Remember the show “Home Improvement” with Tim Allen? Remember Wilson who lived next door? He was a modern day sage of sorts and always gave the best advice in a manner that suited the person to whom he was speaking. Do you remember how you could never see his entire face? It was always blocked by the fence or a tree or some prop he was holding at the time. I feel like Noah is my little Wilson. I can never seem to get a picture of his whole face, which is a shame as he’s quite a handsome boy if, I do say so myself.
It was another exciting day in the Johnson house. Since Kayla got to choose bowling on Monday, today was Noah’s turn to pick an activity. He chose mini golf (putt-putt) at the Mall of America. I think he did this for one reason and one reason only: his sister did not want to do it. When she chose bowling he had the mother of all melt downs because he did not want to go. He has been bowling twice in the last 6 weeks while his hockey team killed time between games during tournaments. I am not kidding you, there were tears and yelling and hiding under the blanket in anger. In all fairness, this is not normal behavior for Noah. He had a sleepover at a friend’s house the night before and was very tired. He’s a pretty easy going kid for the most part, so this shocked me. We agreed that he could choose an activity today. He casually mentioned mini golf and before he could even finish saying it Kayla said “NO!! I hate mini golf!!” Kayla, Kayla, Kayla……when will you learn? Your brother may be younger but he is not dumb. I knew that second that our fate had been cemented. Sure enough, today he chose mini golf.
I will give Kayla credit where credit is due. She was a good sport today. She golfed without complaining and only cheated once. Well, I only caught her cheating once. To top it all off, she won us a free round next time we go for sinking the ball in the magical hole on the last shot. There was much celebration and gloating.
Next we stopped to have a snack. Truth be told, I wasn’t hungry but I have a weakness when it comes to Auntie Anne’s soft pretzels. I don’t know what it is, but the smell of them draws me in like a hound dog to his prey. It’s magnetic. It can’t be stopped. Must.Eat.Pretzel. Noah opted for the cinnamon sugar sticks with frosting.
We wandered around Games By James for a while and looked at overpriced games that look fun but we’d probably never play. The kids decided they wanted a puzzle so we headed down to the jigsaw puzzle store on the same level. Yes, an entire store dedicated to jigsaw puzzles at MOA. It’s been there for a while so it must be doing pretty well. There was much discussion on what puzzle to get. I said nothing over 500 pieces. That eliminated a lot. Kayla found one of a two young children smooching circa 1923. Noah was having nothing to do with that. He had is eye on a puzzle of the band Kiss. Thankfully, it was 1000 pieces so I easily rejected that one. Then he found the Beatles. Just to get back at him, Kayla nixed it. Other options rejected by one or the other: Elvis, toucans, Obama, McCain, the Chicago skyline, children peeking at Christmas presents, and all variety of nature/landscape puzzles. Finally, they agreed on one.We had been in that store for longer than I care to admit and I just wanted to go home so I agreed even though it exceeded the piece count restriction. Maybe I should have agreed to the Kiss puzzle:
That’s right. Dogs playing poker. We are one classy family. The only thing that would make this better would be if it were velvet. A velvet puzzle of poker playing, cigar smoking, whiskey drinking canines. Only in America, baby. Only in America.
And my final attempt to capture the boy on film, thwarted again: