Day 2: Entertaining Children in the Cold

artwork by Joshua
  When Joshua was a preschooler, he lived in fantasy animal world.  Everything was all about animals.  He would only check out books on animals, only draw animals, watched hours and hours of animal documentaries, you get the idea.  Now that he’s a big first grader, choosing to somewhat fit in, he still loves to draw and read about his obsession.  Only now the obsession is Mario World characters.  When I was a kid, Mario had just been invented, and granted he was popular, but how much could you do when there were only a couple of Mario games and Duck Hunter?  Nowadays there are probably 50 different Mario titles available, and I suppose you would need some familiarity with these games to understand and fully appreciate Joshua’s art!
  Joshua also gets Boys Life Magazine in the mail.   He flips through it until he finds the video game ads and the one page where they review a video game, and those are the only pages that he will actually read.  
  So you see, video games are a big deal to my two school-aged (if you can call Kindergarten school-aged, it’s really more pre-school, maturity wise) boys.  Since this Spring Break has thus far been characterized by snow and icy cold winds and giant chunks of ice on the trampoline, they would probably be somewhat content to stay in the basement playing different versions of Mario all day long.
  But if you know me, you know that I could never allow it.  I just really want them to develop other interests, as well as get some exercise.  So here’s what we did today:
-This morning I let them have at it with the games and get it out of their systems while I chugged off to my slow start, spent some time reading my Bible, and did my Denise Austin Dance DVD (a fun workout that I like b/c I feel like I haven’t really done anything unless I sweat.  Denise Austin makes sure that you sweat.)
-I did manage to squeeze in Bible story time with the boys this morning.  I didn’t feel like hearing Joshua whine about it either, so I went down there armed with gummy worms.  They are quite receptive to Bible stories when their mouths are full of gummies.  Hey, it is Spring Break after all.
-They were so excited when I revealed my plan to them!  I took them to a local indoor playground–one of these places that has rooms of bounce houses/slides and a toddler area:  something for all of them.  It wasn’t too pricey either.  The boys had a blast jumping and climbing, and Daniel!  Oh, Daniel.  Daniel had a fun time too.  He worked so hard on his climbing skills I actually saw his little arm muscles shaking.  I’m not kidding.  Never seen a 2 year old with muscle fatigue before!
-I was pretty tired after the Bounce place.  Daniel found this tree house in there that was kid-height, but it had an up and down ladder (as opposed to a leaning ladder) and a fireman pole inside, so of course I HAD to go in, to keep him from falling and breaking bones.  We’ve had enough of that for one year!
  So there I was, 6.5 months pregnant, having to hunch down over the belly and squat-stand (the ceiling was about 4.5-5 feet), while ensuring that Daniel made it up safely and assist him in sliding down the pole…..20 times.  20 times at least he slid down that pole.  He was so proud of himself, but I was so excited when he decided to try something new, and I was able to stand up straight again.     The things we do for our children!
-We had carried sack lunches that we ate on the way down there, but on the way home I had told them I was going to get them milkshakes.  (I had a craving.)  That conversation went something like this:
Me:  Afterwards we’re going to get milkshakes!
J & C:  What’s milkshakes?      (totally serious)
Me:  Oh, you will love them.  It’s ice cream that you drink.
Joshua:  Eh, I don’t know.  Can’t we just get ice cream that we eat?
Me:  Well, milkshakes are a little less messy for the car, and I want you to get to try one.  You’d love it.   Trust me.

 …..To my disappointment, the McDonald’s I stopped at had a broken milkshake machine.  The kids were very excited to get sundaes and nuggets instead.  ……I ended up eating 2 Skinny Cow ice cream cones at home.   Don’t judge me.  2 hours of toddler lifting, following, and the mini-treehouse ordeal, I totally earned both of those Skinny Cows.  ( I can justify just about anything.)

-Daniel napped from 1:30-4:30.  It was great.  The boys went outside to play with their friends, and I told them they could have them over to jump on the trampoline, so I felt the need to go outside and supervise.  Wow.  It was SO COLD.  47, but felt like 30.  I mentioned the cold to the boys a few times, so they and their friends suggested that I change into my “fat jacket” (those were Caleb’s words–that’s what he calls all of the marshmellow-style winter coats.)  The “fat jacket” did help.

  It was also interesting and fun to watch the four kids playing.  Playing hasn’t changed much since we were kids.  Only instead of playing house, or whatever else we used to play, they were Lego Ninjago characters.  They took turns being the Ninjas and the dragons that the ninjas ride.  At some point, Caleb lost his temper, got in trouble, and got sent inside.  He earned his way back onto the trampoline and into everyone’s good graces by bringing everyone Jello.  I think Caleb really wants to be good; he just needs to be reminded of consequences more often than some….

-Once everyone came inside, I read Caleb the directions while he put together a Lego fireman’s burn house that I’m pretty sure he got for Christmas.  He did a great job.

-THEN, I made hamburgers for supper:  something everyone in our family will actually eat.

So now, who took one for the team today?  I totally felt like the 1432 Franklin Pike Circle hero, DaddyO!  LOL!  (Of course, Alan takes his turn with that too!)

Now, what will we do tomorrow???

Don’t know what I’m talking about?  It’s a song DaddyO recommended, you can see and hear it at this link on YouTube:
Video of Bing Crosby & Glen Campbell singing 1432 Franklin Pike Circle Hero

…..Goodnight from the World of Mario!