The family moved recently. As a result there are new playgrounds in the area though this wasn’t apparent to Monkey at the start of our journey. With his angst filled temperament lately he has been pushy about being able to leave the house. Doesn’t matter where we go so long as we get in the car and take a good long ride. With the cost of driving all the time and the fact that I really can’t let his lordship be in so much control that he should make me drive all night (every night) I decided I would split the difference with him. Instead of having to stay in the house, and instead of my having to drive him, I got out the snow boots and figured we could walk to one of the playgrounds in the area. Sounds like a fair plan, right? Monkey loves swings and Mater can climb until his heart is content. In addition I personally love taking walks whenever I can get the chance so it was one of those “everybody wins” situations…. or so I thought.
So we start out trek through the new neighborhood and Monkey becomes dismayed rather quickly when he realizes that we are going to walk past the car. The first thirty feet past the car are the most intense. If you can imagine the hare trying to push the tortoise to the finish line then you get the idea of what it looks like while I’m pushing him along. Now mind you I am 6’3″ so I have plenty of weight to push him along on our walk seeing as how he is only 5’3″. Still I have to rotate which arm I push him along with on our walk because, despite my size advantage, his willpower is the equivalent of those keg throwers in the tough man competition. Nevertheless, I push on.
Come on, Monkey… let’s go to the park! They have swings and everything!
Mater of course has to stop every third house we pass to wait for us to catch up because apparently he doesn’t have to push a disgruntled Norwegian uphill. Alas, we get to the park. Wouldn’t ya know it, Monkey remembers he does like swings. He loves ’em in fact. So much so that ten cold toes later he insists we stay.
Now for some polite begging.
“Monkey, let’s head home bud!”
“C’mon bud. We can head home and get ya a string cheese…. or maybe a yogurt!!”
Turns out his greatness was either not interested, or simply couldn’t hear from wind rushing around his ears as he swung back and forth. The very swings I assured him existed the entire time I did my audition for the tough man competition.
Time for a more blunt approach!
I step in front of the swing. Moment’s later I realize….just how much he has grown. My balance holds steady, and I only stumble a few feet back instead of getting knocked on my butt after he crashes into me; feet extended, knees locked. Despite my lack of concern for physics I did manage to successfully stop the swing. And that’s when it happened. That is when I finally got Monkey’s attention. It was the day I met Jimmy Conway.
And now I must pay!
Getting him to the gate to exit the playground was fought with enough resistance that I feel I have a good understanding of what it would be like to try and drag a seal back to water during mating season. He slithers, he squirms, he manages to make me question whether or not he has a skeleton as he relentlessly slips from my full on bear hugs. The 2 or 3 block journey beyond the gates were met with equal resistance.
Now I had no idea, despite my many years of training, that Monkey has been watching old clips of Barry Sanders on Youtube. I mean he must be. It is the only explanation for why a boy such as him would be so skilled at spin moves.
Push, push, push!
Spin move! Ten yards lost. Second down.
Wrangle, wrangle–resume pushing.
The trip home gets to the point that it doubles the time it took to get to the park in the first place. Like a child coming home from youth camp I see the house and begin to show excitement. The mere thought that the workout is almost over was enough to get me excited. Cheerful even, that this round trip of pushing and pulling my son along on this slow journey is almost over.
And what happens?
What does his lordship think of next?
Well he is from Michigan, so he opted for the sit down strike. The natural Michigander approach to problems and failures. Simply sit down, and wait for someone else to fix the problem.
I get behind him and scoop my hands under his arms. Back to work buddy!
Change my stance. Bend the knees (throw in some positive self talk). Big lift!!
Now for some scientific problem solving.
Is he anchored down? How is it possible that I can’t lift him? Does his density even register on the periodic table? But I am so much bigger!! He’s not bigger than a couch, and I can totally lift a couch. WTH is going on?
Is there no God!?!?
In my failed attempts I came to the age-old conclusion… If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. I’ll take a seat on the curb and wait it out. My tired ass hits the curb and Monkey springs to his feet.
Homeward bound!! He giggles and laughs as he sprints straight to the house.
Turns out, Monkey is like any 14-year-old boy. If I want to motivate him I just have to embarrass him by presenting the idea that he would want to be seen sitting with his father. Who knew it could be so simple?
And that is an example of a fun trip to the park!