12.23.2010

the boys and bikes in the colder months...

this post is a few days old
much like many posts... it was started and never finished

part of the issue... I started with an idea and never got things to wrap around to that idea I had intended
having a free moment... I think I will revisit this post
I will try to see if this makes any sense
then throw it on the page

WINTER BREAK!

ah... winter break is here and the Christmas Holiday is approaching
school is out and the kids need to be entertained

it is cold outside which makes it difficult to motivate the children
one error I repeat over and over again with my children is asking my boys if they want to do something

ASKING?!?!?!?

asking does not usually go as planned
asking is met with denial and refusal
options can be better... but still... the kids can refute any and all options

options for the kids are better than telling the kids what to do
sometimes it is best for the father to tell them what to do
after all... FATHER KNOWS BEST!

the house... the house is a vortex of nothingness
in the house it seems that time can only be spent watching movies or playing Wii
although
I am not adverse to what has come to be known as "screen time"
I do not want the kids to spend the whole day in their pajamas camped out in front of the television
there needs to be some sort of physical activity!

so... I create a plan
in this case the plan came without consent... no options... just a presented plan
I allowed the boys to wake at their leisure
they were able to watch what television shows they wanted and play some Wii if they so desired
I even brought them each a bowl of cereal and some sliced apples... in the television\toy room

I sipped my coffee and did my morning thing while they got to experience the first day of vacation as they wanted

as they continued to play their games or watch their shows I got up from the computer and got ready for an adventure
I prepped their bikes making sure their was air in the tires and lube on the chain

helmets... gloves... and the essential cold weather gear was located
I even pulled out some of those chemical hand warmers
then I broke up their little electronic tea party

I swooped in and told them we were headed to the National Christmas Tree

no asking... no options
just commands in a drill sergeant tone of voice

I told them to dress warmly and get ready to go

to my pleasure they were dressed and ready to go without much argument
each of them dressed in what I thought would be suitable attire for what was a FREEZING COLD day in the District


on the bikes we weaved the standard route through the neighborhood of Mount Pleasant

I issued orders trying to explain what I believe to be the proper instructions for them to be safe on the bike
always trying to teach the boys to put themselves where they are most safe
always trying to teach the boys to look and listen for cars around them

we rode a mixture of alleys and streets and then took to the sidewalk when we got to 16th Street
the boys asked to cut through Malcolm X Park (Meridian Hill Park) which worked out fine

it was my intention to try and travel on the new 15th Street Bike Lanes

the boys each fought to go first
I tried to settle things by letting them know that they could each lead at various times... this did not do much to limit the conflict
again I spoke about trying to be safe... more than likely the wind whistled through their helmets and muffled my sage advice
yet I spoke just the same

trying to teach them to expect the unexpected
always trying to teach them to be smart and safe while also being respectful of others

trying to help them to anticipate the variables around them

the new 15th Street Bike Lanes were a little narrow for out family experience... but they felt like a safe way to go
definitely better than traversing the sidewalks

at The White House I had the boys circle about so I could snap a few shots
helmets came off and santa caps went on so I could get a few seasonal snaps
once at The National Christmas Tree with the bicycles locked up I pulled a few thermoses from my pack
and poured each of the boys some hot coco

the stale marshmallows softened up nicely as the coco cooled

the boys enjoyed their coco as they scoped out the tree and the toy trains set up at its base
we looped around the tree then finished up the coco
once back on the bike I witnessed a bit of crankiness starting to develop in young Grant...
both the boys were hungry

I promised the boys that we could get lunch at Moby Dick
... not in Georgetown... but at Dupont Circle
it was a tough urban trek
young Grant was in a mood... each city block involved an excess of discussion
finally we ate our promised lunch... then as a surprise bonus went to Krispy Kreme for desert
Grant was still grumpy... I think six year old Grant had bonked
I had thought that the sugary goodness would pull him back... alas no
Grant's mood improved but his strength was gone
like a trooper young Grant muscled his way home with a minimum amount of complaining

sure there was the requisite cajoling... there was the need for me to give him a "turbo boost" push up 16th Street Hill
I even allowed him to stop and take a break
after all... he is only six

once home... the boys were once again reunited with the television where they got to play Wii with their friends and then watch a Christmas themed movie after dinner that evening
it was a good day

it was cold... but with the right gear it was alright!

the following day we went back to the National Mall and went ice skating at the Sculpture Garden
that day was fun packed with each of them having a friend from school to join in the fun
after skating we had hamburgers on The Hill then we walked on the ice at the reflecting pool outside the US Capitol building

each day followed the same routine

EVACUATE THE HOUSE!
GET OUT OF THE HOUSE!
STAY OUT OF THE HOUSE!

good times for sure.

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