, it was good to see Nate, and good to see what life is like on a floating hotel.