Despite the fact that the last time I was at this park Soren was scarred for life when I forced him to do the carousel, I chose to spend our day at Pullen Park, a local hangout that has not only three playgrounds, but the fore mentioned indoor carousel, a train ride, paddle boats, and good food. We went once when we first moved here. The two older boys don't remember it. It's been closed for the past two years for renovations, and it was worth the wait.
Because our family just finished a really crappy weekend I decided to splurge and buy tickets to do all the extra activities for the boys. First we hit the carousel, which thank goodness, had turned the volume of the music down so it didn't scare the shit out of Soren this time. Still, he chose to drape himself all over my person in the carriage we sat in, just in case. Which kind of sucks, because this carousel has got some of the coolest animal choices to ride. Aside from the regular ponies, there are tigers, giraffes, bunnies, pigs, and even ostriches. I know when J joins us one day his choice will be the ostriches. Ashe chose a donkey, which he quickly named Epona after Links horse in Zelda. Xavier chose a pig. This thing goes super fast and the boys whooped it up as we twirled around getting dizzy.
Next we hit the park, where the boys raced around with their excess energy for over an hour. I got tired just trying to keep an eye on who was where. We grabbed lunch at the local cafe and headed to an island near the paddle boats to picnic in the sunshine. After gorging themselves on hot dogs, tacos, and lemonade, the kids chased each other around the island while I soaked up the sun and took photos.
And then we hit the paddle boats.
Now, the kids are used to kayaking. We've done it a few times over the past couple months and the boys know the rules when sitting in a boat. HOWEVER, I need to remember to take into account Ashe and his ability to find himself in situations that most normal boys would not be in. Ashe has apraxia, which makes it difficult for him to pronounce certain sounds. Recently J was dong some research on it and found out that apraxia can also cause the muscles to not work properly, causing a child with apraxia to sometimes seem clumsy. In fact, an older diagnosis for apraxia used to be Clumsy Child Syndrome. If you know Ashe, you know this labels him perfectly. When J read that out loud to me, we both looked at each other for a moment and burst out laughing.
So, take one child with Clumsy Child Syndrome, one paddle boat with barely a lip to keep people on, and our bad luck dribbling in from the weekend and you get.....
Ashe falling out of the boat.
Yes, yes he did. And I saw it happen in slow motion. He was sitting in the back and leaned forward to get a better view of the ducks. He leaned just a little too far and tumbled forward. I tried, in vain, to grab his pants to pull him back up, but my hand slipped and PLOP! Down he went. People, this is why if you ever go on a boat you wear a life vest. Because that bothersome life vest made him pop right back up, and I was able to haul his wet little ass back into the boat. Fortunately he didn't lose his glasses or else I would not be sitting here still giggling as I write this.
After dragging his soaking wet, 42 pound behind back into the boat we sat there gaping at each other for a long, quiet moment. He looked at me with wide eyes, mouth opening and closing like a gasping fish for a moment, cleared his throat and shakily said "I think I leaned too far forward Mom." To which I replied "Yes hon, I think you did." And then I sat there laughing my ass off for the next fifteen minutes. I wish I could tell you that I took a photo of my soaking wet bedraggled five year old. I wish I could show you the aftermath of this crazy event. I even pulled out the camera as I giggled to snapshot this moment that no one will ever forget. But Ashe looked at me in such abject misery and asked me in a beseeching voice not to. And for once, I didn't have the heart to make him feel more worse than he did at that moment. Even though it would have been an award winning photo. Instead, we pretended to ignore that Ashe was soaking wet and walking with his arms out a bit to mimic the Frankenstein stride, and we finished up our trip to the park with a train ride. We spent almost four hours at the park today. You would think that after all that we did, the boys would happily sit for quiet time and watch a movie. But no, they are currently upstairs raising hell and shaking the walls with their shrieks of delight. But that's fine. I surreptitiously snagged the iPad so that I could blog a bit before they noticed.