Wednesday 21 March 2007

There are no boats in Texas

We had a little bit of fun today, but first a flashback to dinner the previous night —

[Mom is trying to feed Charles cucumbers]

Mom: Do you want another cucumber?

Charles: No. I don’t like it.

Mom: You don’t like cucumbers?

Charles: I don’t like the icky stuff [italian dressing] on it.

Mom: Would you like me to lick it off then?

Charles: Yes.

At one point while we were wandering around in the morning, Charles found two short pieces of rope. We had to make Charles share one with Alice to avoid massive unhappiness. These topes became recurring toys for the rest of our stay. They would be put aside, but rediscovered later for additional fun. One ended up attachd to the end of a stick to make a fishing pole, which was used as a toy by all three children at one point or another. Mom and I ended up keeping an eye on the rope so we could deal with the later plaintive wails of “where is my rope?” from Charles and Alice.

Alice refuses to believe that we are in Texas. Today she explained that it’s because only airplanes can go to Texas. When pressed about where exactly we are, she is very inventive of ways to take things very literally, for example —

Corwin: Are we in Texas?

Alice: No. We not in Texas!

Corwin: Where are we then?

Alice: In a boat.

Corwin: Where is the boat?

Alice: Right here!

Corwin: Isn’t the boat in Texas?

Alice: [condescendingly] There are no boats in Texas.

Today’s big activity was going on a lake cruise. The instant Charles heard “boat” he was insistent on going. I thought it was fine. although the kids all said that the best part was having lunch on a boat. Charles did end up in a rare state of satisfaction with life right after the trip, although that didn’t last past returning to the cabin with loot from the boat related store, as naturally Charles only wanted to play with Corwin’s toy (a magnifying class). He accused Corwin and/or his parents of conspiring to trick him in to not selecting the magnifying glass for himself. Eventually Corwin had enough magnification and let Charles play with it for a while. I suspect that the conspiracy charges will hang on, though.

Before the boat trip while wandering about to check out the local environs, I found a trail from the main resort area down to the lake shore. The boys and I went on an adventure to check it out while the womenfolk stayed behind to do womenfolk things (like, not stumble in to rattle snake nests on unknown trails). The boys had fun generally but one of the more interesting bits was a band of dead trees between the edge of the tree cover and the lake. I managed to convince Charles that it was the Tree Graveyard and that old tree, when their time was near, would pull up their roots and travel there to die. Sadly, a small pang of parental concern lead to me tell Charles I was just kidding with him, before he told the tale to his class for Show and Tell.

After the cruise, Mom took us out hiking again. This time Alice was in a stroller so she kept up. Charles was the trailing man, trudgingly accepting the necessity of the hike. Mom and I had a bet on what Charles would do when he fell so far behind that he couldn’t see us — panic and run madly to catch up, or meltdown in a miserable puddle requiring rescue. It turned out that he did neither, but just steadfastly moved along as his own pace until he reached the end of the trail where we were waiting.

At that point on the trail there was just a short loop and then a little amphitheater with log benches and a small stage. Alice immediately hopped up on stage and started performing various songs and dances. She made the boys alternate with her sets. They chose to enact various sword battles uses sticks as props. Alice demonstrated her prima dona talents by bossing her brothers around with both stage directions and demands to be seated and quiet while she was trying to perform. She wouldn’t let Corwin sit on the stage or the ground, she insisted that he sit properly on one of the log benches and that he not fidget noisily.

After the exhausting hike and performance, we went back and I suggested we try out the pool. Mom pointed out that it wasn’t that hot a day and that the pool temperature was 62°F according the the morning maintenance man. I laughed at the danger and said I would try it out. Corwin and Charles, goaded by this, also put on swim suits.

We arrived and Corwin put his leg in the water then immediately pulled it out saying “I’m not going in there!”. I decided anything was worth the chance to trick Corwin in, so I jumped in myself. Gosh, it was cold. But I quickly became numb and called to Corwin to try it. I managed to convince him to come in as well, at which point he regetted listening to me (hopefully, he will fail to learn from this experience as he does so many others).

However, one did become numb rather quickly and after that it wasn’t unpleasant. Corwin stayed in with me and we swam for a bit, then tried the other little pool whch drained in to the main pool via a short run and small waterfull. That pool was lined with rocks to look like a grotto, even though it was about 5 feet across and deep. Still, it was kind of neat. By this time Alice had stripped down to her underwear (keeping that on only at Mom’s insistence) and was splashing around in the water. Charles came in as well, leaving Mom the only wimp. Alice even made me dip her all the way in the water, although she’d only last about 2-3 seconds before asking to be put back out. Afterwards, the sun was out and it was nice to soak up some warmth. I think we ended up hanging out for 45 minutes or so, making it a rather successful outing for our family.

The grotto pool

After some clean up, we headed in to town for dinner. All of the children fell asleep on the way. That lead to some false hopes of an early bedtime, but some how that short 15 minute nap refreshed them all enough to stay up late while Mom and I struggled to keep our eyes open enough to watch them.

Posted by Dad about Family at 22:11 | Ping URL

Charles came home from school and he didn’t look very happy, so I told him that what he needed were some Mommy smoochies. He denied this and struggled quite fiercely as I took him upstairs to Mom’s office. I relented, although I did make him give Mom a smooch (which apparently is not nearly as bad). As we went back down stairs, I asked him why he didn’t like Mommy smoochies. He said “that’s gross!”, which is an odd claim from the boy who was fine with Mom licking off dressing off the cucumbers before he ate them.

Posted by: Dad on 28 March 2007 at 17:02
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