Influences

I sure hope that as my 2 kids grow up they can avoid “celebrity influence”, ignore all their gossip and drama, and not justify their actions based on what any given celebrity does.

  • Justin Bieber eggs his neighbor’s house and gets arrested for DUI.
  • Rob Ford is doing God knows what as mayor.
  •  How many actors (Philip Seymour Hoffman just recently) and actresses and musicians have died of overdosing?

It should be easy to teach them not to act like famous people. The real challenge will be: do the right thing even if the right thing isn’t what everyone else is doing.

One child is already leaning towards being a follower. His “friends” will be doing something they probably (or definitely) shouldn’t be doing. Instead of stepping away, he joins them. We’ve talked several times about behavior and what’s expected. But I’m sure it doesn’t make it any easier in the moment. I was a kid once… sometime a long time ago (It’s been a couple hours now). So I can understand, to a degree, about getting caught up in the moment and having fun. Until that fun is 1) making a terrible mess that shouldn’t be made 2) hurting someone or their feelings 3) not doing what he’s supposed to be doing. 

1 I’m not too worried about. Messes can be cleaned up- unless it’s something that’s been broken. But I know how much he hates to clean. He once sat in his toy room and did nothing for two straight hours to try to get out of cleaning it. So usually when he makes a mess he believes someone else will clean it for him. 2 is worse. He would never hurt someone intentionally. But he would be mean (argue and yell at) someone who is being mean to him. I know he would because I saw him do it last week. I’ve now started talking to him about not being mean to anyone for any reason. Even if they’re being mean to him. If someone starts being mean to him he is to leave them and go somewhere else. Even if they deserve a punch in the throat ( I didn’t tell him that part). And lastly, 3 is about following directions. When he’s given a direction he needs to follow it regardless of what’s going on around him. He is so easily distracted (I think he gets that from me… ooh a squirrel!) (Or he might get it from an uncle). I go all teacher on him. Work and assignments come first, always do your best work, read read read. With a little luck and some perseverance (and some kicks in the pants) some of it will sink in. My fingers are crossed anyway.

This post turned out to be a bit longer than I was planning. But it is what I’m currently trying to inscribe on our children before it’s too late.

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Alpacas, Water Slides and a Lost Hat

This all took place last July of 2013 on Prince Edward Island. It was a life experience for the kids and one they will never forget.

We joined my brother-in-law’s family (wife and 4 kids) and rented a cabin at a campground for 3 nights. That in itself was a great experience. Cousins, campfires, smores, junk food, bar-b-ques and 10:00 bedtimes. The campground was great. It had a playground and kids entertainment and evening hayrides. It also had a giant bouncy “pillow”. It must have been 30 feet long and 15 feet wide and it inflated to a dome and you could bounce on it like a trampoline. At one point there were probably 20 kids on this thing… it was a blast (I loved it, too.)(Of course). Anyway, a bonus to the campground was it’s proximity to a water park. It was 36C (97F) on the day we arrived. We were cookin’ hot. So off to the water park we went.

It was an interesting layout they had the water park. The entrance was at the back while all the water park stuff was at the front. Or at least what I’d call the back and front in relation to the road. Anyway, as we’re walking through the park to get to the water slides we come across a small petting zoo. Thinking the 2 year old would like see the animals we carry him into the small barn. There was a low wall inside and we went over to see what was behind it. At that same moment, the alpaca that was laying down decided to pick his head up to see who coming to see him. Bang lost his mind. Wanted no part of being in that barn any more. Not to see the miniature horses or the donkeys or the guinea pigs. Even mention the word alpaca and he’d start crying. That was the end of the petting zoo. Six months later he still talks about being afraid of alpacas.

The water made it all better. They had a kids’ area with a small wading pool and a bunch of kiddie size slides. I had fun on them too, naturally. The 2 year old learned to float and dunk his head. No alpacas in this water, so it was all good. He was a little otter by they end of the day. Beside the wading pool were the big, giant water slides that required you sit in inner tubes. I took the 6 year old on one. We climbed about 50 feet up and it was our turn to go down. The attendant at the top then told we couldn’t wear our hats or Crocs. She told us to just toss them over the side and pick them up at the bottom. I tossed our Crocs down and they landed in the grass. No problem. I toss his hat down and a gust of wind decides to blow. The hat landed on top of the next water slide down! Stuck. We made several trips back to that slide in hopes that if the wind could blow it onto the slide, it could blow it back off again. No such luck.

We went back to the water park the next day, though it wasn’t nearly as warm. We went over the paddle boats this time. The kids loved that they were shaped like pirate ships. Afterward we decided to go through a fun maze. Or at least we thought it would be fun. It looked fun. Some ropes to climb through, steps to climb and a slide to come down. The 2 year old loves slides as much he loves water, so why not take him down? Because, as I’m carrying a 2 year old, that half way up a skeleton will pop up like a rabid gopher, hydraulics will hissssss like air brakes heard at close range and that 2 year old I’m carrying  will jump out of his skin screaming and crying. Fortunately, there was a slide for us immediately after that so that sort of made it all better – like a band-aid on a boo boo. So now he’s scared of alpacas and skeletons that say “pssss”.