fun in Florida
some basic highlights

days on the beach days
days in the pool

too much sun and too much fun
sand castles.... sand sculptures
sea snakes.... sea serpents... sea turtles
sharks.... mermaids... and star fish
the lion with its glorious mane
all made of sand... some with shells for scales others with sea weed for hair
all created with the aid of Dean, the destructive forces of Grant, and the fun and creative Canadian friends Lindsay and Shelby

loving the pleasure of the DOLLAR STORE!
who would think that two for a dollar kites will fly....
the do and they did and they will again!
Dean more interested in letting out all the string than the flight itself
Dean blew my mind as he methodically pulled the kite in and rolled up the string
in the pool one afternoon

Dean is introduced to the mask and snorkel

Grant is reintroduced to the water.... not quite the fish that Dean was at his age... it may be the cold.... it may not be his thing... either way... he was not panicked... he just was not drawn... a short splashing adventure is enough to "wet his desires"

another afternoon Dean is introduced to flippers....
trying to limit the variables

a mask may be too much for a child less than four to grasp

flippers too may be much more than a child who is less than four to grasp

the two together....
clearly too much for a child less than four to grasp
each as a separate unit were pretty well figured out on each afternoon no rush to put them all together
but thrilled by Dean's development to the exposure

a short drive south to towards the Everglades for a SWAMP BOAT RIDE
grandma (aka Miga) was good enough to hand with Grant
the drive was long enough for Dean to switch his desire to go boating into a desire to go home
it was not the sight of the swamp boat, it was not the noise from the motor, it was not fear of the alligators, nor was it the heat of the sun
it was just the strong opinion of a three and a half year old
we waited on buying tickets
there was time to kill before the next hour ride left the docks
several half hour rides returned and left as we tried to convince Dean that "daddy knows best"
opinion morphed into tantrum
had to go to the old standby..... bribery... as Dean was calmed by a spin in the souvenir shop a few toys caught his eye
he wanted this
he wanted that
he wanted everything
so I cut him a deal... go for a Swamp Boat ride then once we are back you may select one of these toys
easy enough
tears were gone and we were off to buy tickets
in no time Dean was shaking hands with Captain Bill as we boarded a propeller powered swamp vehicle
the wind in his face and the exhilaration of speed changed Dean's mood in no time
the birds, the mangrove, and the occasional alligator were of less interest to Dean than the fast winding through the maze of mangrove
donuts in the larger sections of water and maximum speed through the straight aways
Dean got to pee off the side of the boat and before the boat was stalled at the dock there was a reminder of the gift to come
it is funny how Dean can remember deals when they fall in his favor.... while the concept of promise is unclear to him when it is a matter of him going to bed or him having to behave...

to my pleasure fickle Dean could not decide on an over priced gift at the souvenir shop
I was able to promise him his reward at a different toy story.... of course... THE DOLLAR STORE
at the Dollar Store I was able to buy four Alligators for the price of one
Dean got his bounty and I got my boat ride
everybody won

there was also the discussion later that day
we discussed his lack of desire to go on the boat
then we discussed all that was fun about the boat
after that I tried to express that Dean should listen to mommy and daddy as they both have his best interest in mind
most certainly that is logic for an adult
all these little tantrums and attacks of stubbornness are a bit of poetic justice....
as Dean's actions are identical to mine when I was his age
I can remember a long drive to Monticello where I wanted to go.... then changed my mood and did not want to go in... once in.... they had a hard time taking me home
guess some behaviors are genetic
we can only hope that Grant will take after his mother

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