My Ears Are Still Ringing

The Whidbey trip of last weekend was one of epic proportions. I let each of the boys bring a friend this time. You already know what my boys look like; here are their friends:

Oliver, playing a full-sized violin:


Cole—Rocco’s brother from another mother, and the only person I know who can squeeze more words into a minute than Rocco can:


Ian and Harley (Leo got a BOGO deal, as he chose twins for his friend).


Harley is the one flashing a “loser” sign and Ian is the apparent loser.

On the way up, the boys did the math: two adults to seven boys.


What that mostly meant was that we lost track of the times we said, “Chew and swallow before you talk!” Like, we lost count by the end of our first meal. It also meant every car ride and meal sounded like this.

I love being a boy mom. I truly do. But wouldn’t it be nice to hear the kids have a conversation in the back of the car? An actual conversation, maybe about the scenery, or feelings, or the Kardashians. Just anything! But alas, the boys do not have conversations. They have verbal peeing contests, like this:

Question: Can you count to 10 without saying the number 10?
Answer: (5 minutes of shouting numbers and yelling of the word, “NOPE!”)

Statement: My friend has a 16-foot deep pool.
Discussion: (10 minutes of competitive pool depth comparisons)

Statement: I figured out how to build a house out of bedrock in Minecraft.
Discussion: (conversation was indecipherable, but excessively loud and passionate)

The biggest problem with these “conversations” is that they start with an iffy-sounding statement and they end nowhere. The kids get trapped inside and the only possible way out is by me saying, “Enough,” then yelling, “ENOUGH,” then adding, “ENOUGH! ENOUGH!”

The only time the competitive sentence yelling ceased was after the arcade, when instead, the car filled with chewing and slurping sounds as the boys dumped packages of sour grape heads into their mouth. It was enough to make me want to ask if anyone can count to two billion without saying the words “two” or “billion.”

Oh right! The arcade! In the dozens and dozens of times I’ve been to the cabin, I had never been to the arcade. I want a redo on those other dozens and dozens of times.

As soon as you drive past the 60s-era sign, you feel like you’ve walked on the set of a movie that takes place in some charming small town frozen in time. A Jack-and-Diane town.


(Picture shamelessly lifted from Internet.)

It smells like popcorn and red vines, they’re piping oldies outside—real oldies, not 80s oldies—and people show up for the drive-in movie three hours early to throw footballs around and swap jelly recipes or whatever.

We didn’t stay for the drive-in, but the sky put on a pretty good show of its own. For free!


The arcade had basketball Connect Four, giant Pac-Man, and an even gianter version of this:



Pushing the giant water-filled giant was every bit as satisfying as you’d imagine it would be.

Cole and Rocco rode the go-karts.


Cole came in first place.


Rocco came in safest place.


Meanwhile, inside the arcade, Kevin beat the giant water ring game…


…and Ian discovered his favorite element on the periodic table.


(This is the same kid who, when told he needed to have something green with his dinner, chose Ginger Ale.)


But the arcade, of course, was not the reason we go to Whidbey. We go to Whidbey to get away from screens. We go for the beach time!



We go for the beach time!


Vincenzo and Oliver decided to build a driftwood fort.


Things got kind of out of hand.


They built a house, no big deal. The house had a hanging shelf,


another hanging shelf,


a rock garden,


a couch,


and a table and chairs, where the boys could often be found whittling driftwood pencils or making rock art.



Here’s the virtual tour that we’ll be listing on Redfin soon.

When I planned the trip, I imagined the boys spendings hours a day swimming at the pool while I lay on a chair, reading a self-help book in the shade of my sunhat. The pool was colder than the boys liked, so I spent significantly less time than I wanted lying poolside.



I spent a lot more time than I imagined being caught up in a ridiculous, raucous, random mess of boys and noise. In the end, the trip was better than I ever could have imagined, and my happiness cup runneth over.

But my energy cup runneth dry.

Chicken satay
Coconut rice
Roasted broccoli
Peach cobbler a la mode

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