1.25.2011

Grant... Grant is different than Dean

Dean and Grant
I am not sure why Grant has his feet off the pedals

my boys are very different...
not just different in age
not just different in body style
just different... not opposites... just different

yes... different... different than each other that is
one core set of differences...
Dean is pretty agreeable while Grant likes to have it his way
the ripple of that core difference is dynamic

last weekend was a four day weekend
well... not last weekend... but the weekend before last
the weekend that ended in Martin Luther King Day
a day that may not be a holiday in any area of the country other than Washington DC

there was some consideration for leaving town
but after some thought there was too much already scheduled in town to actually vacate the vicinity

so... we took our chances and stayed in town

entertaining two young school age boys for four days in the winter can be a difficult proposition

I treated the Thursday afternoon feeding into the weekend as a Friday afternoon
knowing that there was no need to even mention HOMEWORK until the night before the boys returned to school it seemed we should make good use of our time
I gathered my boys and then one classmate friend for each and we went for a brisk hike in the woods of Rock Creek Park

it was a wonderful adventure that involved all sorts of ice breaking in the creek
a parental guided Tom Sawyer-Huck Finn adventure that was cut short when one of the younger boys slipped and fell... breaking through the ice


THAT WAS EXCITING!
young Gareth went about knee deep into the water
he was out of the water as fast as he got into the water
lessons learned... hopefully

Friday morning came
by the time Grant and I were out of bed Lisa and Dean were more than likely skiing at Whitetail

Lisa and I went man-to-man on DAY ONE of the FOUR DAY weekend
Dean is hyped on skiing... Lisa is responding to that

Grant and I woke up slowly... both of us remained in our PJs for the better part of the morning
I allowed Grant to dictate the direction of his morning
there was no rush to do anything
which meant I did not need to pressure him to do anything

then finally... around lunch time when morning was blending into afternoon I decided to take action
by this time Grant and his neighbor and friend Dylan had pretty much done all that house has to offer...
which meant it was time to evacuate
there would be more time for Star Wars Legos... Star Wars Lego Wii... and Star Wars imaginary games later in the day and in the days to come

it was cold outside... I knew that
but we had to get out of the house
so I pitched a walk to THE ZOO
being a few blocks from the rear entrance of The National Zoo is a classic stand by

after a little sales pitch it was agreed

the notion of seeking shelter from the cold in The Reptile House and Amazonia was enough to seal the deal
so... after lunch I sent the boys over to Dylan's so that he could get hat, gloves, and jacket for our adventure

some time passed... more time that I felt need be for a kid to get his gear and return
so I picked up the phone and called
Dylan's mom told me that young Dylan had walked into the house and exclaimed... "I AM NOT GOING"
then turned on the TV... I could hear THE CLONE WARS in the background

immediately with an expression of frustration I asked that my son be returned home


Grant entered the house in a huff
all red faced Grant marched past me towards the stairs
marching forcefully up the stairs Grant exclaimed, "I AM NOT GOING TO THE ZOO!"

as he continued up the stairs I offered agreement, "I am not going to make you go to the zoo... that was a plan we made with Dylan... we do not need to do that... but, we need to make a plan... and that plan has to involve leaving the house"

it was not immediate... but it was pretty fast
Grant had a plan
interestingly enough the plan looked like it came from
one of my old play books
it offered something for everyone
in fact... it gave dad exactly what he wanted and it gave Grant exactly what he wanted


Grant proposed cashing in a vase of change that a neighbor had given the boys when he moved off the block a few months earlier
with that money Grant planned on buying something at Target
not sure what... but confident that it would be something

this sounded like a sound plan
yes... it gave both parties what they wanted
Dad got his son out of the house and onto the bike
Grant got to buy something
buying something brings Grant great pleasure

this was perfect...

the trip to Target in Columbia Heights far from constitutes an actual bike ride
when the boys were smaller it was a tougher task
now that the boys are getting larger... it is really not much of an effort
so... I extended out loop

just slightly

I knew that Harris Teeter in Adams Morgan had one of those CHANGE MACHINES
so... I told Grant the plan
we would ride our bikes to Harris Teeter... cash in the change... buy supplies for dinner... then ride to Target and then back home
I gave him an understanding of the loop

we suited up and left off
Grant was very efficient in getting good coverage and good layers
which is good... cold and complaining does not make for a fun bike ride for anyone involved

it was a short urban ride that mixed sidewalks and streets
when we approached the downhill on 16th Street along side of Malcolm X Park Grant got verbal
there was a near panic because I had promised that our ride would not involve him having to climb this hill

I assured him that we would be turning... just as we turned down Kalorama towards Harris Teeter

at Harris Teeter we moved with with efficiency
this was not Grant's destination
Grant had his eye on the prize
Grant wanted to get to Target to spend his money

but first... we had to find out how much money Grant had to spend


as expected the vase of change was roughly 20 dollars
which was just enough in Grant's mind to by that something that he wanted
something?
yes... an undetermined something
but something limited to fit in his budget

we cashed in some change and then did a loop around the grocery store

as we walked Grant and I paused to taste some of the free samples
Grant liked the sausage and meatball samples
SCORE! DINNER!
BONUS! COUPONS!

sausages... meatballs... some milk... maybe something else and we were good to go

with dinner in my pack and money in Grant's pocket we were out the door and back on the bikes
up the hill to Target

at Target we made a B-Line for the toy department
there was some back and forth
as it was tough to decide what something to buy
Grant made his selection and we headed to the register to pay
but then Grant modified his decision
we walked back and Grant exchanged his Star War's action figure for another Lego Guy
two Lego Guys would be his purchase... after tax these two items would be covered by the money that he had from cashing in that change


the back on the bike
our trajectory was not extended nor was it creative
we headed directly home
we did not PASS GO
we did not COLLECT TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS

just as we were settling in back home we heard some action on the sidewalk
it was Dylan
Grant ran out the front door

before Grant could share his new Lego purchase with his neighbor and friend Dylan's mom chimed in

Dylan is in trouble... we were supposed to walk to the store... they went two blocks and he complained
so they turned around and got the car
Dylan had to go inside and can not play

it seems that Dylan not only refused my plan... but also his mother's plan
at least I got Grant out of the house
at least I got Grant out on the bike

this was not the first time that a carrot on a string was used to lead the momentum of the day
but it could be one of the first times where the carrot was put on the string by the workhorse himself

Grant ended up getting over to Dylan's before the sunset... then that evening they had a sleep over




1 comment:

Mike said...

Thanks for the read. I can commiserate and yet at the same time I am confident that these are the moments that we will miss later in life.