Friday, June 5, 2009

Put Your Helmet Back On...You're Not Done Having Fun Yet

So, a few weeks ago I just didn't "feel well". It was the week leading right up to Memorial Day. Basically the Sunday before, I had a headache. Later that night, I took a 2-mile walk. Then Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday I hit the gym and increased the intensity of my work out, but didn't sleep any better. Thursday night was the broken-van no gym. Friday night, I just felt exhausted. So - no gym. Instead, beddy-bye early. I took an "old-lady nap" from about 6pm - 10pm. Then, of course I was wide awake till 3am. So I figured Saturday I could sleep in. And I did. And I slept and slept. Well, more like I just stayed in bed all day, tossing and turning, with 15 minute cat-naps here and there. But three kids at home all day with no TV turned into a lot of "I'm bored", "he's touching me!" and "tell her to stop looking at me". Finally at about 3 pm I got out of bed and hopped in the shower. I told the kids to "get ready". Ears perked up, eyebrows raised, and the questioning began.

"Are we going somewhere?" they all wanted to know. "Yes," I responded. "We're going to the trail." Suddenly, all looks of hope and excitement turned into disgust and despair. You would have thought I told them we were going to clean out the sewer lines by hand or something. But I wanted to go and exercise, and I knew they needed to get out of the house before they either killed each other, or I killed them all. I told them I was taking them on an easy trail. And it really is easy too. The Lagoon Trail is a 1 mile (each way) paved trail, set mostly in the shade. It is great for walkers, runners, cyclists, and equestrians. It runs behind the local amusement park and there are elk and buffalo along the way too. It's really pretty.

I knew the youngest two wouldn't be able to keep up on foot. So, we loaded their bikes into the back of the van. The oldest doesn't have a bike as it was stolen last summer. I didn't want him to be bored, walking along side of me, so I agreed he could invite some of his friends. Plans were set in motion and we were off.

The oldest seemed to be excited, since his friends were coming. And the youngest loves exercise, so she was okay with it. However, the middle one, LittleDuckling, well, he still did not think this was a good idea. A lot of it probably has to do with his ADHD... if he can't see the end from the beginning, he assumes it is gonna be hard. So me telling him that it was a "short 2-mile bike ride" meant absolutely nothing. I might as well have said, "it'll be 20 miles of hard, labor-intensive pedaling". Anyone who has a kid with ADHD knows that they have a different frustration level and things always seem harder than they really are.

Thus, the entire way there I heard the moaning, the groaning, the grunting, and complaining. We park at the trail head. The older boys take off with the pooch while I unload the bikes for the little ones. LittleDuckling starts in with the whining. I had had it. Teeth clenched, finger pointing, my voice low and firm, I said, "Look here, young man. You will NOT ruin this day for me. We are here to have fun. So you are going to put your helmet on, you are gonna get on that bike, you are gonna ride the trail, you are gonna stop complaining, and you are gonna have fun! Do you hear me?" LittleDuckling nodded his head in acknowledgement and begrudgingly put his helmet on. I stuck my earphones in and tuned in to my "workout playlist". PrettyPrettyPrincess took off to ride in the wind.

Halfway through the first mile, there is a little cul de sac and a road we must cross to get to the next half. Since we are ahead of the older boys, I tell the two younger ones to ride their bikes in the cul de sac while we wait. LittleDuckling had other ideas.

Of course he was "hot" and then the "helmet made his head itchy" and it was "too tight" and then it was "too loose". I threw him one of my "what-did-i-tell-you" looks and said, "Get that helmet back on your head and get back on your bike. You're not done having fun yet." He did as told, and by the time he got it all buckled the older boys had caught up.

I had them pose for a pic before starting the next section of the trail. LittleDuckling tells me he IS smiling. What do I care? I think... and just snap the picture.

We continue the rest of the trail in peace and tranquility, amazingly enough.

Afterwards, I take them for pizza. And then - after THAT, LittleDuckling says, "That was fun. We should do it again sometime."


Anonymous said...

I love hiking.

And you just reminded me I'm taking the kids I nanny for to the zoo today so I'm going to have to hear so many moans and groans of "my legs are tired!"

Two Blessings From Above said...

Wow, what a beautiful trail! That sounds so much like my kids. They bitch and moan about doing fun stuff and after it is over they say, "That was fun". Mean while I went through hell trying to get them to do it.
Have a fun weekend.

TravAndToni said...

Nice! Your kid's best friend told me the trail was "sweet", hanging out with the boys was "sweet", and running ahead with the dog was.... yep... "sweet". I think he had a great time!

Puphigirl said...

I cracked up with the line, "You are not done having fun."

Susie said...

Somestimes, you have to force kids into having fun:-)

RhondaLue said...

Emma, my friend, I know your life. ;)

My adhd'er is the same way. Life seems so much harder for them but YEAH FOR making him have fun!

See, they don't know what they're missing till we MAKE them do it. Good for you for having so much persistence!

Betty said...

hahaha, I loved it. Kids are so predicable! Loved the pic´s!

purplehaze said...

That is an awesome trail and in the end he did have fun!!

ann said...

I have said so many time the exact same thing you said to little duckling, so so many times!!

I do think it is the ADHD.... To top it all off it is just being 10ish. That is the wrong age for doing anything FUN in his mind!

Era said...

Isn't that just like kids. You drag them along kicking and screaming and finally they have fun. But the next time you want to do something with them, they don't remember how much fun they've had.