Pop did it! The power of experience

My plan this afternoon was to pick up my mother and take her with me and Ian to Trader Joe's. She was curious about it since she had so thoroughly enjoyed the cookies I had bought from there recently. Ian went down for his nap right on time and woke up a little early from it so we had plenty of time for this adventure. As Ian and I pulled up to my parents, my dad (AKA Pop according to Ian) was heading over to the neighbor's house to "help with some leaves." Ian kept asking as we went inside, "where Pop go?" and when I told him he was outside helping with leaves he got down from the kitchen table where my mom (Mamaw) and I were sitting, grabbed his coat and headed for the front door saying, "I wanna see leaves." Um, ok.

So I carried him two houses down to Paul's house and not seeing any leaves in the front yard, moseyed into the backyard. There I found Paul and my dad and Paul's daughter raking a bunch of leaves out of my father's truck into a pile. It looked like they were almost done so I thought we might make it back inside where it's warm. Then Daddy said, "oh I brought that chain for you." Apparently they were going to pull over a tree in Paul's front yard too. And apparently Ian needed to witness that.

So Daddy and Paul wrapped this huge tractor chain around the tree and Daddy used his pickup to pull the tree over. Now we should be able to go in where it's warm! Ah, but then the discussion went to how the tree was going to get out of the giant hole it was in. Daddy was trying to explain that the direction the chain was wrapped mattered because they were trying to roll it out of the hole. It took about three different tries of pulling the tree in various directions, but eventually Daddy pulled this big tree up out of the hole and onto the lawn. As soon as it stopped moving, Ian yelled out, "Pop did it! Pop did it!!"

Paul said, "I don't know how you got so lucky to get that tree out, George." and I told him, "it's not luck; it's experience."

Then the tree was blocking the sidewalk, so Daddy had to go get his chainsaw to cut it up. Ian of course had to stick around for that too. It wasn't until the tree was all cut up and they were just stacking wood that he relented that he was cold and wanted to go inside and see Mamaw.

After another 30 minutes we were finally ready to go to Trader Joe's. Daddy sheepishly asked how long we would be gone because he might want to go to ("I don't know what else I'd do while you're gone so I might as well come along."). So we all piled in the car on a field trip. I was not so sure about my father going to Trader Joe's because things there are not cheap and my father won't eat name brand Beanie Weanies because they're too expensive but he managed to have a good time.

We roamed around the various aisles and Daddy was wooed by the free samples of coffee and entrees. I discovered my father had never heard of yogurt covered raisins because he pointed to them and said, "wow they will combine anything!" I then had to put a container of them in the cart because one of Ian's favorite foods is yogurt covered raisins and we had gone there specifically for them. My two-year-old is more worldly than the 70-year-old in some ways. Daddy also had never seen a checkout display that showed the items as they were ringing up, so it's probably good he went on this field trip just to get a little more experience.

Ian was getting punchy and super tired and the 1/2 mile between Trader Joe's and Chick-fil-a was a screaming cry-fest. Only waffle fries could placate him. My father said, "you never did anything like this when you were his age" but a little later in the car he added, "then again we never really went anywhere with you kids when you were little." I reminded him that most kids are good but only do annoying things when they're in bad situations and out of reserves. They're over-tired, over-stimulated and over-extended, just like Ian was tonight. Thank God for waffle fries.

Mom says she wants to go back to Trader Joe's with me again and leave Daddy at home so we have more time to browse and look for things to buy without him. But at least Daddy now understands that Trader Joe's is a grocery store and not a military surplus store, like he did when he agreed to go on this field trip with us tonight.

For all his experience with tractor chains and tree stumps, Daddy still has things to learn and the two-year-old is helping teach him.