Shovelling Rock, Digging through Trash.

This past weekend was a lot of fun as you can probably deduce from the three previous posts (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3). I promise this is the last post about it and we will very soon be moving on to many DIY (my favorite) and hired out (Tim’s favorite) projects we have in the works.

The highlight of the weekend for me and I dare say, Tim’s also was the hour we spent hauling rock on Sunday afternoon. We had already made one trip to the gravel pit to get a load of rock for the cabin landscaping we were doing and also some hand-picked rock for a little DIY landscaping at home – Yes we hauled a few buckets of rock all the way from Minot, ND to Cottage Grove, MN much to Tim’s dismay.

The second trip we took to the gravel pit we brought Patrick along. Just Patrick. This was my favorite part of the weekend because we rarely (I can count on one hand) have had time where it was just Tim, Patrick and me. There are no photos of us at the rock pit because Beth had the camera and was taking photos of Elise pulling a turtle around the yard, and because hauling rock and taking photos doesn’t really go hand in hand.

We broke state and national laws by not buckling Patrick in and letting him sit in the front seat of the truck. It didn’t sit well with me and I was a bit anxious about it but we were on dirt roads going no faster than 20 mph with not another vehicle in sight. Patrick’s glee and Tim’s eye rolling relaxed me enough to enjoy the ride.

You don’t think about it, but kids get really shitty views when riding in the way back of a minivan. Patrick was so excited to be able to see out the front window!

When Tim and I were shoveling rock into the back of the truck, Patrick was either driving his TONKA bulldozer in the rock or scaling the side of the one story high piles of rock. He had our full attention and we had his. It was so fun. Leaving the gravel pit, Patrick and I sat in the bed of the truck on top of our pile of rock and he picked out his favorite rock, and with no prompting he chose another similar to his favorite for Michael. Elise didn’t get any rock love.

We sat in the front of the truck to cross the highway but when we were back on the dirt roads again Tim stopped and let Patrick and I crawl into the bed again so when we pulled into the cabin Patrick was shouting for his audience to see him riding in the back.

He thought he was awesome. We think he is awesome.

Later that night Patrick was giving everyone a hug goodnight before bedtime stories and when he jumped into Auntie Beth’s arms his tooth collided with her collarbone.

Patrick lost his first tooth and had one-on-two time with Dad and Mom in one day. It was a red letter day in Patrick’s book.


One hand holding the tooth and the other hand fingering the new gap in his teeth.

Nothing is ever easy with this kid. Not even losing his first tooth could be a normal experience.  No wonder he looks a little wary of the whole situation; none of us knew if we were suppose to celebrate or coddle him because his mouth hurt.

In the end we followed his (and Michael’s) lead and celebrated. It didn’t occur to me until Tim was in the bedroom reading them their bedtime story that we would have to come up with a Tooth Fairy reward, and since we had been giving Michael gold dollars in trade for his lost teeth we were up shit creek because Patrick would expect the same and not only were we a half hour from the closest bank but it was 7 pm at night and a Sunday.

Tim came out of the bedroom after stories all proud and smug and told us he had it under control. He had spun some ludicrous story about how Tooth Fairies don’t visit homes of people who don’t have any teeth to lose any more and since Nama and Papa have all their grown up teeth, the Tooth Fairy won’t visit the cabin any more so we would have to wait until we got home to leave the tooth out for the Tooth Fairy.

Of course, Patrick bought the story hook, line and sinker. Tim saved the day with his ridiculous impromptu story.

We put the tooth in a ziploc bag and set it aside to take home in the morning.

The next morning we made record time loading up, were saying our goodbyes and admiring our landscaping work after the heavy rain that happened during the night when Patrick asked, “Can I have my tooth?”

All the adults looked at each other for the answer, no one had one. We sent Patrick to the car to get buckled up while we began searching  Heaven forbid we just give up and tell the kids the Tooth Fairy is a hoax and guess what? Santa Claus is just your Uncle dressed up in a two decade old red suit! Would their childhood really be that horrible if the magic of fairies and an old man bringing gifts was taken from them at 6,5 and 2?

Yes. Yes it would.

So we searched.

I immediately reverted back to being 10 years old and blamed my sister because she was the last one that had the tooth, she was the one who put it in the ziploc bag, SHE WAS THE ONE WHO KNOCKED IT OUT OF HIS MOUTH! I gained control of myself before I started throwing a frustrated fit and started retracing steps because that is what Moms do. In fact, my Mom started doing the same thing. Beth remembered putting it on an end table the night before. My Mom knew she did a quick house cleaning while waiting for everyone to wake up.

That is when we started digging in the garbage. That would be the first of the two times that the ziploc bag holding his tooth was fished out of the garbage.

The second time it was fished out of the garbage was just before the kids’ bedtime that night when Patrick asked again, “where is my tooth?” This time the first place I looked was the garbage because in an uncharacteristic moment of “need to get this clean” I cleaned out all the trash and wrappers from the car as soon as we got home.

The tooth was still in the ziploc and I only had to dig through two bags of wet, half mushy, half crunchy garbage to find it.

I washed and rinsed the bag and Patrick took it to bed.

You would think that is where the story would end but of course not. In our exhausted state of “can’t wait to sleep in our own bed” both Tim and I forgot about the boy who was dreaming about the tooth fairy and went to bed with out swapping out the tooth for the gold coin.

Poor, poor middle child Patrick.

The next morning Patrick was pumped that the Tooth Fairy had brought him a Lighting McQueen matchbox car. I had no idea what he was talking about and I was still so tired that I almost believed that the Tooth Fairy had come during the night and saved the day, but it ends up that Michael saw the car wedged between Patrick’s mattress and bed rails and assumed, then convinced Patrick that that was his prize from the Tooth Fairy. Patrick was thrilled with his toy but in the spirit of keeping the magic alive I quick ran upstairs and placed a gold coin on the foot of his bed. I called up Patrick to find the coin. Patrick was so excited that he found the coin and said, “It must have been hiding this morning!” (We spend a great deal of time telling Patrick to look harder for things that he claims are lost, and that he “has searched the whole house for” even though they are just on the floor in the other room)

In the end Patrick was pumped that he got two prizes from the Tooth Fairy. I am amazed at the lengths his imagination will stretch in order to keep the magic alive. I love that kid. I hope his imagination stays alive and strong for the rest of his life. Maybe he will write the story boards for the video games Michael plans on making when they grow up.

So yeah… my favorite part of Memorial Day Weekend was shoveling rock. It was NOT digging through the garbage for tooth but in the end, the tooth in a ziploc makes a better story.

Many more photos from the long weekend here. 

Check back later today for a post on Michael’s Kindergarten Celebration.

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