The past week has been jam-packed with activity; and much of it sent me on a mental journey back to my own childhood.
We started with Tyler's first real play date. (I'm not going to count all those Mother's group get togethers when he was only a few months old or playing with my friend's kids.) Tyler was invited over to his best friend Ethan's house and I was told to bring swim wear. Imagine Tyler's face when he saw the huge new in ground swimming pool in Ethan's backyard. That was my first trip down memory lane.
I found myself drifting in happy thoughts about the fun times at my best pals Sarah and Laura's pool. (Crossley girls...where the heck are you these days?) It was so nice to lounge poolside and watch the boys play. That was last Friday.
Saturday we whisked the boys off to the Montville carnival. Max was in awe at all the kids, rides, music, and general chaos. Tyler, on the other hand, decided to have a couple melt-downs and was generally a total stick in the mud. Poor John spent $20 for one of those ride-all-you-want bracelets and Tyler only went on 2 rides. All the rides he loved last year and the year before were suddenly "too scary", "too boring", or "lame". Ugh! Then he just pestered us to buy him junk food and junk junk at the flea market.
Sunday we left on our semi-short-and-sweet summer vacation. We headed back to Willow Valley in Lancaster PA. We'd been there a few years ago and it was a HECK of a lot cheaper then a 4 day stay at Great Wolf Lodge. OK, the water park isn't nearly as huge or nice, but it was enough for Tyler and Max. We got tickets to Dutch Wonderland (a little amusement park nearby) as part of our package deal. Tyler had a blast there last time (when he was 3). This time? Again it was a total bust. He bitched and moaned about the water park (no actual pool, just sprayers), he only went on 2 rides, then he ran off and was climbing on one of those metal post & rail dividers that help the lines for rides form up and he suddenly pitched over backward and smashed the back of his head on the pavement. What a sickening thunk!
One trip to first aid and an ice-pack later...we were on our way back to the hotel room. So much for a fun day at the park. On the plus side, Max saw his first live action show (a little skit by the "Danger Rangers" about safety) and he really enjoyed the costumed characters' singing and dancing. I just love that look of wonder on his face and the big grins. It's a balm to my soul after dealing with Tyler's negativity and tantrums.
We decided to totally bag a planned visit to Hershey Park. Tyler just doesn't seem to be into it this year. He just wanted to spend time in the pool. Frankly, that's a heck of a lot easier for me to manage than walking for miles around in the blistering heat pushing a baby stroller. I sure hope this timid mouse disguised as a cynical wiseass thing Tyler pulls is just a phase. Please!
Oh! Back to my personal mental time warps! Riding in the van with the boys, I had Tyler in stitches with stories about all the family car trips I took with my parents, little brother and the family dog when I was a kid. Our own little family journey was WAY better than one of those nightmare road trips from my childhood.
Then there was the cute little girl at the pool wearing the sunshine yellow bikini. OMG! Until I saw her, I had totally forgotten about my own sunshine yellow terry bikini I had when I was 10 or 11. I loved that swim suit...except when it got wet. The terry cloth got saturated with water and tended to sag. I came close to losing my bottom half on a number of occasions and was constantly tugging on the drooping fabric over my bum to wring out all the water weighing me down. I'm sure that was a sight to see. ;-) But it was so pretty, soft and cumfy when the suit wasn't wet!
I had fun telling Tyler stories about my pool adventures and all the games we played as kids. I think he has a bunch of ideas on things to try next time we go swimming. That is, if he will get over his fear of getting his face wet. Ethan's mom had a good thought about that. She said Ethan was the same way until they put the pool in. Since he was swimming so often, he quickly got over his fears. I think she has a point. I need to find a way to get Tyler swimming in a full sized pool as frequently as possible. It was really bugging me to see kids half his age jumping off the side of the pool and totally submerging themselves...even with water wings on.
Now we are back home again. I think Max had a fab time on our trip. Tyler...the low points outweigh the high points, sadly. Between the two boys I have mixed feelings about the whole trip. Poor John keeps saying this is the LAST family vacation he ever wants to go on. Ouch. Maybe his mood will have improved after he wakes up from his nap. Old men need their rest. ;-)
I'll let photos tell the rest of the story.