One of my mom's favorite Young Amalah anecdotes is the time I very seriously announced, as if I'd just finished several years of clinical research into the subject, that I was "not an outside kid." I was an "inside kid," and planned to live my life accordingly, finally at peace with who I was.
(Of course, I was also "not good at sports" and "dreadfully uncoordinated" and "couldn't kick/throw/catch/block a ball if my life or straight-A report card depended on it," but I guess I thought my declaration sounded a little better.)
Toward the end of yesterday's field trip to the pony farm, I turned to one of Noah's teachers and admitted that "I don't really 'do' the outdoors." Complete with inflected air quotes. I had an appointment for a haircut almost immediately after and apologized to my stylist in case I smelled like a barn.
(She insisted I didn't. She was just being nice.)
The temperature shot up to the mid-90s just for the occasion (seriously, I was wearing a sweater on Monday, and I'm pretty sure this afternoon's Water Day at preschool is going to get canceled because it's too chilly), and there's just no way to spend a few hours in a barn in that kind of heat and humidity and leave un-stankified. I glanced down at my cleavage at one point (why? I don't know. because I'm just so into myself?) and saw that the sweat had literally formed a small pool in my bra, which I guess had already absorbed the maximum amount of moisture.
The kids got to cool down by bathing a pony and playing with buckets of soapy water. A teacher recommended that we all join in because the water really felt nice, but I took one look at the sponges the kids were using -- sponges that were COVERED and EMBEDDED with hair from various farm animals and kind of reminded me of what a household sponge looks like after you use it to clean behind a toilet -- and opted to simply stand off to the side being miserable.
Okay, not really. I was the event photographer (self-appointed, but whatevs) and was busy taking pictures.
Noah kept calling the goats "ponies." After being corrected a dozen or so times, he finally compromised and referred to them as "pony-goats."
Much like our waffle-crazy dog, these pony-goats would sneeze excitedly at the prospect of grain pellets.
Sneezing pony-goats are like, fall-off-your-stepladder funny, apparently.
(Please note the YELLOW BARN, as in NOT RED. Noah took one look as we drove up and wailed "Why do you keep DOING this to me?" from the backseat of the car.)
These were a special breed of chickens that are special and valued and God's creatures and OH MY GOD LOOK AT THE CREEPY BALD NECK RUN AWAY
Everyone got a chance to take a pony for a walk around the parking lot and learn a couple basic commands ("walk on" and "HO").
Noah took this job very, very seriously, although he kept saying "stop, please" instead of "HO."
I took my job as a chaperone very, very seriously too, so I promise I didn't make any jokes about the "HO" thing.
At least not out loud. Or within earshot of the children. Okay, maybe just that one time but I don't think anyone heard me.
PPS. New column at The Stir.
PPPS. Going to go shower. Again. Again-again. Pony-goat stank. You understand.