Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Man's Gotta Do...What a Man's Gotta Do.

Tuesdays are usually rough about Chez Martsolf. I come home at 8am from work, nurse Knox and fall into bed for 3 hours while our sweet babysitter Maria hangs out with the babes. When I wake up, I have slept just long enough to take the edge off but not enough to really gear up for any big excursions. Tuesdays we don't usually hit the park, the Children's Museum or the Science Center. If Pursy is lucky, I turn on the sprinkler and she plays in the backyard while I mainline coffee and gummy bears.

Yesterday was different. We have discovered one of the greatest things in Pittsburgh- the water steps. For those non-Burghers, on the Riverwalk side of PNC park the water steps are a public park made out of PA sandstone with water flowing from a pool at the top into a pool at the bottom. Constantly flowing water keeps everything clean and lovely- and the view of downtown is amazing. Hard to imagine? Don't stress, there are pictures at the bottom of this post.

For those of you familiar with my phobia of public pools, this discovery bought me at least another year of not having to deal with my issues and take Pursy to a place where she can be the free spirited water bug she is. As the water flows over and around these stepped sandstones, small pools of water form and some pretty good waterfalls make for fantastic water play- without real significant fear of babes going underwater. Which ALSO means that when my girlfriend Chrissie and I took our collective 6 babes there last week, we could actually have a halfway decent conversation without fear of imminent drowning danger that accompanies swimming little people.

So you get the point. Water Steps= Fantastic.

So I promised Pursy that the next free evening we would take Daddy to the water steps for picnic dinner and more water time. That evening was yesterday. We decided before I left for work Monday night that we would pick Grant up from work and spend the evening being the Pittsburgh family we now are. Things got better when our Pirates ticket rep sent Grant an email asking if we were free to go to the game Tuesday night because she had three seats available in section 120 for the taking. Water steps, picnic dinner, Pirates game?!?! One of my spiritual gifts is whipping crowds into an excited frenzy and Pursy is easy prey. A few crazy dance moves, some clapping and yelling and she was ready for the evening of a lifetime.

Tuesday was going eerily well. I got a serious nap after getting home from work, Pursy was great for Maria and Knox had not napped in the morning which meant both he and Pursy were tired and ready to go to bed when I woke up. Sleeping babes meant I got stuff done around the house, packed changes of clothes and a picnic dinner. When it was time to go collect Grant, we were happy, rested and ready for the greatest evening of our lives.

Then I called Grant to let him know we were on our way. The tone in his voice was the first indication that he was not on our same page. He had a horrible day at work- the kind where you want to be a bachelor again. Come home from work, collapse into your quiet studio apartment with a cold beer and order a pizza. He wanted to be left alone. Meanwhile, hurtling towards him was a car full of noisy humans who could not WAIT to see him. We picked him up, and if anything can rain on my parade it is when Grant does not meet my level of enthusiasm for a plan. Which, to be fair, not many people can- I am an annoyingly happy person.

We argued in the car for several minutes while I hissed that he needed to buck up and be happy. He whispered back that he just needed a few minutes to himself and why do I make these stupid plans right after work anyway? We were both trying to hide our argument from Pursy who was in the back seat yelling "Banks! Banks!" which is the name of her new favorite song- and she wanted it played NOW.

As what usually happens when two adults are arguing, two babes in the backseat are getting fussy and demanding and grandiose plans are being ruined and falling dark and murky from the sky- we hit 5:00 traffic in downtown Pittsburgh. We ended up getting stuck on an exit ramp that we could not get off of until we were 20 minutes past PNC Park and the water steps- and in traffic,  there was no way we were getting to the 7:05 game in time, let alone water steps and picnic dinner. It was time to admit defeat.

I crawled in the back seat between the carseats and said, "Pursy, we can't go to the water steps and Pirates game tonight. Why don't we.....(WAAAIIILLLLLLLL, complete with tears and slumped shoulders) There is no way to explain change of plans to a 2.5 year old who is already in her bathing suit.

While I attempted to comfort, I felt the car take a sharp turn to the left. My superman husband pulled an illegal median-crossing move onto the other side of the expressway and in an instant- we were turned around and heading back towards downtown, the water steps and Pedro Alvarez. I screamed and Pursy screamed back "What's wrong Mama??". My only answer was "Daddy just broke the law and we are going to the water steps!!" Of course, there is no traffic going into the city at 5pm and within minutes, we were climbing out of the car. I figure there is time to explain moral codes and being a law abiding citizen later...

Enjoy the photo evidence of the evening of my dreams.


  1. This is one of my favorite posts.

  2. Love this post for a NUMBER of reasons. 1) "OUR Pirates ticketing rep...." 2) You're rocking my skirt = we have similar style (which I ultimately already knew, however, because you look so dang cute, need for my OWN prideful sake to point it out.) 3) Your sweet husband rocked his mood for you = beautiful.

    Dislike the post for ONE reason. 1) We were not there with you.