target... a lesson and a bike ride

a post work bike ride with a trip to Target
an effort to teach a few lessons

the other night my wife Lisa went out to dinner with some friends which put me in po
sition of Mr. Mom
not sure how to entertain the boys I proposed the usual...
no one wanted to kick the soccer ball in the alley
no one wanted to hike the dog in the woods
no one wanted to do anything I wanted to do
all the boys wanted to do was play Wii

I joked with my older son Dean that I could read his mind
I told him that all he could think about was Wii
Wii Wii Wii Wii

Dean denied that he was thinking about Wii
Dean demanded that I try reading his mind... so I did
it was obvious what he was thinking
Not Thinking about Wii
Not Thinking about Wii
Not Thinking about Wii

so... rather than asking or offering anything to
do I told the boys what we were going to do
I told them that after I walked the dog we would ride our bikes to the Target in Columbia Heights to get them each new swim goggles

it is funny... they both could use new swim goggles
but this trip does not mean a trip to purchase new swim goggles to anyone involved...
to me the trip is a chance to get the kids out of the house and onto their bikes
and for the boys... well... they know that going to Target could mean the purchase of something other than the swim goggles as well as the pleasure of shopping for future purchases
so with our own selfish set of goals we had an objective

after walking the dog I pulled out three bikes and three helmets
lisa left out the front door to meet her friends for dinner while the boys and I left out back for an afternoon urban adventure
the ride to Columbia Heights weaved down alley ways and down sidewalks

I coached the boys trying to teach them to ride safely by themselves
as we moved about the city I tried to teach the boys to listen, look, and anticipate

it is difficult to talk about the worst case scenario and try and have
them be cautious yet not filling them with fear

we arrived at Target and fit in with all the urban energy that is this newly renovated urban center
there was no space on the sidewalk in any of the bike racks so we locked our three bikes up to an already occupied tree

inside Target we walked up the escalator to the left while people stood the right
once inside I ushered the boys through
we marched at a vigorous pace
all the while trying to keep their focus on our objective of the swim goggles

of course there was a slight pause at the Wii games
then we were into the seasonal section looking at the goggles and pool toys

lots of goggles... not the style I was looking for
there were a number of pairs that would work
except that these goggles were pink and purple
maybe not the color that we were looking for
it was decided we would not be purchasing any goggles

the boys were at ease with the thought of not getting any replacement goggles
perhaps in their mind there would be room for a substitution with an alternate purchase

the boys petitioned for various purchases
there was a minute of browsing
a quick loop in search for some costume pieces for the next day at camp
as it turns out there was nothing that filled our camp costume needs either

there was no willingness on my part to cave into their begging
Grant picked up a foam pool toy that seemed attractive
I held my ground and thought about my objective to teach a lesson
also thinking that we could make a trip to Target on another day
allowing me to get my way by getting them on the bike
allowing them to get the toy that they wanted

outside at the bikes I offered various dinner options
Potbellys and Five Guys right across the street
there was no bid
I asked them if they wanted chicken or pizza from Mount Pleasant Street
the boys listened to their options and in their little heads they started plotting
when they selected Raidus Pizza I knew there ploy

just as a my boys would try to get us to go to the museum so that they could go to the museum store
they often select various restaurants for reasons other than the food
there is a Thai restaurant that has a basket of candy they like to raid
and then there is McDonald's
SuperSize Me was right on target... sure the kids like the salty fries at McDonalds... but it is really the toy in the Happy Meal that has them crying out for a trip to Micky Ds

so we rolled on down to Radius
with the bikes locked up outside the historic Mount Pleasant Building I heard the boys chatter about Star Wars
on a few previous visits there was a kid friendly bartender who catered to the kid's interests and hit the mark by putting on Star Wars
the boys were shooting for a repeat

the boys ran ahead as I wove a cable through the two kids bikes back to the U-Lock on my bike
in the bar and found three stools right in front of the flat screen television behind the bar
we ordered some cranberry juice and some waters and started to get comfortable
the movie on the screen was not entirely age appropriate
I asked the bartender to change it... no one was watching it... so she scanned the channels for something equally as interesting but a tad more age appropriate
nothing was found
That 70's Show was selected... the boys stared at the screen as we waited for our pizza to arrive

after dinner we finished the ride home
mission accomplished
the boys were out of the house and away from the Wii
not entirely away from the blue glow of the television screen
but they were out of the house and they did get on the bike

for the most part we all got what we wanted
I need to remember the pool toy

there were lessons taught about being safe on the bike
as well as an effort to teach the lesson of shopping
going to the store focused on purchasing the intended product
not just a matter of buying something
the kids need to learn that they can not just walk in the store and walk out with a toy

not sure if I made my point
but it is in there somewhere

1 comment:

libertyonbikes! said...

the other lesson:
at some point your kids will have kids.

then they will say to themselves
as they figure out how to raise a kid...
'well, when I was younger my dad
use to do this with us'

and that's when you realise how good of a parent you are.