Life is Sticky. Life is Sweet.

Life is Sticky. Life is Sweet.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Vacation 2010, Part Four

Sunday was technically our first full day of vacation.

Officially, we kicked it off with a bike ride.

Unofficially, I kicked it off by getting up with Liam three or four times after two in the morning and then finally caving and bringing him into our bed.

He gave me my final wake-up call at 6 am. And then Will came stumbling out of his room about a half-hour later. Bill woke sometime after that. Then came breakfast and sunscreen and so forth. We were finally off for our bike ride at about 10 am.

We had built up the anticipation for this ride. In all previous years, we had rented Will a "kiddie cart" where he was seated in a little cart that was attached to the back of our bikes. This year we decided to get him a "tag along". When attached, this basically creates a bicycle-built-for-two.

Two days before we arrived, when we would bring it up, he would say that he didn't want to try it. We reassured him and changed the subject.

The day we arrived, when we would bring it up, he would whine that he didn't want to try it. We reassured him and changed the subject.

The day of the ride, as we were preparing to go, he was crying that HE DIDN'T WANT TO TRY IT. Enter the tears and the stomping and the hyper-ventilating. We skipped the whole reassuring spiel and went straight to bribing him with everything we could think of. We couldn't exactly change the subject as we were headed outside to, you know, ride bikes.

Four hours into vacation and already a meltdown? At this point, I was ready to call the rental company. Bye-bye tag along. Hello kiddie cart. In a case like this, I am generally more apt to let Will take the lead. The thought of forcing him outside his comfort zone is not a pleasant one. I'll try and convince him verbally. Give him the "big-boy argument". List all the benefits of learning to ride a bike. You don't want to try it? Are you sure? Okay. No problem. You'll do it when you're ready. Maybe next year. Maybe when you're twenty. Whatever.

But then, in the back of my head, is this voice. Johnny from his pre-K class is already riding a bike... with no training wheels. He should be riding a bike. You're not going to make him ride a bike? Within two to three years, all the kids will be riding their cool bikes and yours will still be riding his Diego tricycle. You are screwing this one up big time. When he's like fifteen, he's going to hate you for not making him ride this damn bike...

Then Bill comes to the rescue. In a situation like this, he just doesn't take no for an answer.

Will can pull out all the whining and tears and hysterics and Bill stands his ground. Now, if you're anything like me, you'd be wincing through this. And if you didn't know Bill, and what a great dad he is, you'd be calling this parenting-style grade-A-assholery. It wasn't pretty, but he got him on that bike.

And you know what? He freaking loves it.

Riding this bike. Going down water slides. Jumping off diving boards. Riding on roller coasters. Eating weird things like cow tongue. These are accomplishments that have given Will huge swells of pride and accomplishment. And they have really become some of his most favorite activities (minus the cow tongue). These are things that, in the beginning, he was terrified of and swore he would never try.

Who knows if we're doing it right? Forcing him to try new things. Sometimes, we're just looking at each other clueless. Trying to make the decision that will cause the least amount of short and long-term damage. But in this particular case, I am loving the outcome.

Anyone know the best way to defog a lens when going from
68 degrees of AC to 98 degrees and intense humidity?
These foggy pics drive me nuts.

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After our bike ride, we hit these fountains outside the public beach.
This just might be the best cell phone pic I will ever take.

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Afterwards, we hung by the pool for a while and then headed inside for lunch and naps. By the time the kids woke up, there was a huge storm sitting over our area. Lightening, thunder and pouring rain. We spent the entire afternoon inside. I won't bore you with the particulars. This was pretty much it...

Planning on at least a little rain in the next two weeks, we packed tons of toys and art supplies. The kids were more than happy to relax and play in the AC for a few hours. And Bill didn't seem to mind a solid line up of programming from ESPN and the Discovery/History Channel.

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We weren't about to let a little rain keep up from our nightly ice cream ritual, so we kept our eyes on the radar and the skies. During a precious window of dryness, we took a 5-minute bike ride up to the local ice cream shop.

It's truly amazing how a child who refuses to use a spoon for applesauce or yogurt will rise to the occasion when presented with a big cup of chocolate ice cream. He sat on that bench for a good twenty minutes until every last bit of that ice cream was either in his mouth, on his chin or down his shirt. Clearly, Liam's been holding out on us.

1 comment:

  1. I love these vacation posts. They're so much fun to read! But I'm sorry: cow tongue? I'm calling CPS.


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