Monday, January 27, 2014

Gold Mountain And Eating With Dinosaurs

Having Ryan in the same room is basically like talking in an empty cave. There is a perpetual echo in our house. Not only does he parrot everything he hears, but he keeps all the new phrases that he's heard and tucks them away in the back of his brain to be used at the most random times.

In the car today:

Jacob: "Mom, if you start to see a lot of bunny poop, that means it's almost Easter time."
Me: "Hmmmm."
Jacob: "I'm serious!"
Me: "Well, keep your eyes open for bunny poop."
Ryan: "Bunny. Poop. Bunny. Poop. Ah see-ree-us (I serious)."
Me: "You're serious?"
Ryan: "Mommy, where going?"
Me: "We're going hiking. It's going to be fun."
Ryan: "Going hiking. Fun. Ah see-ree-us."

When we got home later in the day, the kids were throwing balls around the house and dancing at the same time:

Jacob: "Shake, shake, shake my booty!"
Ryan: "Shake ma boot-ee! Shake ma boot-ee!"
Me: "Ryan, come pick up your ball."
Ryan: "My bad....I shake ma boot-ee!"

So, back to hiking...we've been horrible about getting out of the house and doing things lately. I decided to raise the bar on our family weekend excursions just slightly higher. And by slightly higher, I mean higher than a trip to Costco for samples and giant hotdogs. Feeling slightly ambitious today, I packed the kids up and we headed 30 minutes away to Gold Mountain. By the time I dressed the kids in hiking appropriate clothing (no Jacob, you cannot wear your slipper crocs), packed lunches and diapers, made sure everyone peed, hauled our ginormous double jogger into the car, and wrestled the kids into their car seats, I was exhausted. I was tempted to treat that as my "excursion" and just take the kids to the Dairy Queen drive thru. Somehow, someway, I pressed onward. The mountain trails were calling.

Ready for anything!

When I announced our arrival at the trailhead, Jacob took one look around and his face fell. He looked like a kid whose favorite bicycle had just been steam-rolled by a truck. Apparently, Jacob thought Gold Mountain was actually going to be made out of gold. Ooops. 

We had a beautiful hike! For the most part, I pushed both kids up the trail. We probably went about a mile out but we stopped several times to explore. Within the first five minutes of our hike we passed several people. All of whom looked at me (towing 65 pounds of children in a wide stroller) skeptically. One guy told me that I wouldn't get passed the next bend- because his wife tried yesterday with her kid in their single stroller and couldn't make it up the rocky path. I smiled and said, "well, we'll just go as far as we can, thanks."
Silly boys. Ryan, the copycat.

You make one move and I drop the glove!

Then we came upon a parade of people riding horseback. There was absolutely no room for both of us on the trail. I unpacked the kids, set them on a log, and carted the stroller off the trail so the horses could pass. Oh how I envied those riders- perched atop a steady-gaited horse and clopping happily through the forest. I'm sure that is the ONLY way to go hiking. Ryan LOVED watching the horses. For the next 15 minutes all he could say was, "more horsies mama! More horsies!" As If I could conjure horses out of thin air. Then, as soon as I stepped foot back onto the trail, I landed in a big pile of horseshit.

To pretty to keep a look-out for horseshit.

I'm not gonna lie. It was definitely a little tricky to get up the next couple hundred feet of trail. I might have looked ridiculously stubborn as I insisted on pushing the thick tires of the stroller up and over rock after rock in the slippery mud. But contrary to what the one guy told me, it wasn't impossible. Or maybe I was just too dedicated to turn around after all the effort it took to get out here. But once we cleared the rocky and muddy path, the trail widened and it was all an easy incline. It was gorgeous.

We stopped to climb and play. 

To watch streams run across the mossy earth. 

To throw rocks off bridges.  (And give mommy a heart-attack by leaning too far off the bridge.)

To smile and laugh under the surprising glow of the sun.

We came upon some dirt bike-jumps and I increased speed to run the stroller up and down the dips. Both kids erupted into a fit of giggles each time we careened downward and then suddenly upward. Several hikers passed and looked at us like we were insane. But that's ok, because I am. After several minutes, Jacob started to complain about being cold (it was pleasant and sunny- so I think he was just tired) so we turned around much earlier than I would have liked. Both kids fell asleep instantly in the car, a sure sign that they had fun and that I did my motherly duty to wear them out for the day.

When we came home, I made a peruvian-style roast chicken with veggies (very yummy!). Dinner is usually a stressful time in our house. Getting the kids to sit down during dinner is probably as easy as taking four monkeys for a walk through a produce store. Jacob sits on the end of his chair, then he jumps off of it, then he bounces up and down, then he runs to grab a toy, then he runs to the bathroom, then he runs to get another toy, then he gets up and runs into the living room to burp every three minutes (because he knows we will yell if he burps at he table). After we told him to sit down and eat for literally the fifteenth time and he still wasn't listening, we gave up and put him in timeout so that the rest of us could eat in peace.

My husband and I sat across the table from each other trying to savor the act of shoveling food down our throats while Jacob was crying loudly from his room and banging on his door. We had totally given up on Ryan who was sitting under the table making dog sounds. Every minute or two I would stick a piece of chicken on his fork and pass it under the table. I'd pull my hand back ten second later to find the fork empty and, supposedly, the chicken would be in Ryan's mouth. Feeding Ryan this way reminded me of that scene in Jurassic Park where they tie a goat to a post. You hear a growl, the bushes rustle around, and suddenly the goat is gone.

Sometimes, eating dinner with my kids feel exactly what I imagine it would be like to eat dinner with a bunch of ADHD dinosaurs. Probably less bloody. But everything else, I imagine, is right on

Good thing I love dinosaurs (especially of the kid variety)

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